Good afternoon. Though I wasn’t able to welcome everyone this morning, I understand my colleague Commissioner Glick was able to do those honors, and I thank him for that. I’m extremely pleased that FERC staff is hosting this important discussion.
I want to thank all of the panelists who have come together today. We deeply appreciate your time and your insights. The Commission benefits a great deal when it can hear from such a diverse and accomplished set of stakeholders, including voices from the states, RTO/ISOs, federal agencies, national labs, representatives from the industry and project developers, and experts from NGOs and other organizations.
Thanks also to the exceptional FERC staff team that planned this conference. You have done excellent work to shape the content and bring us all together.
The issues we’re tackling today regarding offshore wind infrastructure are timely and critical. It’s no secret that our energy mix is changing – and changing rapidly. There are multiple factors driving investment in the U.S. offshore wind industry and they show no signs of slowing down. We have to be clear-eyed about these trends and proactively engage with stakeholders. That is what today’s discussion is all about.
We had some great content this morning, and we’re headed into an afternoon of equally rich content. This afternoon’s panels will explore topics ranging from merchant models for developing offshore transmission facilities, to how offshore wind transmission projects can and should be modelled by RTOs, to alternative models for building transmission that may be needed in the long-term to accommodate the anticipated growth in offshore wind generation.
I’m particularly pleased that we’re going to get an international perspective, as we will be joined this afternoon by a representative from the European Commission to gain some insights into how European countries have considered transmission development as they integrate an increasing amount of offshore wind. During my Chairmanship I have emphasized that the trends we’re seeing are global, and there’s a great deal of value in exchanging ideas. I’m also really pleased we’ll be joined by Jessica Lau from NREL. We got connected with Ms. Lau while I was actually out visiting the NREL campus, and she brings an important perspective to the table.
I don’t want to delay this afternoon’s discussion too much, so I’ll stop there. But I’ll briefly close by saying that today is just a first step. There will be an opportunity for the public and stakeholders to provide additional information in post-conference comments. I encourage everyone to share their views with the Commission on this important topic.
Thanks again to the panelists and staff, and to everyone who has joined us online. With that, let’s dive in to this afternoon’s agenda.