Michael J. Connolly advises, counsels and represents clients on energy and utility regulatory and policy issues and in a wide variety of utility and energy related regulatory proceedings, including with respect to reliability issues, regulatory audits, regulatory complaint proceedings, utility rates and tariff matters. He has represented utility interests in connection with administrative rulemakings, including with respect to customer service, reliability, vegetation management, main extensions, affiliate standards, renewable energy and distributed generation regulations. He has also represented utility clients in substation siting matters, reliability-related investigations, and management and other regulatory audits. Mr. Connolly has extensive experience in advising clients regarding public utility holding company service company and affiliate interest compliance matters. He has assisted utility clients in the development and/or implementation of innovative programs such as the SREC-based financing program. He has also practiced and appeared before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. He has also advised non-utility clients in connection with contractual and transactional issues associated with renewable energy projects.
Prior to Windels Marx, he was Counsel at Morgan Lewis in the Energy Practice Group, coming from the former Thelen law firm's Business and Finance Group. Prior to his private practice experience, he served as Vice President for Law at GPU Service, Inc. and for its energy company affiliates -- Jersey Central Power & Light, Metropolitan Edison Company, and Pennsylvania Electric Company before GPU merged with FirstEnergy Corp. In that capacity, he served as the Chief Legal Officer leading the Legal and Claims Departments of those companies. His eighteen-year tenure as in-house attorney, assistant general counsel and Vice President of Law encompassed a period of major state and federal regulatory and industry-related policy changes and initiatives, including electric industry restructuring, generation divestiture and Public Utility Holding Company Act repeal initiatives, with which Mr. Connolly was involved in various advising and management capacities.
Mr. Connolly earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1981, where he received the Taintor Memorial Award for Conflicts of Law. He earned a M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education in 1976 and his B.A. from Cathedral College in 1974.
Mr. Connolly is a former member of the Edison Electric Institute's Legal Committee, the American Corporate Counsel Association, and a current member of the New Jersey and American Bar Associations. He has participated in the Aspen Institute's Energy Policy Forum. He was also a former member and Past Chairperson of the Legal Advisory Committee of Nuclear Electric Insurance, Ltd., and the former Editor of the Berks County Law Journal. He has participated in a variety of executive management programs, and has written and presented on a variety of energy, and other issues. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.