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Just Energy Transition Center

Just Energy Transition Center

Just Energy Transition Center

The Just Energy Transition Center works to assist communities, workers and states facing the difficult economic and social consequences of closing coal plants.

About the Just Energy Transition Center

Coal plant closures will cause significant direct and indirect economic and social disruption to local communities and citizens. Early, meaningful dialogue and engagement of communities, citizens, energy companies and affected stakeholders to address plant closures before they occur can help mitigate these impacts.

Based out of Arizona’s leading educational institution, ASU, and through its partnership across the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, Lightworks and Energy Policy Innovation Council (EPIC), the Just Energy Transition Center will work to:

  • Host statewide educational discussions to promote understanding of impacts and options for coal-plant communities.
  • Support visioning exercises and economic redevelopment planning at the local level.
  • Help communities identify federal, state and philanthropic funds to plan for transition.
  • Connect affected communities to regulatory and legislative forums.

ASU welcomes your engagement in the just energy transition.

Principles for a Just Energy Transition

The Just Energy Transition Center has developed the following set of principles to guide our work:

  1. People come first. The energy transition away from fossil power plants has economic and social consequences for individuals and families. These impacts are often unevenly distributed. The JET Center will focus on mitigating the impacts of plant closures on people, while supporting a more equitable future energy system.
  2. Equitable outcomes depend on broad stakeholder engagement. The energy transition will affect workers, communities and their citizens, businesses and vulnerable populations, utilities, schools, elected officials, community organizations and more. All must be allowed a seat at the table and an opportunity to engage meaningfully in discussion of the future of the community.
  3. Consensus on transition direction is the goal. Reaching consensus with diverse individuals and viewpoints is not easy or fast but will result in more durable agreements.
  4. Early action is essential. As the schedule for coal plant closures is known – in most cases – acting proactively, to develop a community-based vision, strategies and plans for economic redevelopment while plants operate, or as soon as possible, can help establish a glide path and reduce impact of closures on communities and workers.
  5. Transition must be community-led. Each community has unique character, identity and circumstances. While technical and financial assistance will be needed and must be offered to impacted communities, the community itself must lead efforts to redefine its economic future.
  6. A Just Energy Transition is long term work. Loss of a major economic engine for a region will not be mitigated quickly. As a state-chartered educational institution ASU is committed to being a long-term partner with communities, as they go through the challenging work of economic and social transition.

Current Revolution: Nation In Transition

ASU through the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies is proud to partner with the American Resilience Project and filmmaker Roger Sorkin on the film Current Revolution: Nation In Transition. This documentary takes an importance look at how the southwest is transitioning away from fossil fuel-based energy plants and the impact their operation and their closure have on Native lands, specifically the Navajo Nation.

Please enjoy this special film premiere and conversation, moderated by Kris Mayes, with film director Roger Sorkin with ASU’s Paul Hirt and Edward Dee. If you would like to host a screening of this film or support the work of the American Resilience Project, please visit their site to contact the filmmakers and help share this important document as we work to make just energy transitions throughout our region and beyond.


Kris Mayes
Co-director, Just Energy Transition Center
Professor of Utility Law and Energy Policy, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Kris Mayes serves as co-director of the Just Energy Transition Center at ASU, where she is also a professor of utility law and energy policy at the Global Futures Laboratory and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Professor Mayes is also the director of the Energy Policy Innovation Council and Utility of Future Center, which focus on assisting governments, non-profits, and utilities in developing the regulatory frameworks and policies needed to achieve deep decarbonization of the economy.

Prior to coming to ASU, Mayes served as a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2003 to 2010, where she helped co-author the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard, which requires that by 2025, utilities must generate 15 percent of their overall energy portfolio from renewable sources, like wind solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal and other technologies. The Standard contains one of the most aggressive distributed generation requirements in the country, requiring utilities to acquire 30 percent of their renewable energy from residential or non-utility owned installations, such as rooftop solar panels. Mayes also helped establish one of the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation, requiring utilities to sell 22 percent less energy by 2020 than they would have under current forecasts, and helped craft the state’s solar net metering standard. Mayes also co-authored Arizona’s nationally acclaimed solar net meting policy.

Mayes is frequently asked to speak across the country on topics ranging from the utility of the future, to the design of clean energy law and policy.

Amanda Ormond
Co-director, Just Energy Transition Center
Director, Western Grid Group

Amanda Ormond serves as co-director of the Just Energy Transition Center at ASU where she helps design and direct the work of the Center. Ormond is a consultant specializing in policies and technologies that will transition the Western U.S. energy generation and electrical grid to a low-carbon system. She has worked in energy and public policy for more than 30 years in Arizona and the West. Prior to starting her consulting firm, the Ormond Group, in 2001, Ormond served for seven years as State Director of the Arizona Energy Office, where she was responsible for developing state policy and promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fueled vehicles. She also held various positions at the state energy office, a division of the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Ormond is a trained mediator who specializes in developing and managing stakeholder processes to identify collaborative solutions to address complex energy issues. She is a seasoned communicator adept at translating technical energy concepts to lay audiences. She enjoys mentoring and teaching the next generation of leaders.