transmission blue sky

Today, Wisconsin Public Service Commissioner Lauren Azar informed Governor Scott Walker and Public Service Commission Chairman Phil Montgomery of her resignation from the Public Service Commission to work as Senior Advisor to Secretary Steven Chu at the United States Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Wisconsin for the past four years,” said Commissioner Azar. “While I look forward to the challenges of serving the nation, I will look back to Wisconsin fondly. This is one of the greatest laboratories of regulatory policy, and I will be taking with me to Washington my Wisconsin sensibility and commitment to the public interest,” Azar continued.

Secretary Chu has asked Commissioner Azar to drive the administration’s initiatives on the electric transmission grid. Commissioner Azar will work with industry, states, and other federal agencies to facilitate the development our nation’s electrical infrastructure; an infrastructure that will keep our nation competitive in the global economy with an engine fueled by independent and clean energy. Her initial work will be focused on the transmission grid, transmission-related technologies (such as energy storage) and on the federal power marketing administrations.

During her tenure, Commissioner Azar led an in-depth study on the potential for developing wind generation on the Great Lakes and served as the President of the Organization of MISO States (OMS). As OMS President, Azar led two processes that resulted in a FERC-approved tariff that allocates the cost of new transmission developments in the Midwest. Commissioner Azar also co-founded and served as the first President of the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council, a 39-state collaboration on transmission planning. As Commissioner, Azar was appointed by Secretary Chu to serve as Vice Chair of the DOE’s Electricity Advisory Council.

Read the full press release here.

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