Erica S. McConnell
Erica S. McConnell joined the firm as Special Counsel in 2015. Her practice combines a focus on renewable energy policy with on-the-ground experience with regulatory and transactional matters. Ms. McConnell regularly participates in energy proceedings before state public utility commissions in a range of topic areas, including community and shared renewable energy, net metering, interconnection and grid modernization proceedings. She also advises private and governmental clients on specific regulatory and transactional issues associated with the development of distributed renewable energy projects and programs.
Her depth of experience on distributed renewable energy issues allows Ms. McConnell to identify regulatory best practices and facilitate consensus-driven processes geared toward achieving those best practices nationally. For example, on behalf of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), she was actively engaged in the implementation of landmark shared renewable energy programs in Colorado and Minnesota, and played an instrumental role in the revision of interconnection procedures in Massachusetts. Ms. McConnell has a strong interest in equal access to renewable energy, and has advocated for shared renewables and other policies specifically designed to promote low-income customer access to solar. In addition to her representation of clients in regulatory forums, Ms. McConnell has also helped to draft and negotiate solar power purchase agreements and related contracts.
Ms. McConnell frequently publishes on renewable energy issues. Her recent publications include: Easing the Transition to a More Distributed Electricity System: The Changing Roles of Consumers, Utilities and Regulators within the Regulatory Compact (2015) (lead author, with contributing authors Sara Baldwin Auck and Sky Stanfield); Minimizing Overlap in PV System Approval Processes: Case Studies & Analysis (2013) (with Sky Stanfield, Kathleen Kapla, Rusty Haynes and Kimberly Kooles); Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting (2012) (with Sky Stanfield and Thad Culley); and IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures (2013) (with Kevin Fox and Sky Stanfield) and IREC’s Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs (2013) (with Joseph Wiedman, Laurel Passera and Hannah Masterjohn). She also regularly speaks on these issues in a variety of forums, including: Solar Power International (SPI), the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) annual conference, and other industry events; municipal- and community-sponsored forums, including a multi-workshop series on solar permitting best practices for local jurisdictions around the United States; and regulatory and policy forums, including workshops, informational sessions, and formal proceedings.
Ms. McConnell received her JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she also earned a certificate in environmental law and was awarded the Prosser Prize in water law. She was a Publishing Editor of Ecology Law Quarterly and the Online Editor of the California Law Review. Prior to law school, Ms. McConnell worked at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Boston, MA. She led the organization’s energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics initiatives, and assisted with its HVAC and whole house efficiency efforts. Ms. McConnell holds a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and also received her BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale.
Ms. McConnell is a member of the California State Bar.