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Energy Law and Practice 2021: Greening the U.S. Power Grid


Speaker(s): David D'Antonioli, Debera Raggio, George (Chip) Cannon Jr., Jeff Dennis, Jennifer Wnek, Jessica Christianson, Jessie Robbins, Kerin L. Cantwell, Kimberly Osborne, Richard M. Saines, Robin L. Main, Sharon K. Segner, William L. Massey
Recorded on: Oct. 18, 2021
PLI Program #: 324522

David serves as Chief Executive Officer of Verra where he oversees all aspects of the organization, including ensuring the financial and operational health of the organization and that the organization’s certification programs meet high quality integrity and transparency standards. In recent years David’s focus has been to expand the scope of Verra, broadening it from an organization dedicated exclusively to certifying carbon reductions to one that also identifies and develops other standards frameworks for a sustainable world. In this vein, David works to ensure that the standards Verra identifies, develops and manages facilitate the flow of capital to enable countries, the private sector and civil society achieve and demonstrate their climate and sustainable development goals. David works closely with the Verra Board to chart the future course of the organization, and spearheads outreach to government, foundation, business and environmental leaders around the world.

A world-renowned expert on climate change, David began his work in this sector when he worked for ICF Consulting in 1994 providing technical advice to Latin American countries developing their GHG inventories and serving on the team that pioneered verification procedures for emission reduction projects. In 1999 David joined the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Mexico as its global climate change advisor overseeing the development of an energy-sector grid emission factor and baseline studies for forest protection efforts. In 2003, David joined EcoSecurities in Oxford (UK) where he led a joint venture to develop landfill gas-to-energy projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At EcoSecurities David also spearheaded the company’s efforts in the voluntary market, helping to identify key infrastructure and procedural needs that the voluntary carbon market lacked in the early days of its existence.

David holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Princeton University and a Master’s in Public Policy, with concentrations in Environmental Policy and International Development, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

 


Debra L. Raggio has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry and is responsible for Talen Energy’s Regulatory, Legal and External Affairs corporate functions.

Prior to joining Talen Energy, Ms. Raggio served as Senior Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs for Topaz Power Management, LP. Previously, Ms. Raggio held the position of Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for GenOn Energy, as well as its predecessor, Mirant Corporation.

For more than a decade, Ms. Raggio was an attorney with the law firm of Baker Botts, LLP specializing in regulatory and transactional energy matters and appellate litigation. Before joining Baker Botts, LLP, Ms. Roggio clerked for Chief Justice Tom R. Phillips of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Ms. Raggio is a member of the Bars of Texas, the District of Columbia, the Fifth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit. She holds a J.D. from the University of Texas, Austin; an MBA in Finance and Management from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Mineral Land Management from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Jeff Dennis leads AEE’s work to increase wholesale electricity market access for advanced energy technologies and provides legal advice and counsel to all of AEE’s programs. Jeff is a nationally recognized expert in energy law and policy at the federal and state level, and a frequent author and speaker. Before joining AEE, Jeff spent over a decade at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, holding senior positions including Director of Policy Development and Legal Advisor to a Commissioner. Jeff has also been a lawyer in private practice representing clients in proceedings before FERC, state public utility commissions, and in the courts. In addition to his work at AEE, Jeff is a leader in the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and serves on the Editorial Board of the Energy Law Journal.


Jennifer is a partner in the global Projects, Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure practice, based in Allen & Overy’s New York office.

Jennifer’s practice is focused on advising clients in all aspects of the acquisition, disposition, financing and sale of renewable projects and businesses, including structuring complex partnerships to optimize the tax and other economic benefits of owning, financing and operating renewable projects. Jenn also provides counsel regarding the drafting and negotiating of material project documents and supply chain agreements, and she assists clients with regard to commercial transactions involving retail and wholesale trading, asset management and hedging of natural gas, electricity and environmental attributes.

Jennifer has been actively representing clients in the energy space for over 15 years using her deep knowledge of renewables and the electric and gas markets to provide creative legal solutions to developers, sponsors, cash equity, tax equity and debt investors.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree University of Pittsburgh, graduating Magna Cum Laude and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude.


Jessica has been with El Paso Electric since 2013, initially as a Principal Scientist and currently as the Senior Director of Innovation and Sustainability, where she oversees the Company’s renewable, emerging technology, transportation electrification, business development and environmental initiatives. She has provided expert testimony supporting Company renewable, fossil fuel, beneficial electrification and grid modernization projects to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the Public Utility Commission of Texas and serves on Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s regional Climate Crisis Advisory Committee. Prior to her tenure at El Paso Electric, Jessica worked for engineering consulting firms across the country, managing multi-disciplinary projects to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts from Florida to Alaska. She holds graduate degrees in Soil Science, Environmental Engineering, and Public Utility Regulation and Economics.


Jessie Robbins leads tax equity and other capital formation efforts within the Capital Markets team at Generate Capital. She works to source, structure, and close project financing for distributed solar, community solar, solar + storage, fuel cells, and other project types with Section 48 or other applicable tax credits, focusing on crafting innovative financing solutions for the sustainable resource revolution.

Prior to joining Generate Capital, Ms. Robbins worked across project acquisition, capital origination, investor relations, and tax equity and debt structuring at Sol Systems. Other experience in the renewable energy sector includes a stint at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton researching energy policy and markets, and with the Earth Policy Institute as a research assistant.

Ms. Robbins graduated magna cum laude with honors in her major from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology and International Affairs concentrating in Energy and the Environment with a Certificate in International Development.


Kerin Cantwell leads the Commercial Transactions section within SCE's legal department, managing a team of attorneys providing legal support and counsel for commercial transactions, energy procurement, energy trading, energy efficiency programs and intellectual property. 

Kerin’s experience as an attorney covers numerous types of business transactions, including power and capacity purchase, equipment purchase, operations and maintenance, project and construction management, consulting, software licensing, intellectual property licensing, cybersecurity and corporate and tax optimization issues. She has represented clients in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and financings for renewable and conventional energy projects.

Kerin has a particular interest in energy storage technologies, applications and market opportunities, electric vehicles and other clean tech ventures and innovative technologies. 

Kerin’s experience includes work on energy projects in developing economies, having practiced law in Hong Kong working primarily on Chinese-foreign joint venture power plants and energy projects in other Asian countries.  Kerin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has an undergraduate degree in Chinese Studies from Wellesley College.


Key Experience

  • Head of the firm’s energy regulation, markets and enforcements practice.
  • Handles regulatory and commercial matters in the U.S. energy industry.
  • Regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other regulatory bodies.

Practice

Chip Cannon regularly assists clients with all regulatory aspects of acquisitions, divestitures and financings of projects subject to FERC jurisdiction, including obtaining required FERC and state public service commission approvals.  

Chip has deep experience representing clients before FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), federal courts and state regulatory commissions. In particular, he advises on a broad range of matters affecting the U.S. energy industry.

Chip’s clients include:

  • Electric utilities
  • Independent power producers
  • Project developers
  • Energy traders
  • Financial institutions.

Chip concentrates his practice on the production, delivery and sale of electric energy and related products, including from fossil fuel resources, as well as wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy resources. He also focuses on wholesale electricity capacity markets, carbon markets and other regulatory compliance markets associated with the U.S. energy sector.

 

Recognition

  • The National Law Journal, Equality Trailblazers, 2019.
  • Chambers USA, leading practitioner for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), 2006 to 2020. 
  • Chambers Global, leading practitioner for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), 2016 to 2019.

 

 


Kimberly Osborne leads the representation of the Company’s offshore wind business interests in ISO/RTO initiatives, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proceedings, contract negotiations, and other transactional and regulatory matters.  Specifically, she supports the Eversource Ørsted offshore wind 50/50 Joint Venture as in-house counsel dedicated to supporting the successful development, construction, and commercial operation of the Joint Venture’s projects which will interconnect to the ISO-NE and NYISO control areas.

Her background includes prior experience working for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with a particular focus on State policy clean energy Requests for Proposals, and representing the Avangrid regulated utility companies in the Northeast region in regulatory matters as tensions continued to rise at the interplay between State policy resource procurements and the FERC regulated wholesale markets.

Her deep and kaleidoscopic array of offshore wind experience has been from several different vantage points, which led to her current position as counsel for the Company’s offshore wind projects—with the South Fork Wind project being the first one scheduled to achieve commercial operation, in 2023.

She was born and raised in the Bay Area, California. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and Quinnipiac University School of Law.


Richard Saines ONM is globally recognized as a leading climate change lawyer, and for two decades has advised governments, multinational companies, financial institutions, funds and project sponsors on the economic transition to a low carbon economy, including being a thought leader on carbon and environmental market transactions. He is officially recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global as a leading climate change lawyer, an accolade he has held for 10 years. He is a former Partner and head of Baker McKenzie’s North American Climate Change Practice; and former Chair, International Emissions Trading Association. He serves on the Board of Advisors to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and was Awarded Chevalier of the National Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of France for his significant contribution to the preparation of the Paris Climate Summit, and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.


Robin is Co- Chair of the firm's Environmental and Energy Practice Groups with over 30 years of experience in advising clients on regulatory and permitting matters. Robin represents clients in proceedings before administrative agencies in addition to state and federal courts. Robin has handled some of the most complex and significant environmental and energy matters in the region including permitting for the first offshore wind farm in the United States, the largest tort suit for groundwater contamination in Rhode Island, and the redevelopment of many acres of contaminated land for the construction of a national bank’s headquarters. Robin also works on permitting for large renewable energy projects, including wind farms and solar facilities. Robin's experience in transactional and litigation matters, as well as her training as a mediator, provides her clients with unique guidance to solve their issues efficiently and creatively.

Robin serves on Hinckley Allen's Executive Committee. She also is a fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers.


Sharon Segner is Vice President at LS Power Development, LLC.   Sharon has executed the company’s national goals related to opening up a new sector of the energy business for independent transmission companies.   Specifically, she has led the company’s national efforts related to FERC Order No. 1000 transmission policy and the removal of incumbent transmission owners’ right of first refusal.  LS Power is a leading advocate in the United States for competitive transmission markets.

Prior to her tenure at LS Power, she developed for Competitive Power Ventures two large natural gas projects in the Washington, DC area – CPV Warren (now owned by Dominion Virginia Power) in Front Royal, VA and CPV Maryland in Charles County, Maryland.  Formerly, she was the lead developer at PG&E National Energy Group on the 650-MW Otay Mesa Project in San Diego County, California.  

Sharon is no stranger to energy policy issues.   She left the development world for four years from 2002 to 2006.    During that time, she was the Principal Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Energy Subcommittee on Energy, the Honorable Lamar Alexander (R-TN) during the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.   Sharon negotiated the drafting of the natural gas provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.    Sharon later served in the White House / Executive Office of the President’s Office of Management and Budget focused on energy issues and BPA, WAPA, and all federally owned hydroelectric facilities.

Sharon has a MBA from Rice University and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.


Before joining Covington as head of its energy practice, William Massey served as a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for over ten years.

Working out of Covington’s Washington, DC office, Bill has a high profile, broad-based energy regulatory and government affairs practice. He has extensive experience with complex regulatory issues before FERC and state utility commissions, and with energy legislative matters before Congress and state general assemblies.

Bill advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, enforcement and investigations, electricity and natural gas markets, energy exports, wholesale and retail market structure, transmission and pipeline infrastructure investment, RTO tariffs, and legislative strategy at the federal and state levels.

Bill's clients include investment firms and banks, utilities, independent power producers, pipelines and shippers, oil and gas companies, project developers, gas and electricity marketers, customers, and energy companies on a wide variety of energy matters. He also served for a decade as outside counsel to a large and diverse coalition of energy companies, demand response providers and is recognized by Chambers and Chambers GlobalBest Lawyers in AmericaLegal 500 US for Energy, and as a Washington, DC Super Lawyer.

Bill received his J.D. from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Leflar Law Center and an L.L.M.  from Georgetown University Law Center. He clerked for Hon. Richard S. Arnold, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.