CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GridLiance Holdco, LP (“GridLiance”) today announced the appointment of leading electric utility and transmission executives Terry Boston and Michael G. Morris to its Board of Directors, effective March 31, 2016.
“Terry and Mike share our commitment to create a strong, proactive entity that will represent and serve Public Power’s needs in regional and national transmission planning and award processes,” said Ed Rahill, GridLiance’s President and CEO, and member of the Board. “Terry and Mike bring unparalleled electric industry leadership experience and proven track records of planning, developing and operating transmission systems. We will also benefit from their strong relationships with regulatory agencies, regional transmission organizations, Public Power authorities and investor owned utilities, as well as their keen ability to anticipate, navigate and provide vision for a 21st century high voltage grid given the industry’s rapidly changing landscape.”
“We are excited to add Terry and Mike, two of the industry’s most successful executives, to our Board,” said Sean Klimczak, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone and a member of GridLiance’s Board. “GridLiance has a unique opportunity to help transform how regional transmission organizations plan and carry out their long-term reliability strategies, while at the same time providing traditionally under-represented Public Power agencies the ability to build – and directly benefit from – new transmission infrastructure. We believe Terry and Mike will provide valuable insight and direction as we work to solve this decades-old problem and finally give Public Power a meaningful seat at the transmission planning table.”
With a 43-year career that spans the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and PJM Interconnection (PJM), Mr. Boston is a recognized expert on grid reliability and transmission development, particularly as they relate to municipal and consumer power agencies. Among his many accomplishments, he oversaw world-class operations and maintenance programs, the planning and construction of critical new projects and numerous initiatives that increased market transparency and efficiency and delivered unmatched levels of service reliability and customer satisfaction. Platt’s Global Energy awarded Mr. Boston a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his forward-thinking leadership and focus on grid reliability.
Mr. Morris brings extensive executive and operational leadership to GridLiance’s Board, having spent 26 years serving in senior leadership roles in the electric utility industry. Most recently, he served as Chairman and CEO of American Electric Power Company (AEP), where he led one of the country’s largest electric utility companies, which operated the nation’s largest utility-owned transmission system. While at AEP, Mr. Morris advanced the development of an interstate, high-voltage transmission system in the United States – including building a 765-kV line from West Virginia to Virginia – to enhance grid reliability and efficiently transport bulk power. Prior to AEP, he was CEO of Northeast Utilities, where he presided over the most significant improvements in New England’s electric system in two decades. His numerous contributions to the industry have been recognized by the Edison Electric Institute and other key industry trade groups.
“I am delighted to join the Board of this trailblazing company, which provides me a natural opportunity to continue my career-long focus on improving the reliability, resiliency and robustness of the nation’s electric grid,” said Mr. Boston. “GridLiance fills an important void and gives municipal and consumer-owned power agencies the operational scale, financial strength and regulatory stature to meaningfully compete for new transmission projects. I believe that GridLiance is a much needed force on behalf of Public Power and I am honored to join the Board and share my experience and passion as we work to accelerate our strategy.”
“Electric transmission has been a long-overlooked element of the overall electric delivery system, and I believe it is critical that we make the necessary investments in our transmission system to reduce congestion and enhance reliability,” said Mr. Morris. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to leverage my experience and strong network of industry relationships to help Public Power agencies gain access to and invest in these large scale transmission projects, which will deliver valuable benefits to their customers. GridLiance has arrived on the scene at an important time, and I look forward to working with the Board to help the Company deliver on its full potential for both our Public Power partners and the industry overall.”
GridLiance, which is backed by Blackstone Energy Partners, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE:BX), is the nation’s first competitive transmission company focused on collaborating with under-served U.S. municipal, cooperative and joint action agency utilities (“Public Power”). GridLiance’s differentiated operating model enables its Public Power partners to invest in regulated transmission projects – an investment opportunity often inaccessible to them. GridLiance’s planning and development models are focused on providing more reliable transmission to Public Power customers and hedging rising costs for regionally-planned projects. In addition to jointly planning, developing, owning and operating new transmission assets, GridLiance works with Public Power entities to identify existing transmission infrastructure that can be efficiently and cost-effectively upgraded and integrated into their Regional Transmission Organization (“RTO”).
Terry Boston Biography
Mr. Boston served as CEO of PJM from 2008 to 2016, where he designed and executed several key growth initiatives, including significantly increasing member participants (from 500 to 960 members), nearly doubling the market from $26 to $50 billion per year and developing the most advanced wholesale market for advanced energy storage in North America. Prior to joining PJM, Mr. Boston was the Executive Vice President of TVA, the largest U.S. Public Power provider. In his 35 years at TVA, he directed divisions in transmission and power operations, pricing, contracts and electric system reliability.
Mr. Boston is a recognized industry thought leader and has served on the Board of the Electric Power Research Institute and as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center task force to develop recommendations for U.S. energy policy. He is the immediate past President of the GO15 international association of large grid operators and the Association of Edison Electric Illuminating Companies. Additionally, Mr. Boston has served on the Boards of the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC), North American Transmission Forum and the National Academy’s Board of Energy and Environmental Systems, among several others. He was one of the eight industry experts selected to direct NERC’s investigation of the August 2003 Northeast/Midwest blackout.
In 2014, Mr. Boston was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional honors accorded to an engineer, for his leadership in the development and operation of large electric grids and markets for wholesale electricity. Mr. Boston’s other recognitions and honors include the “Leadership in Power” award from the IEEE Power and Energy Society in 2011 and the Electricity Storage Association’s Leadership Award in 2012. Mr. Boston holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, magna cum laude, from Tennessee Technological University and a master’s degree in engineering administration from the University of Tennessee.
Michael G. Morris Biography
Mr. Morris served in senior executive roles at AEP from 2003 to 2014, including as the Company’s Chairman, CEO and President. While at AEP, Mr. Morris refocused the Company’s strategy on its domestic utility business and championed development of new technologies to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants. Prior to joining AEP, Mr. Morris was Chairman, President and CEO of Northeast Utilities System from 1997 to 2003, where he successfully managed the company through several transformative partnerships and transactions, including the sale of the Millstone Station nuclear plant, a merger with Yankee Energy System Inc., and the acquisition of Connecticut Valley Electric Co.
Mr. Morris also served as President and CEO of Consumers Power Company, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, from 1990 to 1997. Earlier in his career, he was President of Colorado Interstate Gas Co. and Executive Vice President of ANR Pipeline Co., both subsidiaries of El Paso Energy.
He has served on a number of influential and notable advisory boards, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Board and the National Governors Association’s Task Force on Electricity Infrastructure. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Spectra Energy, L Brands, Alcoa and The Hartford Financial Services Group. He also serves on the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents and is a trustee of the MSU College of Law. Mr. Morris holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Eastern Michigan University. He received a law degree, cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association.
About GridLiance GP, LLC
Incorporated in 2014, GridLiance GP, LLC is the nation’s first competitive transmission company focused on collaborating with Public Power. Through its subsidiary transmission companies formed to operate in each RTO, GridLiance will jointly plan, develop, own and operate transmission assets with Public Power. GridLiance’s mission is to provide its Public Power partners with opportunities to invest in regulated transmission development projects, enabling the utilities to earn margins from regionally-funded projects to offset transmission rate increases, as well as receive other benefits, including lower energy costs and increased reliability for their customers, while providing greater access to renewable energy sources. GridLiance has offices in Kansas City, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and Austin, Texas. GridLiance seeks to establish long-term agreements with all interested Public Power utilities. It currently has 30-year joint development agreements with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), operating within MISO and SPP through its subsidiaries, South Central MCN, LLC and Midcontinent MCN, LLC, respectively. To learn more, please visit www.gridliance.com.