Workshop on Technical Assistance

Understanding the Public’s Technical Assistance Needs in Electric Proceedings for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Public Participation

Simplifying process
October 7, 2021 - 1:00 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. ET

Zoom, Virtual

Workshop on Technical Assistance recording now available.

Download Agenda

In accordance with Section 319 of the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has established the Office of Public Participation (OPP) to assist the public with FERC proceedings. The technical complexities of FERC proceedings generate a capacity gap between utilities and organizations who routinely appear before the Commission and members of the general public who may not have formal energy industry expertise but wish to participate in a particular matter. This capacity gap in turn serves as a participation barrier to energy consumer advocates, environmental groups, and other public interest organizations.

Strictly focusing on electric proceedings, this workshop aims to better understand technical assistance and how OPP can prioritize it for the public, to hear from OPP stakeholders concerning their technical assistance needs, and to explore ways that OPP can work with external entities to facilitate technical assistance for OPP stakeholders.

Read the FERC Report on the Office of Public Participation. 

Visit the FERC event page.

Examples of Technical Assistance at the National Laboratories

Preliminary Agenda

1:00-1:15 p.m. | Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Overview of OPP and workshop goals by Corey Cox, Office of Public Participation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

1:15-2:15 p.m. | Panel: How Technical Assistance can lead to better public participation in FERC proceedings

  • Zeny Magos, Energy Industry Analyst, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • John Moore, Director, Sustainable FERC Project, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Angela Becker-Dippmann, Director, Program Development Office, Energy & Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Alejandro Moreno, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power, US Department of Energy
  • Corey Cox, Moderator

2:15-2:20 p.m. | Break

2:20-3:00 p.m. | Breakout Session 1 - Procedural Matters

Participants will be invited to join a small breakout room and discuss the procedural influences on public participation, capacity gaps related to effective participation, and mechanisms for technical assistance to close those gaps. Facilitated by FERC and PNNL staff.

3:00-3:05 p.m. | Break

3:05-3:40 p.m. | Breakout Session 2 - Technical Matters

Participants will be rearranged and organized into a new breakout room to discuss the technical and substantive challenges of effective public participation, and technical assistance mechanisms to address these challenges.  Facilitated by FERC and PNNL staff.

3:40-3:50 p.m. | Break and transition back into plenary session

3:50-4:20 p.m. | Reconvene – Group Discussion

4:20-4:30 p.m. | Summary, next steps and actions, and closing remarks

For any questions related to the event, contact:

Rebecca O'Neil
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory