Jon Wellinghoff was named Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by President Barack Obama on March 19, 2009.
First appointed as a Commissioner to FERC in 2006, Chairman Wellinghoff is an energy law attorney with 37 years experience in regulatory, consumer and commercial law. Prior to joining FERC, he was in private practice focusing exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation.
He served two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities and authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute. That statute has become a model for utility integrated planning processes across the country. He also was the primary author of the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Act. Nevada is one of the two states to receive an “A” rating by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Chairman Wellinghoff’s priorities at FERC include opening wholesale electric markets to renewable resources and providing a platform for participation of demand response and other distributed resources in wholesale electric markets, including energy efficiency and local storage systems such as those in plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles (PHEVs and EVs). In addition, he is focused on promoting greater efficiency in our nation’s energy infrastructure through the institution of advanced technologies and system integration. As Chairman, he created FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI), which is responsible for investigating and promoting new efficient technologies and practices in the energy sectors under FERC’s jurisdiction.
Designated by the Obama Administration to be a Principal in the Joint U.S./China Strategic and Economic Dialog in 2010, Chairman Wellinghoff participated in diplomatic discussions with China’s energy leaders. In 2011, he successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FERC and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA). The MOU benefits both organizations through the sharing of best practices, facilitating communication and providing a platform for cooperation by related enterprises from both sides. As a result of that agreement, FERC and NEA will hold a joint conference in China in June 2012.
He is co-chair of the Smart Response Collaborative launched jointly by FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. The Chairman is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Electric Efficiency and served as an advisor to the Defense Science Board’s Energy Policy Task Force. He is the Co-Chair of the Executive Leadership Team of the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Green Transmission Efficiency Initiative. Chairman Wellinghoff also advises the Energy Foundation and the NRDC on U.S.-China energy policy matters.
Chairman Wellinghoff has written and lectured extensively on numerous subjects related to energy policy and practice including: renewable project development and renewable portfolio standards; smart grid and integration of electric vehicles and consumer appliances into the grid; demand response and distributed generation; efficient energy market structures and development and licensing of hydrokinetic systems.
He has been a guest lecturer at universities around the U.S. that include, the Vermont Law School; the University of California, Berkeley; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Princeton University; George Washington University; the University of San Diego and the University of Oregon.
Antioch School of Law, Washington, D.C., JD, 1975
Howard University, Washington, D.C., M.A.T., Mathematics, 1972
University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, BS, Mathematics, 1971
2012 Solar Champion, Vote Solar Initiative's
2009 Demand Response and Smart Grid Leadership Award, The Demand Response Coordinating Committee
2008 Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service, Alliance to Save Energy
2008 Thought Leadership Award, EnerNOC
2007 Leadership in Demand Response Award, U.S. Demand Response Coordinating Committee