ITC’s Linda Blair on where to build tomorrow’s grid.
Bruce Radford is publisher and editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Reach him at email@example.com.
When we last spoke with Linda Blair, executive v.p. and chief business officer for grid giant ITC, a major player in the electric transmission sector, it was late last year, in Mid-December, and she was putting up a brave front following a major setback. (See, Bundled Against Change, Commission Watch, January 2014, p. 26.)
Just three days earlier, Mississippi state regulators had effectively blocked her company's bid to acquire Entergy's multi-state transmission grid. The reason? As the regulators explained, Mississippi law could not abide the notion of the state's biggest electric utility selling off a major chunk of its business to an out-of-state absentee landlord.
But the utility landscape never stands still. Since then, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) - ITC's chief regulator - has seen the confirmation of both a new chairman (Cheryl LaFleur) and a new member (Norman Bay), the resignation of another (John Norris, effective August 20), and the nomination of yet another candidate (Colette Honorable, from the Arkansas PSC) who, if confirmed, would round out FERC's authorized five-person panel.