About Us - TRED
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About Us


Three Rivers Energy Development LLC (TRED) is a clean energy and transmission development company actively developing projects in California.

TRED’s founders have extensive electric transmission development and operation experience including developing a new California electric transmission line. Not too many years ago, Californians had to go without electricity when rolling black outs hit the economy and consumers suffered in the dark. The nation’s first independent electric company, Trans-Elect, joined with PG&E and the Federal Government to build a new transmission line to open the flow of electricity. Now two of the founders of Trans-Elect, Bob Mitchell and Marty Walicki, along with Ken Epp, Eli Farrah and Markian Melnyk are working to help California reach its 100% renewable energy goal. Keeping the lights on will take a diverse portfolio of clean energy resources, distributed widely where the strongest resources are located, and connected to our cities and towns by robust transmission lines.

The combined TRED team have years of development experience in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and New York, and in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.



A co-founder of Trans-Elect, the first U.S. independent transmission business, and an executive with deep utility experience. Marty has held positions in the utility industry such as at CMS Energy Company and Consumers Energy Company in Michigan where he was Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, at the Sigma Capital Group, LLC, and NSI Consulting, and as co-founder of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) a mid-Atlantic offshore transmission project.


A pioneer and co-founder of Trans-Elect Bob and AWC, Bob also has served in high-level positions in the executive and legislative branches of state and federal governments. Most notably, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, was a President Carter appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and served in the cabinet of Michigan Governor James Blanchard. He led Trans-Elect’s engagement and development role in the Path 15 Public-Private Partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and PG&E and has served on the board of the California Foundation for the Economy and Environment.


Ken was co-founder and president of DC Interconnect, Inc., a company specializing in improving the performance and reliability of electric transmission systems with HVDC technology, and a co-founder of AWC. He has served as CEO of CBT Energy, where he was responsible for the development and start-up of the power subsidiary of the Columbia Basin Trust (a joint venture partner of the Columbia Power Corporation engaged in power project development and operation). Ken also served as CEO of Powerex, the wholly owned energy-marketing subsidiary of BC Hydro, and in various senior engineering positions within BC Hydro.


Expert in federal and state utility regulatory law, Eli has had a long career as project counsel engaged in the development of electric storage and transmission projects and representing electric and gas utilities and independent project developers before FERC and state regulatory commissions. Eli was an AWC co-founder, was a partner at Winston & Strawn, and earlier in his career served in the FERC’s Office of General Counsel.


A co-founder of AWC, Markian also served at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in the energy practice of the law firm of LeBoeuf Lamb LLP. He is author of a book on renewable energy project development titled, “Offshore Power: Building Renewable Energy Projects in U.S. Waters” (PennWell, 2009).

TRED is supported by experts including:

Stantec – specialists in providing engineering services for HVDC and EHVAC power transmission systems to clients around the world.

Zglobal Inc. – a dynamic, interdisciplinary team of engineers, analysts, and economists with decades of experience in energy markets, grid planning, and operations.

Electranix Corporation – experts in studies and simulations of complex power electronics, distributed generation, control modelling and transmission systems.

Power-Tech Engineers – recognized among the Southern California utilities as a major provider of engineering, project management, construction management, owner’s engineer, project controls, testing & commissioning, and expert services.

Villines Group – provider of high-level lobbying, government relations and strategic expertise, the Villines Group is led by former California State Assemblyman Mike Villines.

Steve Metague – expert in utility planning, siting, permitting, project management, project delivery, regulatory filings, partnership agreements and project origination, Steve was formerly, Sr. Director, Transmission Project Development Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Charley Wilson – a leading public affairs professional in Southern California for more than 30 years, Wilson has spent 25 years in the electric utility industry with Southern California Edison where he led the development and implementation of third party strategic planning and communication efforts and aligned company interests with local, state and federal government officials and agencies.

Axiom Advisors – a California government and media affairs, issue management and strategic consulting firm recognized for confronting complex issues and delivering sustainable value. Axiom’s Kevin Schmidt is a subject matter expert on agriculture, water, energy, ocean and other issues. Earlier in his career, Kevin spent five years as Policy Director for Lieutenant Governor (now Governor) Gavin Newsom.

Padre Associates, Inc. – an environmental science and geo-environmental consulting firm with specialized expertise in California’s coastal zone and marine environment.

NSI – an expert interdisciplinary team of real estate professionals specializing in utility and infrastructure services. Since 1991, NSI has worked with utilities and large corporate organizations managing complex site development, right-of-way and corporate M&A restructuring projects.

Sound & Sea Systems, LLC – marine engineering experts assisting with marine cable routing to minimize environmental impacts and hazards.

Energy + Environmental Economics – a consulting firm that works on high-profile, high-impact projects in California and elsewhere that lead in implementing clean energy policy.
Robin Smutny-Jones

Robin Smutny-Jones

Robin Smutny-Jones – a veteran energy policy expert on California and regional energy issues. She held senior positions at three of the major energy decision-making bodies in California responsible for energy policy, reliability, and market issues (Legislature, California Independent System Operator and California Energy Commission)—as well as working extensively with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board. Robin also has worked for a leading renewable energy developer where she directed regulatory and policy strategy for the California energy market.
Trevor Zierhut

Trevor Zierhut

Trevor Zierhut – an expert in the development and implementation of government relations and political strategies designed to navigate regulatory, policy, and communications obstacles. Trevor has deep relationships in the labor community and in central California.
Carl Zichella

Carl Zichella

Carl Zichella – an environmental consultant focusing on climate change and the clean energy transition. Carl’s background includes decades in senior positions at the Sierra Club and NRDC, which included intensively working on environmentally responsible siting and permitting challenges for large scale renewable energy projects and high voltage transmission lines. Carl served as a director for Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG), and he has worked with regulatory agencies at all levels of government and consults for organizations and companies engaged in planning and developing large scale clean energy and transmission projects.
Miguel Angel Luna

Miguel Angel Luna

Miguel Angel Luna – an expert in working with diverse communities on social justice issues and advocacy, and for his ability to use community reconnaissance to develop and implement effective outreach tools and mechanisms for grass-roots coalition and consensus building. Miguel specializes in cultivating relationships with and between community-based organizations, businesses, elected officials, environmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies, and individual stakeholders at the grass-roots level.