One of SEA’s specialties is serving as consultant supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives assessing development and implementation of complex renewable energy policy initiatives. SEA has experience designing and implementing stakeholder engagement, facilitating and supporting with research and analysis energy, for task forces, advisory groups and similar stakeholder processed on complex and critical clean energy matters.
Having worked with and for a wide range of stakeholder, SEA’s principals have gained the perspective to understand and anticipate the perspectives of stakeholders with markedly differing interests, have earned the trust of stakeholders to reflect their positions and priorities credibly, and have effectively aided such groups in collectively identifying feasible solution spaces.
Since its founding, SEA has supported state-convened stakeholder groups, Technical Sessions and Task Forces. Based on SEA’s experience helping working groups of stakeholders navigate viable outcomes in the presence of competing objectives, SEA’s Bob Grace was lead author on a guidance for policymakers on the topic published by the National Regulatory Research Institute entitled When Renewable Energy Policy Objectives Conflict: A Guide for Policymakers (2011).
Illustrative examples of SEA’s stakeholder facilitation include:
- Massachusetts Net Metering and Solar Task Force: SEA led the consulting team to the legislatively-established Massachusetts Net Metering and Solar Task Force, a broad stakeholder task force jointly overseen by the MA DOER and MA DPU. SEA organized meeting agendas, presented and discussed the results of its work at task force meetings, and guided stakeholder discussion to shape options considered.
- Rhode Island REGrowth. For over a decade, SEA has provided the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) with modeling support regarding establishment of ceiling prices for its Renewable Energy Growth (REGrowth) program and its predecessor program. SEA works with state regulators and stakeholders over an iterative engagement process to develop a cost basis for establishing standard contract prices for 15- and 20-year tariff payments with the electric distribution company. SEA provides detailed research and quantitative analyses to enable the OER, the Distributed Generation Contracts Board (DG Board) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to make educated decisions about ceiling prices that align with the state’s evolving policy objectives through the DGSC and REGrowth programs.
- The Massachusetts RPS Advisory Group. SEA was lead consultant to a two-year, 32 member Advisory Group developing white papers on research and analysis, distilling key design options, issues and their implications for discussion, and culminating in development of regulations to implement the region’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard.