Developing Public Support For Utility Infrastructure.071309

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  • 1. Developing Public Support for Utility Infrastructure: How STAR Group’s Structured Approach to Stakeholder Involvement Achieves Superior Results Christopher G. Kenny, President STAR Group, LLC 4100 Marble, N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87110 www.stargroupconsulting.com
  • 2. About STAR Group, LLC Since 1995, STAR Group has provided clients exceptional value through the design and facilitation of stakeholder-driven strategic planning and problem- solving processes. Our clients include businesses, government agencies, and NGO’s. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 3. Experience  Non-Utility – Community Development – U.S. Forest Service – Cochiti Pueblo & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Intel  Utility – Public Service Company of New Mexico (Project Power, Santa Fe Loop) – Central Vermont Public Service Corporation and Vermont Electric Power Company (Southern Loop) – NationalGrid USA (NEEWS Project) – Progress Energy Florida (Baseload Transmission) – Puget Sound Energy (Thurston County Project; Cross-Cascades Project) © STAR Group, LLC
  • 4. Our Approach Strategic planning, whether for a utility project or any other community infrastructure project, requires informing and engaging stakeholders in a proactive manner. For our utility clients, we create and maintain a neutral space in which community leaders are able to engage in a constructive dialogue with the utility. As a result, the community comes to understand the need for the project and develops useful recommendations for the utility’s consideration, all the while understanding clearly that the utility will make the final decisions regarding the design of its electrical system. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 5. What Most Stakeholders Want  They want to be certain that the project is truly needed  They want to know that their opinion is valued © STAR Group, LLC
  • 6. What’s Important to the Utility  Build necessary projects on time and within budget  Minimize controversy and unnecessary expense  Retain control over the outreach process and project design © STAR Group, LLC
  • 7. How We Help Our Utility Clients 1. Enable the client to communicate the project need 2. Build trust and confidence in the process and in the utility  Bring the right people together at the same time and place  Level the playing field among all participants  Provide an open dialogue for people to say what’s difficult  Build on common ground instead of focusing on differences  Document alternatives & outcomes so they don’t get lost  Follow through to keep the public informed & engaged 3. Obtaining meaningful input while preserving the utility’s control over the project design 4. Provide ongoing consulting and guidance regarding public involvement © STAR Group, LLC
  • 8. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting 1-2 1-2 months 3 months days 4+ months TIMELINE © STAR Group, LLC
  • 9. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Project Team – 8-10 Utility staff such as government and community relations, legal, senior planning engineers and project managers. Works with STAR Group on overall process design; helps identify possible Leadership Team members; holds periodic meetings throughout to ensure process goals are being met. Receives ongoing feedback at all stages. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 10. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Leadership Team – 6-10 community leaders (including 2 Utility executives) who (1) establish the Focus Statement to be addressed, (2) determine the stakeholder groups to be included in the process, (3) initiate the participant nomination process, (4) confirm USC participants, (5) review recommendations from the USC, and (6) provide direction to the CWG. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 11. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Nomination & Selection Process – Initiated by Leadership Team and conducted by STAR Group. Nominees are contacted, informed of the process, asked about their level of interest, asked for additional names, and are notified that they will be contacted IF they are selected by the LT to participate. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 12. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Technical Working Group – 5-8 independent experts (including 2 Utility engineers) who provide technical expertise. The TWG helps to review and provide comments for the Background Document. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 13. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Utility Search Conference – 40-70 qualified participants (including Utility representatives) are invited to convene and generate 4-5 recommended solutions to the Focus Statement. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 14. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Community Working Group – 18-25 individuals (including 2 Utility representatives) who make sure there is meaningful follow through on the Utility Search Conference recommendations. Members of the CWG also assist with the design and content for Open House Meetings. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 15. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Open House Meetings – Exhibit Hall format meeting where USC recommendations (as refined by the CWG) are presented to the public for comment and feedback. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 16. STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference® Process Nominate & Utility Community Project Leadership Select Search Working Team Team Participants Conference Group Technical Regulatory Working Open Filings, Group Houses Permitting Regulatory Filings, Permitting – Members of the CWG often assist by attending public hearings on the project. Even if they do not necessarily support all of the recommendations, they speak to the integrity of the process. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 17. Client & Participant Testimonials “STAR Group’s Utility Search Conference provided a new medium for exchanging information and ideas. The end result was a better set of alternatives for transmission-line routing. Also, we got a better understanding of long-range possibilities for alternative energy sources and conservation.” -- Roger Flynn, Chief Operating Officer Public Service Company of New Mexico © STAR Group, LLC
  • 18. Client & Participant Testimonials “There’s a high likelihood of misunderstanding between those who want to do an infrastructure development project and those who will be most affected by that project. The Utility Search Conference . . . was an excellent approach to overcoming that lack of understanding. Attendees had the opportunity to fully understand why the project was needed, what the various options were, and how input from all stakeholders was important in resolving the problem. Moreover, all parties came away with a better appreciation for why something needs to be done, and what should be considered in doing it.” -- John Stevens, Director of Distributed Generation Sandia National Laboratories © STAR Group, LLC
  • 19. Client & Participant Testimonials Baseload Transmission Video (Progress Energy) http://www.progress- energy.com/aboutenergy/transmission/florida/energyplanning/default. asp Bay News 9 Video Clip (Tampa Bay © STAR Group, LLC
  • 20. Progress Energy Florida  Over180 miles of new 500kV and 230kV transmission across 10 counties  “Community Partnership for Energy Planning” praised by federal, state and local officials  12 citizen participants testified in favor of the project at regulatory hearings  Over$250,000 in estimated savings to Progress Energy Florida © STAR Group, LLC
  • 21. Central Vermont Public Service & Vermont Electric Power Company  56-mile 345kV transmission line through dense forest  Hostile regulatory and public environment  Very active environmental/alternative energy groups  Result: VT Regulators approved the project, citing the exceptional public outreach Central Vermont Public Service © STAR Group, LLC
  • 22. PNM (New Mexico)  New 115kV line for Santa Fe, NM area  Prior effort: 7 years, $13MM, no line  STAR Group result: each of seven regulatory authorities gave unanimous approval for the new line  Line was energized in 2006 © STAR Group, LLC
  • 23. Additional Utility Clients  NationalGrid USA  Salt River Project  Puget Sound Energy  Arizona Public Service  Dominion Virginia Power © STAR Group, LLC
  • 24. What Sets STAR Group Apart 1. A structured process which develops recommendations that all stakeholders are willing to support. 2. Our experienced staff of former utility executives and trained public involvement professionals. 3. A proven track record of success. © STAR Group, LLC
  • 25. How to Reach Us STAR Group, LLC 4100 Marble, N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87110 (505) 260-0876 www.stargroupconsulting.com Christopher G. Kenny, President ckenny@stargroupconsulting.com (505) 263-7067 © STAR Group, LLC