The CEO at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Yakout Mansour, announced Tuesday that he plans to retire June 1, the date of the 40th anniversary of the start of his electric industry career. Mansour will leave having led the state grid operator through several long-sought milestones, such as the launch of the CAISO-redesigned market in 2009, Market Redesign Technology Upgrade (MRTU), which struggled for years to get under way. During Mansour's six years heading the grid operator it has studied and approved $9.5 billion in transmission expansion projects, and concluded that there is now adequate transmission infrastructure in place or being built to support the state's new renewable energy goal of 33% by 2020. Mansour said he feels that in his tenure he has helped "restore confidence in California's wholesale energy market" that was badly tattered in the 2000-2001 wholesale energy market meltdown in the West. A CAISO oversight board member, Bob Foster, called Mansour "hugely successful" in lowering power costs and the costs at the grid operator.
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