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Jon Wellinghoff, who presided over the U.S. electric grid at a time of tremendous growth for renewable energy, is stepping down as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He is expected to remain in the position until the Senate confirms his successor.

Characterized as a "champion of change" by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Wellinghoff's four-year FERC tenure coincided with increased wind penetration on the U.S. grid, as well as the building-out of renewable energy transmission infrastructure.

"Chairman Wellinghoff is a pioneer and strong champion of change overseeing the U.S. electric grid," says Robert Gramlich, AWEA's senior vice president, public policy. "He respected the role of states, utilities and various other stakeholders while challenging all of the players to consider new ways of opening the grid to expansion and innovation. He deserves a lot of credit for the much-needed transmission infrastructure expansion that is taking place around the country."


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