Little Rock-based regional transmission organization Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced Thursday (Dec. 17) it has chosen Kara Fornstrom, chairman of Wyoming Public Service Commission, to serve as director of state regulatory policy. Her role is effective Jan. 19.
In the position, Fornstrom will lead SPP’s state regulatory policy efforts, support its work on related regional transmission organization policy matters and interact with stakeholder groups and organizations.
“Kara has extensive experience in state regulatory and policy matters involving the electric industry and will provide effective counsel for our organization,” said Paul Suskie, executive vice president of regulatory policy and general counsel.
Fornstrom has more than 20 years of experience advocating for natural resources and electricity issues. Along with serving as chairman of the Wyoming Public Service Commission, she also served on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions Board of Directors and the Committee on Electricity and is a former president of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners.
She represented Wyoming as chair of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Board, vice chair of the Energy Imbalance Market’s Body of State Regulators, Class 5 Member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council Advisory Committee and a member of the Committee on Regional Electric Power cooperation and the Northern Tier Transmission Group.
“It’s an honor to join the SPP team of great professionals and work with stakeholders on the important state regulatory policy issues that are critical to the market’s success,” Fornstrom said. “I’m especially grateful for the opportunity given SPP’s exciting expansion into the Western Interconnection.”
Before her career at the Wyoming Public Service Commission, Fornstrom co-founded Hageman and Brighton, P.C., a law firm focused on water and natural resource issues. She also served as an attorney for the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Water Division. Fornstrom graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law and earned her undergraduate degree in small business management from the University of Wyoming.
SPP ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on contract to customers in the Eastern and Western Interconnections.