PURPA 101 Symposium

PURPA 101 Symposium

July 26, 2022 | Online :: Central Time

“Getting the perspective from the off-takers point of view was valuable in understanding how best to develop PURPA projects that benefit all parties” – Sales and Marketing Manager, Hannah Solar Government Services

“All speakers were well informed about the issues and are good presenters” – Manager Resource & Renewable Planning, East Kentucky Power Cooperative

“Had the right speakers with knowledge of the topics and a good cross section of discussion topics.” – Senior Engineer, PJM Interconnection

Because of the inability of independent power producers to sell their efficient and clean electricity into monopoly-controlled markets, Congress in 1978 enacted the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). PURPA encouraged the development of alternative power, including renewable energy and cogeneration, by requiring utilities to purchase energy and capacity from qualifying facilities (QFs) at their incremental, or avoided costs. Navigating PURPA and the contractual negotiations between utilities and Qualifying Facilities (QFs) is a long-standing and contentious subject for utilities and independent power producers (IPPs) across the country.

This course will provide some history on PURPA and an overview of the statute’s key concepts and requirements. Experts will share the obligations that PURPA imposes on electric utilities C and why PURPA is so relevant today.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the original intent and history of PURPA
  • Discuss jurisdiction considerations in detail
  • Review different implementations in multiple states
  • Evaluate methodologies to determine avoided cost
  • Explain qualifying facility (QF) criteria and requirements
  • Discuss utility obligations under PURPA
  • Review a utility case study on the effects of PURPA


Tuesday, July 26, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Course Timing


9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Opening Announcements

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. :: History & Legal Framework

PURPA was passed during the energy crises that ripped through industrial world economies. Congress reacted to the energy crisis by implementing PURPA to reduce dependence on foreign oil, to promote alternative energy sources and energy efficiency, and to diversify the electric power industry. PURPA’s intent was to address the energy crisis of that time by encouraging the more efficient generation of electricity through “a better integration of QF [qualifying facility] supplies with traditional utility supplies”. This session will set the participatory discussion tone for the course. Topics that will be discussed include case studies, hot topics and modernized PURPA rules.

Peter Richardson, Principal, Richardson Adams, PLLC.

10:15 – 11:05 a.m. :: Trends in State PURPA Implementation

PURPA has been a key policy for renewable energy development in the U.S., requiring utilities to purchase electricity from small renewable or cogeneration facilities (termed Qualifying Facilities, or QFs) at the utility’s avoided cost of electricity. While PURPA is a federal law, states have a large role in PURPA implementation; states are largely responsible for determining how avoided costs are calculated and setting PURPA contract terms. Differences in PURPA policies can have a large effect on patterns of renewable development across states. This session will cover changes to state implementation of PURPA under consideration across the country.

David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Analyst, NC Clean Energy Technology Center

11:05 – 11:20 a.m. :: Morning Break

11:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: PURPA Jurisdictional Considerations and LEOs

In this session, FERC versus state regulatory authorities and nonregulated electric utility jurisdiction and who does what will be addressed. Under PURPA, electric utilities include persons and state and federal agencies that “sell electric energy.” Qualified Facilities (QFs) have increasingly sought to enforce their rights under PURPA through Legally Enforceable Obligations (LEOs). A LEO is established when a QF commits itself to sell to a utility. LEOs are set by state utilities commissions and standards vary widely state-by-state and will be addressed in this session as well.

Kristen Edwards, Staff Attorney, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

12:00 – 12:45 p.m. :: Qualifying Facility (QF) Criteria and Requirements

Congress enacted PURPA to conserve energy, increase efficiency, and reduce demand for fossil fuels. To advance these goals, Congress sought to remove barriers to increased development of nontraditional generating facilities: traditional utilities’ reluctance to purchase power from them or sell power to them, and the burden of being regulated like utilities. PURPA addressed these problems by giving legal recognition to a new category of electricity generator, the “qualifying facility,” or “QF,” which has a legal right to sell power to and purchase power from a utility and is exempt from certain regulations. PURPA establishes two types of QFs, cogeneration and small power production facilities. In this session, learn about the criteria and requirements for QFs, including how a facility may be certified as a QF and recent changes to the requirements for QFs, primarily small power production facilities, under FERC Order No. 872.

Nick Jimenez, Staff Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. :: Determining Avoided Cost

The rates for purchases from qualifying cogeneration facilities and qualifying small power production facilities under PURPA prohibit electric utilities from paying more than the “avoided cost” for such purchases. Utilities must estimate avoided energy and capacity costs for a variety of reasons, including PURPA contracts, demand side management program design, and proposal evaluations. This session will provide a framework and overview of methodologies used to set avoided cost rates, to answer the ultimate question of what costs QFs enable utilities to avoid.

Dr. Brandon Mauch, PhD, Senior Energy Analyst, Ascend Analytics

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. :: Electric Utility Obligations Under PURPA

PURPA requires electric utilities to purchase electric energy from cogeneration facilities and small power production facilities at a rate that does not exceed the incremental cost to the electric utility of alternative electric energy. PURPA also requires electric utilities to sell power to QFs at non-discriminatory rates that are just and reasonable and in the public interest. Much has changed in the 44 years since the enactment of the act, including the development of organized wholesale electricity markets and the adoption of policies at FERC to promote open access transmission policies. In this session, hear how recent developments are affecting utilities.

Brian Bell, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Zev Simpser, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

3:30 – 3:40 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:40 – 4:20 p.m. :: Utility Perspectives on PURPA

Utilities largely support the recent changes to PURPA proposed from FERC while smaller producers and renewable energy developers oppose them. Utilities argue PURPA in its current form (prior to the changes) is unnecessary as renewable energy is competitive with traditional generation. In this session, hear an interesting presentation from Idaho Power about the drastic differences in addressing PURPA between Idaho and Oregon as the utility operates in both states with different rules for each state. Determining avoided cost at Idaho Power and other topics will be addressed as well.

Alison Williams, Regulatory Policy and Strategy Advisor, Idaho Power

4:20 – 4:30 p.m. :: Closing Comments and Final Thoughts

4:30 p.m. :: Symposium Concludes


Peter Richardson, Principal, Richardson Adams, PLLC. 

Mr. Richardson’s practice focuses in the areas of energy law including the representation of industrial consumers of investor-owned electric utilities as well as representation of consumer and municipal electric utilities.  Mr. Richardson has assisted developers of independent power projects in obtaining power sales agreements and financing.  His clients include trade associations of large industrial customers and consumer-owned electric utilities as well as independent power producers.  Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Richardson served for four years as staff counsel to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

Mr. Richardson has appeared before almost every state regulatory commission in the Intermountain West as well as the Idaho Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on energy related issues.  He has also appeared before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has practiced extensively before the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and received his B.A. from Boise State University.  He is admitted to the bars of the State of Idaho, the Federal District for the District of Idaho and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He is a member of the Federal Energy Bar Association and the American Bar Association and has been awarded an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubble. 

David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Analyst, NC Clean Energy Technology Center

David Sarkisian is a Senior Policy Analyst at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. For DSIRE, he manages the entries for the following states: IA, IL, KS, MI, MO, NE, NM, OK, and TX. Mr. Sarkisian received his B.A. in public policy from Duke University and completed a J.D. and a Master of Science in Environmental Science degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a member of the Indiana State Bar. David’s field of interest includes energy efficiency, smart grids, behavioral effects on energy use, and administrative law. He has previously worked with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor developing smart grid policy. He has also interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where his work included analyzing regulatory innovation projects and developing recognition-based incentive programs.

Kristen Edwards, Staff Attorney, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

Kristen came to the PUC from the private sector in September 2012 after beginning her legal career in private practice. Kristen is a native of rural Iowa and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on public law from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Kristen earned her law degree from the University of South Dakota in 2010.

Nick Jimenez, Staff Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)

Nick Jimenez is a staff attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill, where he focuses on solar and climate work.  He has a background in state and federal environmental litigation and is developing a practice in utility regulation.  He attended Berkeley Law and Yale College.

Dr. Brandon Mauch, PhD, Senior Energy Analyst, Ascend Analytics

Brandon Mauch is a Senior Energy Analyst at Ascend Analytics. He provides modeling expertise and support in the integrated resource planning activities, energy markets, regulation and utility demand side management.  Dr. Mauch works in Ascend’s consulting group providing resources planning and regulatory support.  Prior to joining Ascend, Brandon was a Senior Program Manager for CLEAResult Consulting where he managed utility energy efficiency and demand response programs for Midwestern utilities.  Before that, he was a Utility Regulation Engineer for the Iowa Utilities Board where he worked on regional energy policy issues, resource planning and rate cases for Iowa’s investor-owned utilities.  Brandon holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University where his research focused on wind power forecasting and risk assessment of wind forecasts. He also holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas. 

Brian Bell, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Mr. Bell’s energy practice has always focused on serving investor-owned utilities. He has recently added to this experience, helping electric cooperatives advance their interests before state and federal regulatory bodies. His natural resources practice involves helping senior mining companies with project permitting, investments, and acquisitions. His environmental practice touches on both the energy and natural resources industry, but he also supports real estate and food and agriculture clients in environmental enforcement and transactional matters. Brian currently serves on the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and received his B.A. in Political Science from the University as well. After he graduated from law school, Brian had a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Alan C. Page. He has an admission to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Zev Simpser, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Mr. Simpser has a diversified energy law practice which includes counseling clients in compliance matters, electricity sale and purchase transactions, asset transfers, complex jurisdictional interconnections and sales, and representing clients in regulatory proceedings.

Prior to law school, Zev served as an aide to U.S. Senator Bob Graham, where he advised the Senator on matters related to energy, the environment, and agriculture. While in law school, Zev was a staff member of the Minnesota Journal of Law and Inequality. Mr. Simpser has a B.A. from Middlebury College and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Alison Williams, Regulatory Policy and Strategy Advisor, Idaho Power

Ms. Williams is an energy and environment expert with 15 years experience spanning the public and private sectors. Prior to her current role at Idaho Power, she served as the Director of State Energy & Regulatory Policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the association representing the nation’s investor-owned power companies. Before EEI, she had experience at Garten Rothkopf providing energy consulting services, Bloomberg Government analyzing the business impact of energy and environmental policies and regulations, and at the U.S. Department of Energy running and managing the MARKAL energy model to inform budget and policy decisions. Additional background in international development and natural resource issues, including sustainable development, demography, agriculture, water, and ecosystem services. Field experience in Tanzania. Alison has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and a Master’s in Public Policy from the School of Public Affairs, American University.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all attendees for 7 days after the event


PURPA 101 Symposium

July 26, 2022 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 895.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 3,580.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 6,265.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 10,740.00 (40% discount)

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before June 24, 2022 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800




EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.7 CEUs for this event

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

This program will include PowerPoint presentations and panel discussions

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 7.5
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
Advanced Preparation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org



Who Should Attend

Individuals working in the following areas will benefit from attending this event:

  • Distributed level renewable energy project developers
  • Grid level renewable energy project developers
  • Utility management
  • Technical staff
  • Regulators
  • RTOs/ISOs
  • Consultants
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Renewables system
  • Solicitation / Procurement staff
  • Resource Planning staff
  • Legal Counsel

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