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Colette Honorable: Keys to Grid Innovation

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 8:30am to 10:00am PDT

Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy co-directors, Prof. Sally Benson and Prof. Arun Majumdar, will lead a conversation on the Future of Energy with The Honorable Colette D. Honorable.  Colette is a Partner at Reed Smith, former Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), past President of the National Association for Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and one who has provided her expertise to policymakers in Africa, Australia, North and South America, Europe, the Eurasian Region and the Caribbean.  Given her expertise in energy and her inspirational life story, this dialogue will involve not only energy and environmental topics, but also social and cultural issues the world faces in this unique moment in history.


The Honorable Colette D. Honorable is a highly regarded policy maker in domestic and international energy sectors.  For over a decade, she has been a global leader in energy, focusing on clean energy integration, energy storage integration, infrastructure development and energy efficiency.  Honorable is a member of Reed Smith LLP’s Energy and Natural Resources Group where she leads the energy regulatory group.  In this capacity, she is a trusted legal and strategic advisor to her clients, many of which are Fortune 500 entities. Prior to joining Reed Smith, Honorable served as a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  She was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2014 for a term that expired in June 2017.  At FERC, Honorable focused on reliability oversight of the bulk power system, cyber and physical security, oversight of wholesale markets, transmission planning and cost allocation in regional transmission organizations, gas-electric coordination, renewables integration, energy storage integration and valuation, enforcement, ratemaking and infrastructure development.  Honorable led the agency’s engagement on the Clean Power Plan, was integral in the development of an energy storage policy statement and the development of policy frameworks supporting energy storage market participation.  During her tenure, Honorable represented the US in the 2015 Second High Level Plenary Meetings at the International Energy Association, a global convening of countries for the purpose of defending and confirming climate action goals in advance of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. In recent years, Honorable has provided technical expertise and regulatory support for energy regulators and policy makers in Africa, Australia, North and South America (including several provinces in Canada, Mexico and Brazil), throughout Europe (including the Baltic Region, throughout Europe (including Italy, Slovenia and Spain), the Eurasian Region (Azerbaijan and Turkey) and the Caribbean.  In this work, she has supported clean energy integration, energy storage development, transmission planning and cost allocation, and providing technical support for the development of integrated resource planning processes that focus on integrating renewables and storage to support both reliability and resilience as well as developing public, transparent processes to resolve consumer and regulatory disputes. This work has also included supporting energy market reforms in Australia, representing the US in the execution of an MOU with Brazil focused on clean energy integration, serving as a convener and presenter of the first bilateral among US and IberoAmerican regulators.
Honorable joined the FERC from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC), where she began as a Commissioner in October 2007, and led as Chairman from January 2011 to January 2015.  During that time, Honorable also served as past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and served as treasurer and chairman of the audit and investment committees.  As president, Honorable focused on pipeline safety, reliability and resilience and workforce diversity.  During this time she participated in the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council, a high-level coalition of public and private sector entities focused on ensuring resilience nationally.  She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions on a range of energy issues, and most recently advised and appeared before the US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to discuss nuclear energy opportunities and challenges. Honorable is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution's Energy and Climate Initiative; a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Energy Futures Initiative, is a Senior Fellow with the Bipartisan Policy Center and an Ambassador for the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative. Honorable serves on the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute, a global nonprofit research and development institution driven to support the energy sector through investment in artificial intelligence and data analytics as well as efficient electrification.  She serves on EPRI’s Executive Committee and its Compensation and Leadership Development Committee.  Honorable is a member of the Summit Utilities, Inc. Board of Directors, sitting on the Compensation and Safety Committees. A native of Arkansas, she is a graduate of the University of Memphis and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law.