NERC names WECC’s Robb as new CEO

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. has named longtime regional transmission and grid sector executive James Robb as its new president and CEO.

NERC’s Board of Trustees announced that Robb will take over duties on April 9. He will succeed interim president and CEO Charles Berardesco, who has led the power reliability organization since then CEO Gerry Cauley resigned in November 2017 after his arrest on domestic violence charges that month.

Robb will come to NERC after nearly four years as CEO of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. WECC is regional overseer for the Western Interconnection, a regional grid including parts of Baja Mexico, 14 U.S. states and 2 western Canadian provinces.

“The board is very pleased to have found someone of Jim’s caliber to lead NERC into the future. Choosing a CEO is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities. The Board took this duty very seriously by engaging in a comprehensive, nation-wide search culminating in the unanimous selection of Jim Robb,” board Chair Roy Thilly said in a statement. “We are confident that Jim will provide the combination of strong leadership, vision and commitment to the reliability and security of the bulk power system across North America that is essential to NERC’s continuing success.”

Robb has more than 30 years of experience as an engineer, consultant and executive in the energy sector, according to the WECC website. He has held leadership roles at Northeast Utilities (now Eversource Energy), Reliant Energy and McKinsey & Co.

NERC is a nonprofit to promote and develop reliability standards on the bulk electric power transmission system in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Regional entities covered by NERC include the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council, Northeast Power, SERC, WECC, ReliabiltyFirst and Southwest Power Pool, among others. 

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