Smart Grid Heavy Hitters – Jon Wellinghoff, Chair of US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – part 1

July 9, 2010
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Jon Wellinghoff is the Chairman of the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – the FERC is the agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. As such, the FERC was the agency which Google Energy applied to for its licence to buy and sell electricity on the wholesale market, for example.

Shortly after his appointment as Chair of the FERC in 2009 by Barack Obama, Chairman Wellinghoff made headlines when he said

No new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States… renewables like wind, solar and biomass will provide enough energy to meet baseload capacity and future energy demands

A chance came up recently to have him on this show, so I obviously jumped at it!

We had a great chat – so good, in fact that I turned it into two shows rather than edit any of it out.

In this first video we discussed:

  • What a smart grid is and its benefits
  • The backlash to early smart grid rollouts in Texas and California
  • How long it will be before we see full smart grids deployments

I will publish the second part of the interview next week.

In part two Chairman Wellinghoff will once again state that the US does not need to build any more coal or nuclear power plants, that renewables can meet the energy requirements of the US and he will discuss how electric car owners in some trials are being paid over $3,000 per annum for use of their batteries for grid regulation services by their utilities!