Governor Gina M. Raimondo today named three people to leadership positions on her state energy team: Nicholas S. Ucci as State Energy Commissioner; Linda George as Administrator of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC); and Ronald Gerwatowski as Chair of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The Governor will submit their names to the Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday, January 14 for advice and consent.
“As we strive to make Rhode Island’s energy system cleaner, more affordable and more reliable, I am thrilled to announce a new energy leadership team that will help carry out our vision for the new decade,” said Governor Raimondo in a press release. “Nick, Linda, and Ron have all proven themselves capable leaders with decades of experience designing and implementing clean energy policy. I look forward to having them on board as we work to build Rhode Island’s clean energy future.”
Nicholas Ucci currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) where, since December 2013, he has supported the development of policies and programs that advance the energy, economic, and environmental interests of the Ocean State. He was instrumental in driving the expansion of offshore wind in Rhode Island via the Revolution Wind project, which is anticipated to bring over one billion dollars in benefits to the state and create more than 800 jobs while providing enough clean energy to meet one-quarter of the state’s electricity demand. Prior to his role at OER, Ucci served as the chief policy advisor to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and has 18 years of experience working throughout state government.
“I am honored that Governor Raimondo has placed her confidence in me,” said Ucci in the release. “As a native Rhode Islander, I value the interconnectedness of our local communities – its residents, businesses, and governments – and shared stake in a vibrant economy and sustainable environment. Our energy system is foundational to all of it. Recent experience – including the 400 MW Revolution Wind Farm and nation-leading energy efficiency programs – demonstrates that the Ocean State can secure cost-effective, affordable energy solutions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while spurring local investment and job growth. I am excited to continue working with stakeholders across Rhode Island’s economic, energy, and environmental landscape to ensure we are positioned for collective success in the new decade and beyond.”
Linda George has been serving as interim DPUC Administrator since Fall 2019. Previously, she was Senior Legal Counsel for the PUC and was responsible for overseeing dockets which focused on electric utility regulations, energy efficiency, renewable energy and water utility regulation. Before that, Linda served as a policy analyst and attorney for the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture. She brings 29 years of legal experience to the position.
“Governor Raimondo has outlined a clear, bold vision for Rhode Island’s clean energy future, and I’m honored to be nominated to this position,” said George. “I look forward to helping lead the DPUC and working with the OER, PUC, and businesses and families across Rhode Island to continue exploring ways to support energy affordability and reliability, while modernizing our grid and fostering a more sustainable energy system.”
Ron Gerwatowski has served as Senior Regulatory Advisor for the DPUC since January 2018. He was one of the lead authors of last year’s DPUC report holding National Grid accountable for the Aquidneck Island gas outages. Previously, he was the Assistant Secretary for Energy in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President of U.S. Regulation and Pricing for National Grid. He has over 35 years of legal and policy experience and brings expertise in regulation, rates, energy markets and renewable energy policy.
“The Public Utilities Commission plays a vital role in regulating state utilities and ensuring they are accountable for the services they provide,” said Gerwatowski. “As important, the PUC can also help foster affordable and reliable pathways that enable consumers, utilities, and other stakeholders to advance modern solutions delivering vital services at lower costs. I look forward to working with all parties to help navigate the complex and dynamic utility challenges facing Rhode Island in a fair and balanced manner.”
All three energy leaders will start immediately following confirmation by the Rhode Island Senate.