Gregg Sayre will replace Audrey Zibelman as interim chair of New York’s Public Service Commission, continuing work she oversaw on a ground-breaking move to create a distributed grid in the state.
The state Department of Public Service announced Zibelman’s interim replacement today.
Zibelman, one of the chief architect’s of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), is stepping down March 9 as chairman of the Public Service Commission. She has accepted a job heading the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
Sayre, who has served on the commission since July 2012, specializes in telecommunications regulation. He previously worked as associate general counsel of Frontier Communications Corporation, where he was responsible for regulatory legal issues and proceedings in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. He also was an attorney at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Law Bureau.
Zibelman’s departure has captured a great deal of industry attention, given her lead role in the state’s ongoing and complex proceeding to create a more decentralized energy system. The state is widely viewed as a national leader in disrupting the conventional electric grid model with a new approach that heightens the role of microgrids, energy storage, solar and other forms of distributed energy.
Richard Kauffman, Governor Cuomo’s energy czar, said that Sayre “will ensure the PSC continues the excellent work started under Ms. Zibelman, and will bring to the job his own outstanding abilities as a utility regulator.”
He added that in her work on REV, Zibelman “has accelerated a much-needed transition to a more decentralized, low-carbon and affordable grid, which is already providing consumers with more choice in how they acquire and use electricity.”
Sayre, who was named interim chair by Cuomo, said that the governor “has put forth a bold strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy by building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers and stimulate investment in clean technologies.”
Zibelman’s departure leaves the PSC with only two commissioners. But the vacancies do not impair the commission from conducting business, according to a news release issued today by the state Department of Public Service.
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