Saturday, March 23, 2019

MOPC Gets New Leadership for 2019

By Tom Kleckner

SPP’s Markets and Operations Policy Committee will begin 2019 with new faces in all its leadership positions following the Board of Directors’ approval of NextEra Energy Resources’ Holly Carias as chair and Evergy’s Denise Buffington as vice chair.

Holly Carias listens to a discussion during a 2018 MOPC meeting. | © RTO Insider

SPP Vice President of Engineering Lanny Nickell, who will become the committee’s staff secretary, made the announcement late Friday in an email to stakeholders.

“I’m confident they will do a fabulous job leading the group,” said Nickell, who is replacing SPP COO Carl Monroe on the committee. Monroe served as secretary for 18 years.

Carias, a senior director in regulatory affairs for NextEra who became heavily involved with the MOPC during 2018, has been a vocal proponent for renewable resources.

Denise Buffington | © RTO Insider

Buffington, director of federal regulatory affairs for Evergy companies Kansas City Power & Light and Westar, has focused on SPP’s budget and transmission zonal placement issues. The board and MOPC in 2017 both rejected her attempts to address cost shifts caused by the RTO’s zonal placement decisions. (See SPP Board Rejects Changes to Tx Zonal-Placement Rules.)

Carias and Buffington replace Nebraska Public Power District’s Paul Malone and independent consultant Jason Atwood. Malone cycled off the committee in December, while Atwood left the Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative in November to start his own business.