FERC’s Office of Public Participation Hosts a Technical Assistance Workshop  - Vote Solar

FERC’s Office of Public Participation Hosts a Technical Assistance Workshop 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Public Participation held a virtual workshop on understanding the public’s technical assistance needs in electric proceedings.

This past summer the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) established the Office of Public Participation (OPP). The proposed functions of the office include direct outreach and education, procedural assistance, program office coordination to improve existing FERC processes, and counsel to the Commission on intervenor funding.

Learn more about Vote Solar’s engagement with FERC on developing the OPP.

Last week FERC staff held a workshop on technical assistance where a panel of experts from the Pacific Northwest National laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and FERC came together. Panelists discussed best practices around technical assistance and the types of places they anticipate organizations and individuals will need assistance when engaging with FERC proceedings.

The workshop also included two breakout sessions where participants were invited in the first session to discuss the procedural influences on public participation, capacity gaps related to effective participation, and mechanism for technical assistance to close those gaps. The second breakout session looked at the substantive challenges of effective public participation and technical assistance mechanisms to address these challenges.

A challenge for many organizations and individuals interested in engaging in FERC proceedings ranges from knowing which proceedings to participate in to knowing how to file a pleading. Challenges like these are barriers to participation that technical assistance can address. FERC proceedings require a lot of time and subject matter expertise, and technical assistance can help to level the playing field for everyone.

As FERC continues to set up the Office of Public Participation they plan to host more workshops focused on how to create a robust office and welcome recommendations on topics they should be exploring.

Watch the workshop:

Learn more:

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT Sign up for updates from Vote Solar on solar progress and energy justice across the U.S.