Sky C. Stanfield

Sky C. Stanfield joined the firm as Senior Special Counsel in 2015. Ms. Stanfield practices renewable energy law and policy, with a focus on regulatory policy implementation, compliance and permitting processes. Ms. Stanfield regularly works on the development and refinement of state and federally regulated interconnection standards, playing an active role in improving the clarity and efficiency of these processes. She participates in rulemakings before state public utility commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the topics of grid modernization, the creation of market rate policies for wholesale renewables, energy storage, net metering, community shared renewables and related topics. She also assists clients with project specific interconnection and regulatory issues associated with the development of distributed solar and energy storage projects.

photo by Liza Heider

This understanding of energy regulation accompanies Ms. Stanfield’s substantial experience with the land use and environmental review statutes that projects must navigate prior to achieving commercial operation. In addition to project-specific work, Ms. Stanfield also participates in the development of improved permitting processes for rooftop solar systems. The following is a list of Ms. Stanfield’s representative work.

• Achieved significant improvements in FERC regulated interconnection procedures through participation in stakeholder process and regulatory filings at FERC on behalf of a leading renewable-energy focused non-profit.

• Lead numerous interconnection reform efforts in states across the country, including California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Iowa.

• Drafted leading reports on rooftop solar permitting reform, including model inspection guidelines and best practices for permit streamlining.

• Advocated for favorable rate development of California’s Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) and newly expanded Feed-in-Tariff under SB 32 on behalf of a major solar developer.

• Successfully overturned a major BLM Land Management Plan for the Western Mojave for failure to adequately address the impacts that off-road vehicles have on public lands on behalf of eight non-profit environmental organizations.

Ms. Stanfield regularly publishes white papers and articles on renewable energy policy topics including interconnection, grid modernization and energy storage. Some of her most recent publications include:

Deploying Distributed Energy Storage: Near-Term Regulatory Considerations to Maximize Benefits, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., with Amanda Vanega, February 2015. http://www.irecusa.org/publications/

Easing the Transition to a More Distributed Electricity System, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., with Erica Schroeder McConnell and Sara Baldwin Auck, February 2015. http://www.irecusa.org/publications/

Minimizing Overlap in PV System Approval Processes: Case Studies & Analysis, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., with Kathleen Kapla, Erica Schroeder McConnell, Rusty Haynes, and Kimberly Kooles, October 2013. http://www.irecusa.org/publications/

Model Inspection Checklist for Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., with Don Hughes, September 2013. http://www.irecusa.org/publications/

Updating Small Generator Interconnection Procedures for New Market Conditions, National Renewable Energy Laboratories, with December 2012. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56790.pdf

Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., with Thad Culley and Erica Schroeder McConnell, May 2012. http://www.irecusa.org/publication

Ms. Stanfield is an experienced and dynamic speaker and has presented at numerous conferences and seminars across the United States on renewable energy policy issues. She is also a skilled facilitator with a track record of helping stakeholders work toward common solutions in workshops and other settings.

Below is a limited sample of Ms. Stanfield’s presentations.

Anticipating Solar Growth: The critical role of interconnection in new and established solar markets, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., 3iForum, Solar Power International, September 2015.

Regulatory Considerations for Deploying Distributed Energy Storage, Massachusetts Stakeholder Conference on Energy Storage, July 2015.

Interconnection: Best Practices in the Southeast, Solar Power International Southeast, May 2015.

New Market Structures and Policy Enabling Storage, Plenary Session Panelist, Energy Storage Association Conference, May 2015.

Envisioning an Integrated Grid: Transforming Distribution System Planning, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., 3iForum, Solar Power International, October 2014.

Efficient Solar Permitting for Your Jurisdiction: Pre-Application Materials and Application Submittal and Review, Permitting Workshop, May 2014.

Maintaining Distributed Solar Growth in the U.S.: Trends and Needed Reform, Sierra Club Annual Colloquium, December 2013.

Ms. Stanfield was the recipient of the 2010 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award for environmental and pro bono advocacy for her work defending desert habitats from off-road vehicle destruction in the Western Mojave. Ms. Stanfield has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers since 2011.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Stanfield was Of Counsel at Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP and an environmental law associate at Farella, Braun + Martel, LLP. She clerked for the Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Ms. Stanfield is a 2005 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she obtained a Certificate in Environmental Law. While at Boalt she was an Executive and Articles Editor for the Ecology Law Quarterly and was given the American Jurisprudence Award in California Environmental Issues.

Ms. Stanfield was admitted to State Bar of California in 2006.