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CPES & NEWIEE’s Surf and Turf Wars
September 12 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Surf & Turf Event Wrap Up
A Great Night of Networking and Discussion
On Wednesday, September 12, more than 80 members of the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) and New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) met at Upward Hartford for the 4th annual joint panel discussion, this year’s titled “Surf & Turf Wars.” The evening included networking and refreshments, followed by a panel of speakers discussing the state of offshore wind and solar project development in New England, with a focus on Connecticut.
Panelists discussed the elements of successful projects, both solar PV and offshore wind, and in contrast, the stumbling blocks hindering future developments. The role of states purchasing power through RFPs was emphasized by all the speakers, along with certain recent improvements in the transparency in regulatory processes, as critical drivers.
At the same time, the start and stop nature of some incentives and competing state authorities can be detrimental to development. The panelists spoke to the changes brought by CT’s 2017 legislative session, altering siting procedures for agricultural and core forest land and the challenges the state faces in navigating implementation of the changes.
The night’s conversation also covered the region’s potential to be a national leader in offshore wind, building on Block Island Wind Farm and recent procurements by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. From stakeholder engagement to regional coordination, panelists spoke to the opportunities that are on the horizon.
Topics will touch on:
- What projects are moving forward?
- Which projects are being selected in the state RFPs for clean energy resources?
- How is Connecticut balancing land use for agricultural and solar PV development?
Weezie Nuara (MODERATOR) is a Senior External Affairs Representative for ISO New England, where she is responsible for performing outreach to government officials in the New England states. She tracks energy legislation and administrative activity at the state public utility commissions and energy offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including developments at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources.
Weezie supports the ISO’s outreach to government officials during power system events and emergencies, and is actively engaged in the New England Consumer Liaison Group, which meets quarterly to discuss issues of importance to electricity consumers in New England. Weezie serves on the Board of Directors for New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE), where she chairs the Membership Committee and Western New England Chapter activities.
Prior to joining the ISO, Weezie worked as an attorney for Dominion Resources, Inc., focusing on environmental compliance for Dominion’s merchant generation fleet in New England. She received her undergraduate degree in Government from the University of Virginia in 2006 and her J.D. from the New England School of Law in 2009.
Melanie Bachman has been Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) Executive Director since May 2013, and CSC Staff Attorney since October 2008. She is also a Member of the CPES Advisory Committee. She was at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Regionalized Infractions Adjudications from 2006-2008; Land Use and Real Estate Associate 2005-2008, Adjunct Faculty Legal Studies at Naugatuck Valley Community College 2005-2008. She received her JD from UCONN Law (Environmental Law focus) and her BS in Business Management from Fordham University.
Kathryn Chelminski is Manager of New Market Development for Ameresco’s efforts into new territories. Prior to joining Ameresco, she was a doctoral research fellow focused on energy policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Cambridge, and has held research positions at the United Nations Environment Program and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation. Kathryn holds a PhD in International Relations/Political Science, for which her research focused on financial and regulatory barriers to renewable energy development.
Susan Moberg is a Principal in VHB’s Energy and Environmental Services Group. She has 25 years of experience permitting complex infrastructure projects in New England and New York. Susan has provided Project Management and Environmental Permitting services on numerous energy siting and licensing projects including National Grid’s Rhode Island Reliability Project, Central Hudson Gas & Electric H&SB Lines Reconstruction Project, the Deepwater Wind South Fork Wind Farm, and more recently, the Tobacco Valley Solar 26 MW Solar Plant in Simsbury, CT.
She has overseen the development of state energy facility licensing, state and federal wetland permitting for work in freshwater and tidal ecosystems, rare species/vernal pool surveys and monitoring, FAA permitting, acoustic modelling, civil engineering, stormwater compliance and many other services.
Susan earned a Bachelors Degree in Soil and Water Resource Science from the University of Rhode Island.
Stephanie Wilson is Director of Permitting and Environmental Affairs at Deepwater Wind. She has over 20 years of experience in permitting and environmental compliance for marine and coastal development projects. Prior to joining Deepwater Wind, Stephanie worked as an environmental consultant, preparing and reviewing impact assessment documents, and collaborating with federal and state agencies and other key stakeholders, on behalf of clients associated with various coastal development projects, including offshore energy development projects.
She has prepared Environmental Impacts Statements, Operations Plans, Monitoring and Mitigation Plans, and Deep Water Port Applications and is very familiar with the requirements of and compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines for projects related to offshore energy development including National/State Environmental Policy Acts (Environmental Assessment/ Environmental Impact Statements), Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, Clean Water Act (including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System), Coastal Zone Management Act, Water Resources Development Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Oil Pollution Act.
She earned a Masters in Science degree at the University of Rhode Island with a focus on Marine Biology (Fisheries) and a Bachelors in Science degree from the University of New Hampshire with a major in Marine and Freshwater Biology and minor in Statistics.
This meeting is not to be missed!
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