Energy Law Academy 110: Electric Reliability


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Program Overview

In Course 110: Electric Reliability, participants will receive an introduction to the regulatory regime governing electric reliability in the United States. The course will start with a technical overview of the electric grid. Participants will then learn about the history of Section 215 of the Federal Power Act – the key reliability regulatory provision. Our faculty will also provide an overview of the chief reliability regulator – the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) – including a brief history lesson on the genesis of NERC, an  overview of the structure of NERC, and insights on the relationship between NERC, the reliability regions, and regulated entities. The program will include instruction on the process for drafting and adopting the mandatory and enforceability Reliability Standards, and our faculty will cover compliance and enforcement in the reliability space. Our program will conclude with a review of special topics, including cyber and physical security.

Thank you to our co-Marketing Sponsor:

D.C. Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community 



Wednesday, June 24

12:00 PM: Webinar Open

12:30 - 12:45 PM: Welcome & Opening Remarks

Speaker: Dan FrankPartner, Eversheds Sutherland

12:45 - 1:30 PM: Grid 101 (Technical/Operational Overview)

Speaker: James Hanson, Senior Engineer, Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)

1:30 - 2:15 PM: 

EPAct 2005 / FPA § 215 (Overview)

  • Genesis / History Leading to Federal Reliability Role
  • Statutory Provisions / Directives
  • “Bulk-Power System” vs. “BES”

Speaker: Jonathan First, Special Reliability Counsel, Office of General Counsel, FERC

2:15 - 2:30 PM: Break

2:30 - 3:30 PM: 

NERC (Overview)

  • Genesis / History of NERC
  • Structure – NERC & Regional Entities
  • Respective Roles
  • Relationship Between
  • Registered Entities
  • Who Must Be Registered
  • Process to Challenge Registration

Speaker: Bill EdwardsAssistant General Counsel, Ethics & Compliance, Exelon Corporation

3:30 - 5:00 PM: Reliability Standards

3:30 - 4:15 PM:

  • NERC Drafting of Standards
    • NERC’s Role, Rules & Procedures / Processes
    • Standards Drafting Process

Speaker: Bill EdwardsAssistant General Counsel, Ethics & Compliance, Exelon Coporation

4:15 - 5:00 PM:

  • FERC Review of Standards
    • FERC’s Role
    • Standards Approval / Remand Process

Speaker: Matt VlissidesSupervisory Attorney - Advisor (Reliability), Officer of General Counsel, FERC

5:00 - 5:30 PM: Keynote Speech – FERC’s priorities, etc.

Speaker: Andrew Dodge, Director, Office of Electric Reliability, FERC


12:00 PM: Open Webinar

12:00 - 12:15 PM: Recap, Logistics, etc.

Speaker: Dan FrankPartner, Eversheds Sutherland

12:15 - 2:30: Compliance / Enforcement

12:15 - 12:45 PM:

  • NERC
    • FERC’s Role

Speaker: James HansonSenior Engineer, Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)

12:45 - 1:15 PM:

  • Compliance Monitoring Process (Audits, Inherent Risk Assessments and Controls, etc.)

Speaker: Adina Kruppa, Managing Consultant - Risk, Compliance, and Security, Guidehouse

1:15 - 2:00 PM:

  • Enforcement & Penalty Process
  • Practice Pointers

Speaker: Patrick O’ConnorCounsel, ReliabilityFirst Corporation

2:00 - 2:30 PM:

  • FERC
    • FERC’s Role in Compliance & Enforcement
    • Enforcement & Penalty Process

Speaker: Heather Polzin, Attorney Advisor, FERC

2:30 - 2:45 PM: Break

2:45 - 4:45 PM: Special Topics

2:45 - 3:15 PM:

  • Cyber and Physical Security
  • Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMDs)

Speaker: Matt VlissidesSupervisory Attorney - Advisor (Reliability), Officer of General Counsel, FERC

3:15 - 3:45 PM:

  • Supply Chain Management

Speaker: Dan FrankPartner, Eversheds Sutherland

3:45 - 4:45 PM: Ask the General Counsel

Speaker: Sonia MendoncaSenior Vice President and General Counsel, NERC

4:45 - 5:00 PM: Closing Remarks & Adjourn

Speaker: Dan FrankPartner, Eversheds Sutherland

Speakers and Bios


Andrew Dodge, Director, Office of Electric Reliability, FERC
Bill EdwardsAssistant General Counsel, Ethics & Compliance, Exelon Coporation
Jonathan First, Special Reliability Counsel, Office of General Counsel, FERC
Dan FrankPartner, Eversheds Sutherland
James HansonSenior Engineer, Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC)
Adina KruppaManaging Consultant - Risk, Compliance, and Security, Guidehouse
Sonia MendoncaSenior Vice President and General Counsel, NERC
Heather Polzin, Attorney Advisor, FERC
Patrick O’ConnorCounsel, ReliabilityFirst Corporation
Matt VlissidesSupervisory Attorney - Advisor (Reliability), Officer of General Counsel, FERC


Approved: for 8 hours PA, CA

Pending for 8 hours: VA. NY

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Young Lawyer $300 $350
Government- Attorney/ EP/Academic $300 $350
Solo Attorney/Small Firm $300 $350
Student $95 $350
Multi-Registration Discount (4th person and beyond) $275 NA

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