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NARUC Delegation Supports Puerto Rico Regulatory Training Efforts

NARUC Delegation Supports Puerto Rico Regulatory Training Efforts

As Puerto Rico seeks to rebuild its infrastructure after Hurricane Maria and this year’s devastating earthquakes, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) are working with regulators in Puerto Rico to exchange ideas about similar undertakings on the mainland. To support this effort, NARUC and NRRI are working with the U.S. Department of Energy to establish a regulator-to-regulator exchange of ideas and best practices in the energy, telecommunications, and consumer service areas.

NRRI and NARUC kicked off this exchange with two days of meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 27 and 28, to link U.S. public utility commissioners and staff with their counterparts in the Commonwealth. The meetings included a series of informational and collaborative sessions designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among the participating commissions. The project was organized by NRRI, in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau. It is funded by DOE and designed to expedite the development of the Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board through one-on-one discussions with commissioners and staff facing similar problems.

Led by NARUC President Brandon Presley of Mississippi, the delegation included Commissioner Julie Brown of the Florida Public Service Commission, Commissioner James Griffin of the State of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner Dan Scripps of the Michigan Public Service Comimission, Commissioner Maida Coleman of the Missouri Public Service Commission, and Commissioner Upendra Chivukula of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.  The commissioners were joined by key staff members David Parsons (HawaiiI), Ross Hammons (Miss.), Sarah Mulkoff (Mich.), Charlene Ketchum (Mo.), Guy Mazza (N.Y.) Stacy Peterson (N.J.), and David Alexander (Pa.).  The group was accompanied by NRRI Director Carl Pechman and Deputy Director Sherry Lichtenberg.

As Puerto Rico Energy Bureau Commissioner Lillian Mateo-Santos put it, “the delegation was the beginning of a meaningful collaboration and knowledge exchange.”

NARUC President Brandon Presley engages in a discussion about regulatory challenges facing the electric industry in Puerto Rico.

 

   
NARUC delegation visits a Puerto Rico power plant for a briefing on system recovery.
 

 

  
Commissioner Julie Brown explaining Florida hurricane preparedness in Puerto Rico.