SAN MATEO - SolarCity announced today that former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff is joining SolarCity in the position of Chief Policy Officer.
Wellinghoff will join SolarCity's executive management team and will report to Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Rive. His responsibilities will include advising on federal and state policy for SolarCity and the overseeing of both regulatory and legislative affairs for the company.
He was the longest serving chair in FERC's history, serving in that role from 2009 to 2013. During his FERC tenure, Wellinghoff led efforts to integrate solar and wind resources into wholesale electric markets and ensure that behind the meter customer-owned resources like demand response and distributed generation were given an opportunity to participate in those markets. His efforts as Chairman were affirmed by the recent U.S. Supreme Court (6-2) decision in FERC v. ESPA upholding FERC jurisdiction in its Order 745 to include customer demand response in wholesale electric markets. Among his many honors, Wellinghoff was recently nominated to the Public Utility Fortnightly list of the 10 most influential leaders who have shaped the world of utilities since 1990.
"Decades before the electricity sector was seriously considering a future distributed grid, Jon was implementing smart policies that would, in 2016, put us right on the cusp of the most exciting shifts that sector has ever seen," said Rive. "With Jon leading our policy efforts, SolarCity will seek opportunities to collaborate and partner with utilities while ensuring that rooftop solar's full benefits to ratepayers and to the grid are considered and factored into all rate cases and resource discussions."
Wellinghoff 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.
"I've devoted my career to advocating for the electricity consumers. And from my review there is great benefit to those consumers from distributed solar generation—clearly numerous studies have demonstrated it benefits all ratepayers, even those who don't install panels on their roof," said Wellinghoff. "SolarCity has done more than any other organization to advance rooftop solar in the United States, and I can think of no greater opportunity to continue my work to unlock the potential benefit of distributed solar generation for all consumers in this country."
After establishing SolarCity's Policy and Electricity Markets team over the course of a distinguished, seven-year tenure at the company, John Stanton is departing to pursue other opportunities. Stanton helped recruit Wellinghoff, and will remain with SolarCity through this summer to ensure a smooth transition.
"John Stanton helped build SolarCity into what it is today, and he and his team helped lay the foundation for the rooftop solar industry's phenomenal growth," said Rive. "I thank him for his tireless, lifelong commitment to fighting fossil fuels and advancing the cause of clean energy."
Wellinghoff most recently served as Partner at the law firm Stoel Rives, where he provided expertise in energy law and the development of clean energy technology, consulting on energy policy with leaders in the U.S., China, Australia and Europe.
SolarCity® (NASDAQ: SCTY) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company makes solar energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. Visit the company online at www.solarcity.com and follow the company on Twitter.