Deep experience in both energy policy and FERC regulation are ideal fit for WIRES’ future growth and advocacy

WIRES, the international trade association that promotes investment in all aspects of the high voltage grid, today announced that Larry Gasteiger is its new Executive Director. Gasteiger, who brings deep federal regulatory experience, succeeds Executive Director, James J. “Jim” Hoecker, who founded WIRES in 2005 and has served the group for more than a decade.

“The WIRES board is delighted to name Larry as new Executive Director,” said Brian Gemmell, WIRES President and National Grid’s Vice President, Transmission Asset Management & Planning and Capital Delivery Electric. “Larry’s extensive federal regulatory leadership with nearly two decades at FERC, and more recent utility experience at PSEG, make him uniquely qualified to lead WIRES’ priorities in the coming years.”

Most recently Gasteiger was chief of federal regulatory policy at Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) where he focused on transmission and wholesale market policy issues. Prior to that he served for more than 19 years at FERC in a range of increasingly responsible leadership roles including as Chief of Staff for Chairman Norman Bay. He served as the Acting Director of the Office of Enforcement from August 2014 to April 2015 after having served as the Deputy Director from 2009 to 2014. Before he joined FERC’s Office of Enforcement, Mr. Gasteiger was the Director of the Division of Tariffs and Market Development – East, in the Office of Energy Market Regulation. Prior to that, he held several other positions at the Commission, including Deputy Associate General Counsel, Legal Advisor to Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher, and attorney in the FERC’s Solicitor’s Office.

“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to lead WIRES, which has been a strong voice on behalf of a robust electric transmission system in North America,” said Larry Gasteiger. “The importance of the electric grid and the challenges in building and sustaining a reliable, efficient, and effective transmission system are ever-increasing. A major focus of WIRES’ efforts will be on educating and engaging decision makers on policies and proposals to meet the transmission needs of a transforming economy that is increasingly dependent on a clean, reliable and affordable supply of electricity. I look forward to working with the new officers, the Board, and the WIRES members to promote the benefits of transmission while working collaboratively with government, industry, and stakeholders in exploring and advancing solutions to meet North America’s growing transmission infrastructure needs.”

Leadership on public policy for transmission planning and investment is needed at this critical time.  A recent report from The Brattle Group projects that $30-to-$90 billion of investments in the electric transmission grid will be required by 2030, and significantly more by 2050, in order to meet the demands of the evolving electrified economy. The report, titled The Coming Electrification of the North American Economy: Why We Need A Robust Transmission Grid, found that electrification of the transportation, heating, and data application sectors will exponentially increase electricity needs, and drive demand for low-carbon and renewable energy resources. A substantially more robust transmission infrastructure will be necessary to support this fundamentally different energy economy.

“We salute Jim’s vision in recognizing the need for a group to educate and advocate for a more robust grid to meet changing consumer demands, shifts in generation resources and new technologies,” continued Gemmell.  “WIRES was founded on the heels of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which was, among other things, an initiative designed to reverse 30 years of grid underinvestment and which now requires substantial updating. We are extremely appreciative of Jim’s leadership and tireless efforts to advance our nation’s transmission network.”  Hoecker served as FERC Chairman from 1997 to 2001.

Gasteiger will assume leadership of WIRES on Nov. 18, 2019. Gasteiger is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Dickinson School of Law. He is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Bar Association and former Board Member of the Saint Ambrose School. He resides in Fairfax County, Virginia with his wife and three children.