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Pat Wood    

Former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Energy infrastructure developer Pat Wood, III has a long career in energy. He is the past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The son of a small businessman, Wood has been a forceful advocate throughout his career for replacing government-centered regulation with customer-focused competition.

Today, Wood’s development focus is on clean power generation, independent power transmission and new energy technologies. Wood led a successful effort with Sharyland Utilities to expand the Texas power grid (ERCOT) into the Texas Panhandle to attach 8,000 MW of new high-quality renewable resources. He remains involved with Sharyland/Hunt Power/InfraREIT (NYSE: HIFR) in the further development of energy infrastructure throughout the Southwestern U.S.

Wood is the Lead Independent Director of integrated solar company SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Director of utility construction firm Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR). He also served as Board Chairman of independent power producer Dynegy, until its recent merger with Vistra Energy.

In 1995, Governor George W. Bush named Wood to head the Public Utility Commission of Texas, with a mandate to free up power and telecom customers from monopoly utility control. The resulting restructured Texas electric market (ERCOT) is considered to be the most robustly competitive energy market in the country, with high infrastructure investment, diverse service and technology offerings, and customer prices well below what they were under regulation. Texas leads the nation in renewable energy investment; the state’s orderly regulatory environment, reliable energy supplies and open markets underpin its economic development.

During his four years at the helm of the FERC, under President George W. Bush, Wood led the responses to the 2000-2001 California energy crisis, the bankruptcy of Enron, and the 2003 North American power blackout. By 2005, over two-thirds of the country was served by the organized wholesale power markets he championed. Under his leadership, the FERC promoted the development of a cleaner, more competitive power generation fleet, natural gas infrastructure expansions, and a more robust power transmission grid — all in the context of well-ordered competitive energy markets.

Wood holds a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to his public service, Wood was a project engineer for ARCO Indonesia, and an attorney with Baker & Botts law firm. Today, Wood serves on the Executive Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, The Joy School Board of Trustees and is co-chair of the Strake Jesuit College Preparatory Annual Fund. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory External Advisory Council, and the Texas A&M Smart Grid Council.

Speech Topics


Energy Regulatory Issues

Telecommunications and the Regulatory Environment

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