On Wednesday, January 25, 2017 Baker Botts will host a Women's Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) brown bag lunch. Michael Perry, Partner at Baker Botts LLP, and Lance Hinrichs, an electricity market analyst in the Division of Energy Market Oversight at the FERC, will lead a panel discussion on “Integration of Distributed Solar: Antitrust and Policy Issues."
Distributive generation is the process whereby customers connect rooftop solar panels to the electric grid in a manner which allows them to both purchase power from the grid when the panels are not producing sufficient power and, perhaps more significantly, to sell excess power back to utilities. In the past 6 years, U.S. photovoltaic capacity has expanded from less than 1,000 MW to more than 18,000 MW, and along with it the confluence of competition law and net metering has entered the public spotlight. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez has stated a desire “to ensure that rooftop solar, no differently from any other technology or product, develops in an environment of vigorous competition and responsiveness to consumer demand.” Indeed, the FTC recently held a public workshop and invited comments on this issue, including a discussion of “competition among solar directed generation firms, between solar directed generation firms and regulated utilities, and between solar generation and other power generation technologies.
Our discussion will address what role competition law may have in the market for the generation and distribution of electric power. We will consider both federal and state/local regulation, and consider arguments presented by advocates on either side of the issue.
For more information on this event, please contact Sandria Lherisse.