A Changing Community Landscape in the Energy Transition

Event Description

Hybrid Event - Choose participation type at registration.

Please join us for the 2024 Public Utilities Section Annual Energy Institute on "A Changing Community Landscape in the Energy Transition"!  This is a hybrid event but we encourage everyone to attend in person if possible to network with your colleagues.

Lunch will be provided for those attending in person. Special meal requests must be received no later than April 24th.


8:30 am | Registration Opens

9:00 – 9:30 am | Keynote Speaker, Matt Schuerger
Matt is the President of Boreal Energy Strategies LLC and is a Senior Fellow at the Energy Systems Integration Group, a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to chart the future of grid transformation and support progress that is economic, reliable, sustainable, thoughtful, and collaborative.  He has thirty-five years of experience in the energy industry as a regulator, senior manager, and professional engineer.  For the past eight years, Schuerger was a Commissioner of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, where he focused on affordable, reliable, resilient utility service that is increasingly clean and sustainable.  He has provided key state, regional, and national leadership on reliability, integrated planning, and distributed energy resources.  Schuerger earned a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, a MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

9:30 – 10:30 am | Session I:  Tribal Cultural Resources and Energy Siting / Permitting
With eleven federally recognized American Indian tribes located in Minnesota, Tribal Nations will be an important partner in facilitating Minnesota’s Energy Transition. What issues are the most important to these sovereign nations and the communities they serve? What is the role of siting and permitting of energy projects on or near tribal lands, and how can the siting and permitting process lead to partnerships among all stakeholders with an interest in these projects?
Moderator: Shubha Harris, Equitable Policy & Affordability Consultant, Fresh Energy
Panelists: Kelly Applegate, Commissioner of Natural Resources, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Heather Westra, Consultant to the Prairie Island Indian Community; Charley Bruce, Public Engagement and Tribal Affairs Manager, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

10:30 – 11:30 am | Session II:  Underserved Communities and the Energy Transition
The current transformation of the energy sector provides an opportunity to learn from the past and ensure that more voices and perspectives are heard as an energy project proceeds through a commission docket. What are some of the unique perspectives of underserved communities? What are some strategies for engaging underserved communities to assist in a docket? Learn about successful approaches to engaging communities from across the country.
Speakers: Lisbeth Bouchelle and Matthew Rolnick, Public Participation Office, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Session III: Host Communities and the Energy Transition
A changing energy landscape will have major impacts – some potentially positive and some potentially negative – on communities across Minnesota. How do we ensure that the reverberations of the energy transition help those communities who currently host retiring infrastructure, and how do we ensure that new host communities don’t inequitably spread the benefits and costs of new projects?
Moderator: Commissioner John Tuma, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Panelists: Tamara Lowney, President & CEO, Itasca Economic Development Corporation; Jennifer Cady, Vice President of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Minnesota Power; Shane Zahrt – Senior Attorney and Lobbyist at Flaherty/Hood; Carla Vita – Director of Minnesota Energy Transition Office

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm | Networking and Lunch

CLE Credits:  3.5 CLE credits, inluding 1.0 Elimination of Bias CLE Credit applied for | Event Code: 503938


Public Utilities Section Member: $25
Member, not in the Public Utilities Section: $35
Non-Member: $45
Law Student & New Admittee: FREE

Registration Deadline: April 24, 2024. To register after that time, email the program manager.

Remote Participation:  Remote instructions will be emailed to you the day before the program.

Program Manager: Tram Nguyen | tnguyen@mnbars.org | 612-278-6316

Payments/Cancellations: Please register online or over the phone by credit card whenever possible. If you must pay by check, please use this registration form. Need to cancel? Please see our cancellation policy .

Accommodations: We are committed to creating an inclusive environment in which all members can participate fully. If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please notify the program manager with at least 72 hours notice prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to make arrangements for accommodations. Thank you.


Register for this Event


Friday, April 26, 2024

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Fredrikson & Byron
60 South Sixth Street
Suite 1500
Minneapolis, MN 55402