Preconference Workshops

Designed to help you develop skill sets and dive deeper into complex subject matters, preconference seminars offer longer class times, smaller class sizes, interactive formats and experienced instructors. Seminars require separate registration and fees (in addition to the main conference registration). 

Sunday, October 8

8:30 a.m. - Noon
NERC Reliability Compliance: Risk-Based Enforcement, Updating your Internal Compliance Program, “Above-and-Beyond” Investments and Current NERC Initiatives

During this preconference seminar, your presenters will be discussing some of the most important issues in the NERC Compliance arena today.  You’ll be hearing from two seasoned NERC practitioners, as well as a representative from the ERO itself, NERC. Specifically, the preconference seminar will address:

Risk-Based Enforcement: As NERC continues to implement a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring and enforcement, many registered entities, including public power utilities, ask how they fit into this risk-based world.  This portion of the Seminar will discuss how NERC and the Regional Entities determine the risk of registered entities generally, as well as the specific risks associated with noncompliance.  Attendees will learn how the enforcement process works, what Regional Entities look for from reliable organizations, and what organizations can do to sustain the reliability and security of their operations.

Updating Your Internal Compliance Program: This portion of the Seminar will discuss tips for updating your entity’s Internal Compliance Program, based on what NERC and the Regional Entities expect to be included in a robust program. (In other words, attendees will get the answers to “what do I need to include in my ICP to get extra credit from my Regional Entity and NERC???”).

“Above-and-Beyond” Investment: This portion of the Seminar will discuss an interesting alternative to “just paying the fine” if a registered entity is found to have violated a NERC Reliability Standard.  As will be explained, some municipalities have successfully proposed making extra investments ("Above and Beyond" investments) into their NERC Compliance Programs, in lieu of penalty dollars.  Attendees can expect to learn about these alternatives to paying penalty dollars, including real-world success stories along with the pros and cons of using such an alternative.

Current NERC Initiatives: Want to know what’s going on at NERC now that you should know about?  This portion of the Seminar will do just that.  Your presenters will discuss several of the most current (and most confusing) NERC initiatives, and be available to answer your most pressing NERC Compliance questions as well.

Lisa Gast, Shareholder, Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, Washington, D.C.; Ed Kichline, Senior Counsel and Director of Enforcement Oversight, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Washington, D.C.; and Gregg Ottinger, Partner, Duncan & Allen, Washington, D.C. 


1:30 - 5 p.m.
Pole Attachment Law and Practices: Wireless Attachments and Other New and Emerging Developments

Public power utilities around the country are increasingly facing access requests to allow wireless, small cell attachments on to their electric distribution poles and streetlight poles.  Legislation has been introduced in over two dozen states to impose wireless pole attachment regulations on public power utilities, and the Federal Communications Commission has initiated proceedings to remove what it perceives as state and local barriers to wireless deployment.  This work-shop will provide an in-depth review of the current state of the law and the obligations of public power utilities with respect to wireless attachments, as well as other emerging pole attachment issues, such as one touch make ready initiatives.  The workshop will include a discussion of these issues and lessons learned from the first-hand perspective of an APPA member utility that has pro-actively developed attachment agreements and policies to address these new challenges.  

Jim Baller, President, and Sean Stokes, Principal, Baller Herbst Stokes & Lide, Washington, D.C.; and Gary Vondrasek, Program Manager, Wireless/Wireline, JEA, Jacksonville, Florida