National electric transmission advocacy group names Executive Director, elects new leadership

The Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS) is pleased to announce that John Twitty will become its first Executive Director, effective July 1, 2011. Additionally, Thomas J. Heller, CEO of Missouri River Energy Services, has been elected Chair of the Board of Directors. He succeeds Roy Thilly, former President and CEO at WPPI Energy, who has retired.

TAPS was organized in 1989 as an informal association of transmission-dependent electric utilities to advocate for the improvement of the transmission grid in America.

Now representing utilities in more than 30 states, the organization recently incorporated to better fulfill its mission.

Joining Heller as members of the Executive Committee of the Board are Cindy Holman, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority;

Mike Stuart, WPPI Energy; and Doug Curry, Lincoln Electric System. The full Board of Directors includes 13 leaders in the industry from around America.

The hiring of a proven electric utility executive dedicated to improvements to the nation’s transmission access and infrastructure for utilities and their customers is an important and logical next step for TAPS.

“John Twitty, through his long history of service to the utility industry as a leader and advocate for fairness and improvement in the transmission process, was a logical choice to help us manage TAPS to a new level,” said Heller. “He’s the right person to lead this group at the right time.”

Twitty will retire on June 10 from a 28-year career in public power, most recently serving as General Manager/CEO of City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri. He is a well-known and respected voice for public power at the local, state and national levels. During his career, Twitty has served as Chair of several industry groups, including the American Public Power Association – Washington, D.C., The Energy Authority – Jacksonville, FL, and the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities. He has testified at the state level and before the Congress on utility issues.

TAPS mission includes:

  • Advocating for open and equal transmission access and for strong protections against the exercise of market power in electric markets.
  • Supporting vigorously competitive wholesale electric markets and a robust grid.
  • Participating in policy proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies that deal with electric transmission and market power in the electric utility industry.
  • Testifying before Congress and educating members of Congress and their staffs on federal legislation issues related to competitive, reliable wholesale electric markets, open transmission access, and the need for a robust transmission grid.
  • Protecting and advancing the interests of transmission dependent utilities, and their customers before the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).

For information:
Thomas J. Heller, 605.330.6942
John Twitty, 417.838.8576