Several years ago I discussed why outsiders can have difficulties as IID managers. More than a decade later I can still see problems.
Currently, a consultant has been given control of the nerve center of IID’S Energy Department including ability to fire IID employees and hire their own, thus maintaining continuity for their services until they choose otherwise, or are forced out. Like any consultant they are profit motivated without ties to the ratepayers.
A recent Desert Review online comment was about the consultant being able to walk both sides of the street. What is referred to there is that the consultant will be able to represent independent power producers who want to connect to IID- and can approve these connections since they also represent IID. There are no checks & balances to protect the public.
In addition, what is potentially even more alarming from a checks & balances standpoint, the consultant will represent IID at all local State, Regional Federal and other utility and energy meetings – all coordinating meetings, including San Diego, Edison, West Connect, CAISO, FERC, NERC, WECC, LOS ANGELES, and all other utilities with which IID may do business. This means they will not only be attending meetings to decide the future of IID in the industry, but will also be able to filter information to be shared with IID. In addition, they will have unique inside information when dealing with developers/generators that they represent. Thus, the consultant and the developers/generators that the consultant represents could benefit on projects for which both have financial interest – a situation that is clearly a fox guarding the hen house scenario.