Jon Wellinghoff

Chief Regulatory Officer, Voltus; Chief Executive Officer, GridPolicy; Past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (2009-2013)
Jon Wellinghoff
  • Advises business, government, and regulatory policy leaders worldwide
  • Strong track record of commitment to the clean energy revolution
  • One of the nation’s most influential voices on energy policy

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Jon Wellinghoff is the Chief Regulatory Officer of Voltus, the world’s leading platform for Distributed Energy Resources (DER). As CRO, Jon is responsible for the development of company regulatory strategy at federal, state, and local levels and working with industry and stakeholder partners to grow the use of DER.

Jon is also Chief Executive Officer and Founder of GridPolicy, dedicated to furthering the deployment of and investment in clean sustainable DERs and efficient Grid Enhancing Technologies (GET). The company focuses on energy policy and strategic planning for clients ranging from multinational utilities to start-up clean energy innovators. In this role, Jon consults with business, government, and regulatory policy leaders in the US, Asia, Canada, Australia, and Europe. He has represented clients in energy storage, wind energy development, advanced transmission technology, wholesale energy market innovation, demand response, solar PV, and distributed grid sensing technology.

From 2006-2013 Jon was a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and served as Chairman from 2009-2013.

Hailed as one of the nation’s most influential voices on energy policy, Jon is an internationally recognized energy expert known for his forward-thinking approach to energy policy and his track record of moving the needle on the clean energy revolution. In 2016 he was named one of the top ten most influential people in the energy industry since 1990 by Public Utilities Fortnightly, the Energy Industry Journal. He regularly shares his expertise in leading media outlets and programs, including 60 Minutes on CBS and NPR.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Jon draws on his decades of experience in energy, policy, and business to discuss future opportunities in the fields of wind power, solar power, electric cars, and the development of smart cities, as well as implementing innovative business strategies and corporate cultures. His presentations reveal the promises and pitfalls of advanced energy technology coupled with eye-opening visuals and can’t-miss insights.

FERC Expertise. The longest serving chair in FERC history, Jon was instrumental in instituting visionary policies that opened the electric markets to competitive energy technologies including rooftop solar and electric vehicles. As a result, he has come to represent a monumental shift in energy policy and was dubbed a “new breed” of chairman by the Washington Post. During his tenure, he advocated for building a stronger national power grid through the use of renewable energies like wind and solar power, working to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy. He also backed the growth of U.S. all-electric vehicles and the creation of a national “smart grid” power source. He worked to make the U.S. power grid cleaner and more efficient, and championed the agency’s landmark Order 1000, which required grid planners and public utilities to coordinate regional power line projects and encouraged the integration of solar and wind installations.

As chairman, he also created FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, which is responsible for investigating and promoting new efficient technologies and practices, and oversaw development of the National Assessment of Demand Response Potential and the National Action Plan for Demand Response. He also established three top priorities: the integration of renewable energy sources into the electric grid; the implementation of advanced technologies that make energy use and distribution more efficient; and the promotion of demand-side energy practices, including real-time electricity pricing and the use of electric cars. Jon has particular expertise in renewable integration, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage and efficiency, demand response, and energy infrastructure security, including cyber security. He brings to the table experience in federal and state energy policy, regulation, and project development.

Legal Expertise. A renowned energy attorney, Jon was a partner at Stoel Rives LLP and co-chair of the firm’s energy team. He also served as general counsel at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (1998–2000) and served two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities, where he authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute which later became a nationwide model. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard Act and went on to assist six other states with the development of renewable portfolio standards.

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Jon Wellinghoff on the Future of Energy

Jon Wellinghoff on Sustainable Energy

Navigating the Complexities of Energy Security and Resilience. Attacks on the power grid have increased substantially in such a short period of time. In fact, in 2022, attacks rose by 71% compared to the previous year and surpassed 2020 figures by 20%. Any attack could leave communities without power for days, weeks, or months, and leave businesses unable to operate. What steps can we take today to ensure the security and resilience of our power grid if and when future attacks occur?

In an exciting — and sometimes hair-raising — presentation, grid policy expert and advisor Jon Wellinghoff, draws upon real-life examples from recent power grid attacks to explain the key issues surrounding energy security and why any attack can send organizations into catastrophe. He shares the trends audiences need to know — from how big corporations and the military are moving to micro-grids so they’re not dependent on private infrastructure to how destroying just nine power substations can take down the entire country’s power for months. Wellinghoff takes into account the technical aspects of energy security and resilience, as well as the social, economic, and environmental dimensions, as he puts forth integrated approaches for the actions we can take on a macro level to ensure the security and resilience of our power grid, as well as important steps organizations can take on their own to keep their systems and processes intact.

Keeping the Lights On: The Challenges and Opportunities in Ensuring Grid Reliability. As our reliance on energy grows, the power grid becomes more complex and more vulnerable to equipment failures, cyber and physical attacks, and acts of nature — extreme weather events, natural disasters, and more. As a result, vulnerabilities to grid reliability pose significant challenges to every aspect of our daily lives.

In this talk, energy and power grid expert Jon Wellinghoff discusses the factors that impact grid reliability and the potential consequences should grid reliability become compromised. Relating the challenges of ensuring energy safety and resilience back to audiences and their organizations, Wellinghoff explores the role of awareness, innovation, and collaboration when it comes to developing airtight grid reliability solutions, as well as the importance of regulatory frameworks and policy incentives. His guidance on grid modernization, preparedness, and response are as applicable to individuals and their organizations as they are to policymakers and industry leaders.

The Future of Energy. In an engaging and smart presentation full of fascinating case studies and visuals, Jon Wellinghoff offers audiences a behind-the-scenes look at what the future of energy holds for the United States, detailing where we’ve been, where we are today, and, most importantly, where we’re going. Everything we depend upon is tied to energy. When the lights go out, we can’t get food, medicine, or gas. With no energy, we can’t extract ourselves from natural or man-made disasters like Hurricanes Ida and Katrina or terrorist hackers shutting down our electric grid. How are we dealing with these issues? How are we preparing for the next steps? The future of energy will capitalize on the rapidly growing amount of distributed generation (i.e.: energy produced by individuals via solar panels) and the connectivity of devices, utilities, and appliances to the “internet of everything.” This means that utilities must adapt their business models to the changing environment as we look to technology to facilitate this transition and improve our quality of life through increased energy efficiencies and control.

An Attack on the Power Grid Is an Attack on Your Organization. The power grid is the backbone of society, and by extension, your business. Attacks on the power grid have increased at an alarming rate, each one having the potential to black out entire communities — or the entire country — and leave business and society in a state of paralysis for an indefinite period of time.

Energy expert Jon Wellinghoff advises the world’s governments, regulatory policy leaders, and top businesses on all energy-related matters and, in this talk, he discusses the various ways power grid attacks can be carried out, while highlighting the potential consequences of an attack, including long-term power outages, economic disruption, and public safety risks. While emphasizing the importance of public awareness, education, and collaboration in addressing threats to the power grid, Wellinghoff outlines practical strategies and resources that are vital for any organization when it comes to threat intelligence, risk assessment, and incident response solutions in the event of an attack.                                                                        

Energy Politics, Policy, and Regulation. With interesting visuals and compelling anecdotes, Jon Wellinghoff shares insights from his time as the head of the FERC to address the politics, policy, and regulation of energy. From introducing new standards for renewables to which key players will be affected most by upcoming policy changes, he offers an insider’s look into how energy policy gets made and details what organizations need to know about coming energy standards and practices.

A Day in the Life of the Grid. Wellinghoff takes audiences on an eye-opening tour of a “Day in the life of the energy grid.” With so much riding on the steady availability and cost of energy, this presentation is not to be missed. He looks at how the grid functions from an economic standpoint and how operators run independent whole sale markets in addition to managing substations and running operations. But if you could make the power grid more efficient you’d normalize the cost and drive it down for everyone. Wellinghoff shares fascinating anecdotes and slides of energy costs across time and looks at how we could change the grid’s efficiency/cost dynamic by consumers bidding products and technology into the system.

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