Public-Private Partnerships, Part 1
Paul DeCotis is senior director and head of the East Coast Energy & Utilities practice for West Monroe. Prior, he oversaw Long Island Power Authority’s market policy, including participation in the NYISO, PJM, and ISO-NE and interactions with FERC. He was a founding member of the Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council. He was energy secretary and senior energy advisor for two New York governors.
Kojo Sefah is a senior consultant in the Energy & Utilities practice at West Monroe. He has worked with utilities in their transition to become Utilities of the Future through technology conceptualization, R&D, and project implementation in fields of distributed energy resources, energy and power markets, and data analytics.
Brandon Swartout is a manager in the Energy & Utilities practice at West Monroe. He helps utility clients transform and adapt to new business models through strategic, operational, and technology initiatives.
Investment in energy infrastructure offers a way forward for policymakers struggling to halt further economic decline while combating the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. Private sector capital combined with funding available from states pursuing aggressive public policy and climate goals offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent the U.S. economy sustainably.
Reviewing electric utility capital investment plans, it remains clear that infrastructure projects for maintaining and improving reliability and resiliency and providing a safe work environment remain primary goals.
However, when coupled with government financial support, the utilities can help speed economic recovery while reinventing how we source and use energy. Government intervention in energy markets has a long history; virtually all clean energy policies and actions by states had some support of the federal government along the way, dating back to the mid-seventies.
Government support in the form of basic and applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) funding - as well as targeted fiscal and tax policy have helped companies innovate and traverse the valley of death for cleaner energy technology commercialization and products. Public-private partnerships have been pivotal in supporting U.S. exceptionalism in energy breakthroughs.