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PRESS RELEASE | NYISO Announces New, Strategic Environmental Advisory Council Appointments

June 22, 2023

Rensselaer, NY -- The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is pleased to announce that Julie Tighe, Dr. Burçin Ünel, PhD, and Daniel Zarrilli, P.E. have been appointed to serve on the organization’s Environmental Advisory Council.

The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) was formed in 2005 to provide the NYISO with information, analysis, and perspectives on the dynamics between evolving state and federal environmental policies and the NYISO’s mission of maintaining reliability of the bulk electric system and administering competitive wholesale electricity markets. Ms. Tighe, Dr. Ünel, and Mr. Zarrilli join a distinguished group of experts, advocates, and scientists whose work is focused on how to achieve the grid of the future.

Julie Tighe is the President of the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) and the NYLCV Education Fund and has served in that capacity since 2018. Due in part to the League’s and her advocacy, the New York State Legislature passed the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act, the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefits Act, the $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act, and additional bills designed to reduce emissions. Prior to joining NYLCV, Ms. Tighe served for more than a decade at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, most recently as Chief of Staff. Ms. Tighe also currently serves as the Treasurer for the Alliance for Clean Energy New York.

Dr. Burçin Ünel is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law and is an expert in utility regulation and environmental and energy policy. She has authored over 100 papers, policy briefs, public comments, and reports on numerous energy and environmental policy issues. Her articles on how to design policies for the future of the grid have been selected by the Environmental Law Institute as one of the year’s top five environmental law articles, each year from 2017 to 2019.

Daniel Zarrilli is the Special Advisor for Climate and Sustainability at Columbia University where he is supporting the creation of its new, world-leading climate school and advising on pathways to achieve the university’s deep decarbonization goals. He joined Columbia University from the New York City Mayor’s Office, where he served most recently in the role of Chief Climate Policy Advisor. He is currently an author on the Fifth National Climate Assessment and serves on the New York City Water Board.

“Ms. Tighe, Dr. Burçin, and Mr. Zarrilli are respected experts and industry leaders who will help guide the work of our Environmental Advisory Council at a critical time for the industry and the pursuit of a just transition under state policy mandates,” said Kevin Lanahan, Vice president of External Affairs and Corporate Communications for the New York Independent System Operator. “We’re grateful for their willingness to share their expertise and knowledge as we work together to deliver the grid of the future.”

State emissions rules and the Climate and Community Leadership Protection Act (CLCPA) are having profound impacts on how the NYISO operates. The EAC will continue to help inform the organization as the NYISO works to maintain reliability during the transition to a decarbonized electric system.

Learn more about the history and mission of the NYISO’s Environmental Advisory Council.