Energy Project Public Engagement in a Changing World

October 27, 2020


Tuesday, October 27,2020  - Central Time

9:00 – 9:10 a.m. :: Log In

9:10 – 9:15 a.m. :: Introductions  

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. :: Consensus Building

Public Engagement is a challenging process and one that must include getting many on your side for a project to be successful. This discussion will cover best practices for building a consensus through your stakeholder engagement.

Gregory Mathe, Manager – Electric Transmission Communications, Dominion Energy

10:00 – 10:05 a.m. :: Break

10:05 – 10:50 a.m. :: Best Practices for Responding to Project Criticism

Even the most proactive, thorough, and creative outreach efforts are not immune to project opposition. As political and social pressure on essential infrastructure increases, utility investment in community outreach and stakeholder management strategies are more important now than they have ever been. This discussion will share some best practices on engaging challenging conversations, using clear and concise language, building long-term relationships with stakeholders, and turning opposition in allies.

Joe Fedele, Stakeholder Management, National Grid

10:50 – 10:55 a.m. :: Break

10:55 a.m. – 11:40 p.m. :: Washington State Conversations on Equity in Public Participation

Washington UTC is in the middle of rulemakings to implement the state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act, which sets binding goals for non-carbon emitting resources for Washington electric utilities and includes numerous equity provisions. This presentation will discuss stakeholder conversations around equity in public participation, including access and targeted outreach.

Kate Griffith, Energy Policy Advisor, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission

11:40 a.m.– 12:25 p.m. :: Lunch Break

12:25 – 1:10 p.m. :: Virtual Stakeholder Engagement: Changing the Way We Communicate

The AEP Transmission Project Outreach team faced challenges last spring when cases of COVID-19 began to be reported in the U.S. As the reported number of cases increased, AEP implemented safety procedures for employees which included no external meetings. The job of communicating large projects with communities changed overnight and the project outreach team pivoted to a new way of communication. The team re-visited existing practices and began to look for new ways to effectively communicate to affected landowners and key stakeholders. By implementing different ways of stakeholder communications, the team has learned what works and what doesn’t as well as how people respond in a virtual world. We continue to work to develop tools and enhance our stakeholders’ experience, one project at a time.

Juliet Capeheart, Manager Transmission Project Outreach, American Electric Power

1:10 - 1:15 p.m. :: Break 

1:15 – 2:00 p.m. :: 2020 Post-Pandemic Public Participation

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing has redefined how public outreach and engagement can be accomplished on energy projects. This presentation will highlight some ways that Tampa Electric will utilize in their post-pandemic outreach and engagement.

  1. Public Outreach & Engagement Beyond the Pandemic
  2. Virtual Outreach

Arlee Jones PgMP®, EVMP®, Project Manager II - ED Project Management, Tampa Electric

2:00 – 2:05 p.m. :: Break

2:05 – 2:50 p.m. :: How COVID-19 has Affected Public Engagement Panel Discussion

This question and answer session will give attendees a chance to ask these utility professionals about how their companies have prepared, executed, and tracked engagement with stakeholders during these work-from-home pandemic times.

Sophia O'Keefe, Manager, Transmission Engagement, Duke Energy

Tiffany Taylor-Minor, Project Communications Manager, Dominion Energy

Kendra McAuliffe, Stakeholder Specialist, National Grid

2:50 – 2:55 p.m. :: Break

2:55 – 3:40 p.m. :: How to Measure the Value of Public Engagement?

While utilities are increasingly devoting staff, money, and time to build out the public engagement functions in their organizations, professionals in these externally facing roles still struggle to demonstrate the value they bring to their organizations.  This discussion will not only uncover some methods to clearly demonstrate to your senior leadership the both value of public engagement, but also detail how you can best “sell” your value in your organization.

Marc Lucas, Esq., Director of Major Permits and Stakeholder Management, National Grid

3:40 – 3:45 p.m. :: Break

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. :: Leveraging Key Stakeholders to Promote a Project

Leveraging unions, civic and business organizations, and other external key stakeholders to promote a project is key to a project’s success. It is a crucial part of the process that can not be avoided. From valuable project experience, comes methods and best practices for doing this.  These will be discussed along with project examples in this presentation.

Tiffany Taylor-Minor, Project Communications Manager, Dominion Energy

4:30 - 4:40 p.m. :: Program Wrap-up



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.