SolarCity Corp. has announced that former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff is joining the company as its chief policy officer. His responsibilities will include advising on federal and state policy for SolarCity and the overseeing of both regulatory and legislative affairs for the company.
Wellinghoff was the longest-serving chair in FERC’s history, serving in that role from 2009 to 2013. During his FERC tenure, he led efforts to integrate solar and wind resources into wholesale electric markets and ensure that behind-the-meter customer-owned resources like demand response and distributed generation were given an opportunity to participate in those markets.
Wellinghoff also served as general counsel at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (1998-2000) and served two terms as Nevada’s first Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. He most recently served as partner at the law firm Stoel Rives.
“Decades before the electricity sector was seriously considering a future distributed grid, Jon was implementing smart policies that would, in 2016, put us right on the cusp of the most exciting shifts that sector has ever seen,” says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “With Jon leading our policy efforts, SolarCity will seek opportunities to collaborate and partner with utilities while ensuring that rooftop solar’s full benefits to ratepayers and to the grid are considered and factored into all rate cases and resource discussions.”
“I’ve devoted my career to advocating for the electricity consumers. And from my review there is great benefit to those consumers from distributed solar generation – clearly numerous studies have demonstrated it benefits all ratepayers, even those who don’t install panels on their roof,” says Wellinghoff.
After establishing SolarCity’s policy and electricity markets team over the course of a seven-year tenure at the company, John Stanton is departing to pursue other opportunities. Stanton helped recruit Wellinghoff and will remain with SolarCity through this summer to ensure a smooth transition.