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Hall of Fame Inductee

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The Honorable Jon Wellinghoff is the 2019 Inductee into the Digital 360 Summit Hall of Fame.

EARLY DAYS

Born in Santa Monica, California. Later moved to Nevada. Attended the University of Nevada-Reno, earning his B.S. in mathematics in 1971. The following year he earned his master’s degree in mathematics from Howard University and stayed in Washington, D.C., to attend Antioch School of Law where he earned his J.D. in 1975. Wellinghoff returned to Nevada where he specialized in energy law for more than 30 years. In private practice, he focused exclusively on cases pertaining to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

PRE FERC

Wellinghoff held a variety of positions in the public sector, providing legal counsel on energy issues to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, the Federal Trade Commission and the Nevada Public Utility Commission.

Consumer protection was another hallmark of Wellinghoff’s career prior to joining FERC. In his hometown of Reno, he held the position of Deputy District Attorney in the Washoe County District Attorney’s Consumer Fraud division.

His work on behalf of consumers helped make him Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for customers of public utilities. In that role, he argued for the public in cases before Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (a.k.a. FERC), the Nevada Supreme Court and what is now the Nevada Public Utility Commission.

FERC

FERC is a U.S. government agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil by pipelines; licensing and inspecting hydroelectric projects; Approving the siting of and abandonment of interstate natural gas facilities, including pipelines, storage and liquefied natural gas; Ensuring the reliability of high voltage interstate transmission system; Monitoring and investigating energy markets; Using civil penalties and other means against energy organizations and individuals who violate FERC rules in the energy markets; Overseeing environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and major electricity policy initiatives; and Administering accounting and financial reporting regulations and regulating businesses of regulated companies.

Jon Wellinghoff is an American attorney who was appointed as FERC commissioner in 2006 by President George W. Bush. And then re-appointed by President Barak Obama as FERC chairman in 2009. He served as Chairman of FERC until 2013.

Jon led many initiatives at FERC, where he advanced new sustainable innovative energy market policies and smart/sustainable electric grid development throughout the US. While at FERC, Jon focused on improving the efficiency of wholesale electric markets, working to integrate renewable energy, demand response, energy efficiency, and distributed generation into those markets. As Chairman of the FERC for 5 years, Jon was the chief administrative officer and managed the 1,500-person agency and its annual $300+ million budget.

Some of his greatest accomplishments include issuing Order 745, which prescribes how providers of demand response are to be compensated in the organized wholesale markets.  And issuing Order 1000, which required RTOs to create regional transmission plans and identify transmission needs based on public policy. Cost allocation reforms were included, possibly to reduce barriers faced by nonincumbent transmission developers.

CURRENTLY

In addition to vast federal, state, and local policy and regulatory expertise, Jon also has extensive operational and management experience. He most recently was Chief Policy Officer for SolarCity (acquired by Tesla) overseeing a 60+ person team with a budget of $25+ million. There he initiated policy strategies on the regulatory and legislative fronts that ensured continued viability of the rooftop solar industry nationwide.

Today Jon is an internationally recognized energy thought leader and trusted energy advisor. Jon consults with businesses, government and regulatory policy leaders in the US, Asia, Canada, Australia and Europe.

He currently oversees Grid Policy, Inc., focusing on energy policy and strategic planning for clients ranging from multinational utilities to start-up energy product innovators. Jon has represented clients in an array of emerging energy technology fields including energy storage, demand response, distributed solar PV, advanced energy control technology and blockchain financial energy platforms. He participated in the New York State Public Service Commission Reforming Energy Vision process to restructure and enhance the electric utility distribution model and is also participating in the wholesale market redesign efforts in Alberta, Canada.

FAMILY

Wellinghoff is married to Karen Galatz and he has four children, Andrea, Sarah, Jules, and Jacob, and three grandchildren.

Jon has been a champion of Innovation, Technology, and Consumers and we are delighted to induct him into the Digital 360 Summit Hall of Fame.

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The Honorable Jon Wellinghoff

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