MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Jan. 8, 2003 — The newly appointed TRANSLink Management Development Corp. independent board of directors selected Audrey Zibelman, transmission vice president for Xcel Energy, to serve as president and chief executive officer of the corporation. The board also selected Kent Ragsdale, managing attorney of Alliant Corporate Energy Services Inc., to serve as general counsel.
In other business Tuesday, the board announced that TRANSLink Transmission Co. LLC’s corporate headquarters will be in Minnesota, at a site yet to be determined, and that the company will maintain electric transmission system operation centers in Iowa, Texas and Colorado, as well as in Minnesota.
Appointment of the nine-member independent board was formally approved Monday. The TRANSLink Management Development Corp. board will become the board of TRANSLink Management Corp. upon final closing, which is expected during the third quarter of 2003. The TRANSLink Management Corp. board then will independently manage TRANSLink Transmission Co. to comply with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules.
The board was selected using a process approved by the FERC. Seven of the nine board members were selected by the TRANSLink participants after an initial identification, review and recommendation of such board members by an outside advisory group consisting of members selected by the public utilities commissions of the states where TRANSLink will operate and the advisory committee of Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc., the first FERC-approved regional transmission organization. Russell Reynolds & Associates, an independent search firm, led the board selection process and acted as an outside adviser to the TRANSLink advisory group. The remaining two board members – who also are independent – were selected directly by the TRANSLink participants.
The nine board members are:
* Paul F. Barber of Freehold, N.J., electric power industry consultant, Barber Energy;
* Andrew C. Barrett of Arlington, Va., managing director, The Barrett Group Inc., former member of the Federal Communications Commission and Illinois Commerce Commission;
* Julian J. Brix of Cos Cob, Conn., transmission industry consultant, Brix International, and retired president and CEO of Georgia Transmission Corp.;
* Lisa Crutchfield of Cornelius, N.C., former vice president and general manager of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission;
* Paul J. Feldman of Sandy, Utah, vice president and general manager of Novell’s cross-platform organization called Nterprise;
* Larry G. Garberding of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., retired executive vice president and chief financial officer of DTE Energy Co.;
* Thomas H. Johnson of Richmond, Va., chairman, president and CEO of Chesapeake Corp.;
* Donald B. Stenberg of Lincoln, Neb., former Nebraska attorney general; and
* Jon R. Whitney of Colorado Springs, Colo., owner of Peak Energy Ventures and former president and CEO of Colorado Interstate Gas Co., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Brix and Whitney are serving as interim co-chairpersons of the board.
“The independent members of the board bring exceptional experience and quality to TRANSLink,” said Wayne Brunetti, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy. “As a founding member of and one of the initial three investor-owned utilities participating in TRANSLink, Xcel Energy views appointment of this board as a critical step in establishing what we believe will be one of the premier independent transmission companies in the nation. By focusing solely on the growth and enhancement of a robust transmission system over a large region and consolidating operations, TRANSLink, a for-profit entity, will create value by improving the efficiency and reliability of wholesale electricity supply markets through investments in critical new transmission infrastructure.”
Fred Petersen, president and chief executive officer of Omaha Public Power District, said, “We look forward to working with the new board as TRANSLink completes the regulatory approval process and begins operations later this year. TRANSLink’s goal is to ensure that the transmission system is capable of moving electricity from where it is generated to where it is needed. As a founding member of TRANSLink and one of the public power utility participants, we look forward to working in our unique collaboration with investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to establish what we believe will be one of the country’s top independent transmission companies.”
Zibelman said she is confident the goal of TRANSLink – to be a new “electric pipeline” that will provide customer services and shareholder returns comparable to those of a top-notch interstate natural gas pipeline operation – will be achieved under the new board’s leadership.
“Our participants are committed to creating and operating the infrastructure necessary to support the provision of reliable electric service and a diverse portfolio of generation resources that are the essential components of an efficient competitive wholesale electricity marketplace,” said Zibelman.
The TRANSLink participants are Interstate Power and Light Co. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, Madison, Wis.; Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Humboldt, Iowa; Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, Wis.; Great River Energy, Elk River, Minn.; MidAmerican Energy Co., Des Moines, Iowa; Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, Neb.; Omaha Public Power District, Omaha, Neb.; Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Rochester, Minn.; and Xcel Energy, Minneapolis.
TRANSLink has received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate as an independent transmission company in the regions it serves. TRANSLink will oversee approximately 37,350 miles of transmission lines linking generators producing 35,000 megawatts of electricity. The company will be the transmission network provider to entities with approximately 7.7 million customers in 13 states, making it one of the largest transmission companies in the nation.
TRANSLink will operate transmission systems in portions of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
For more information visit TRANSLink at www.translinktc.com.