By Amanda Durish Cook
MISO’s Board of Directors will hold a special vote to fill the seat of former Director Thomas Rainwater, who left last month to serve on the board of a for-profit energy company outside the RTO’s footprint.
Rainwater was re-elected to the MISO board late last year after having served since early 2015. His new term was set to expire at the end of 2020.
Reached by telephone, Rainwater said he preferred not to reveal the name of the New England waste-to-energy company where he will assume his new role. MISO viewed the two board positions as possibly conflicting.
“Because this opportunity is in a similar or related industry, he is precluded from also continuing as a MISO board member,” the RTO said in a release. It has removed Rainwater’s entry from its leadership webpage.
MISO bylaws stipulate that the board must hold a special vote to fill a vacancy stemming from a director departing before their term expires. Directors will evaluate a pool of candidates provided by an outside executive search firm. Candidates must have the same type of qualifications as the departing board member, and the selected candidate will serve out the remainder of their predecessor’s term.
The special board vote has not yet been scheduled.
Rainwater has 30 years of experience in both the electricity and natural gas sectors and has chaired the board’s Corporate Governance and Strategic Planning Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee.
“Tom has been very generous in sharing his broad experience with the board, MISO staff and our stakeholders over the last four years,” Chair Phyllis Currie said.
Rainwater said he enjoyed his time on the on the board and was leaving with “nothing but praise” for MISO and its work.
Rainwater’s exit comes as a special Advisory Committee task team is re-examining the RTO’s board qualifications, including the possibility of requiring departing directors to observe a “cooling-off” period before joining a MISO-related organization. (See related story, Task Team Begins Look at MISO Board Rules.) Directors drawn from MISO-related companies are already subject to a yearlong industry moratorium before taking a seat on the board.