EirGrid chief executive Fintan Slye will join National Grid to head up its system operator (SO) function at the year end, calling time on a decade at Ireland’s state-owned grid operator, five years as CEO.
National Grid’s previous SO director, Cordi O’Hara, has taken a senior role at the firm’s US operation.
EirGrid said it is hunting a successor for Slye, who is also vice chair of the Board of Entso-e (the European Organisation for Transmission Grid Operators).
“On behalf of the board I would like to thank Fintan for his leadership and commitment to the success of the EirGrid Group,” said EirGrid chairman John O’Connor.
“He has a deep knowledge of the electricity industry and led a process of significant change within the company which included a programme on integrating renewables onto the Irish electricity grid known as DS3. This resulted in wind generated electricity reaching a peak of 78% of total demand at times in 2016.”
Slye also has significant experience of building interconnectors, overseeing the development of the East West Interconnector and the development of the proposed Celtic Interconnector project, which will link transmission grids of France and Ireland via anb undersea cable.
“He leaves the company in a strong position to continue to serve the needs of communities and businesses across the Ireland,” said O’Connor.
Slye thanked the board and the government for helping to drive the transition of the Irish electricity sector and expressed confidence “that the company will continue to deliver on its responsibilities into the future and find innovative solutions to meet the challenges of climate change and sustainable economic growth.
“I am proud to have worked with colleagues and staff who are so committed to the work that they do on serving the needs of all electricity users”, he added.
Cordi O’Hara has switched to National Grid North America as jurisdictional president and COO for Massachusetts.
She spent 15 years at Centrica, taking on senior roles in both gas and power trading, prior to joining National Grid in January 2014, initially as market operation director before taking over as SO director late 2015.
Phil Sheppard is acting director of UK system operation until Slye takes over in December.