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Western Electricity Council in Salt Lake names a new CEO

The Salt Lake-based Western Electricity Coordinating Council has named Louise McCarren as its new chief executive officer.

WECC is the large electricity reliability council that has promoting system reliability in the Western region as one of its duties.

McCarren has been a member of the New England Independent System Operator board of directors.

A native Californian, McCarren has consulted for Canadian and U.S. energy companies on energy-related topics. She has served as a commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Services, where she focused on public utility proceedings, including transmission siting and energy supply issues. Through most of the 1980s, McCarren was chairwoman of the Vermont Public Service board, supervising all regulatory decisions in the electricity and gas industries.

She recently has served as president and CEO of the Vermont arm of Verizon Inc.

McCarren will take over in October, replacing Dennis Eyre, who will retire in December after 32 years with the council.

WECC also handles setting reliability standards, coordinating the operating and planning activities of its 156 members, supporting efficient competitive power markets, assuring open and non-discriminatory transmission access and providing a forum for resolving transmission access disputes.

WECC is one of 10 electric reliability councils in North America. Its members, representing all segments of the electric industry, provide electricity to 71 million people in 14 Western states, two Canadian provinces and portions of one Mexican state.