T&D World Magazine

Edward Rahill: Vital Businessman

As president of ITC Grid Development, Edward Rahill is in a unique position to affect the development of America’s 21st-century electric transmission grid. Modernizing the grid is vital to our quality of life and to the economic viability of our nation, according to Rahill.

“Energy plays an increasingly pivotal role in the way we live, work and play. We depend on electric energy to light our communities, power our industries and serve our families,” he said.

Rahill has more than 25 years of experience in the energy business, ranging from business development to finance, to mergers and acquisitions. During the past seven years, he has been with ITC Holdings Corp., first as chief financial officer, and most recently as president of ITC Grid Development, a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. dedicated to identifying and pursuing transmission opportunities. ITC is the nation’s only truly independent transmission company and is solely focused on investing in transmission.

“My experience at ITC has made me well aware that we need a high-voltage transmission backbone to move wind energy from wind-rich regions to population centers while reducing costly inefficiencies in the grid,” Rahill said.

Rahill will be a keynote speaker at The Rocky Mountain Technology Alliance’s annual Global New Energy Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on March 21-23. The Alliance is a partnership among industry, academic and government organizations in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. The Summit serves as a platform for national and global leaders from the new energy industry to discuss the latest in technologies, markets, policies and strategies regarding the new energy initiatives across the full new energy spectrum – including new innovation in conventional energy sources. The Summit will showcase the latest innovation and applications in nuclear, transmission, oil and gas, solar, wind, coal, storage and biofuels, along with perspectives on new energy finance and policy.

Rahill will share a bit of ITC’s vision and explain the need and benefits of a robust, multi-regional grid for the United States and North America.

“When ITC started this business seven years ago, we had a vision to become a leader in the build-out of a more reliable and robust transmission system capable of meeting the needs of a 21st century, energy-intensive economy,” he said. “As demand for electricity grows and we continue to change the way in which we use energy, the outdated laws that govern the electricity grid are standing in the way of America’s energy goals. If America is to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, meet renewable energy standards, and address climate change and other environmental challenges, it must modernize the rules that govern the grid.”

Rahill has learned through his experience in energy that developing a vision of what can be and making it happen are two different things. “The most important point I have learned is you can’t do it alone. To be successful, you need to learn how to work with a team and incorporate your ideas into the group’s vision,” he said.

From a professional perspective, he has learned how each of us depends on reliable, sustainable and efficient energy to maintain our lifestyle. “Abundant energy is also necessary to keep our nation economically viable.”

He has always been interested in pursuing new ideas and opportunities to modernize America’s infrastructure, so he responded positively when he was offered the opportunity to build the nation’s first independent transmission company.

Before becoming president of ITC Grid Development, Rahill was senior vice president and chief financial officer for ITC Holdings and also oversaw business development activities at ITC Grid Development. He joined ITC Holdings as CFO in 2003 and oversaw the company’s rapid transition from a privately held company to a New York Stock Exchange-listed public corporation in 2005. In addition, Rahill oversaw the acquisition of METC in 2006 and the acquisition of the Interstate Power & Light Co. transmission assets in 2007.

He joined ITC Holdings from DTE Energy where he managed the planning and corporate development functions. He joined DTE in 1999 as the manager of mergers, acquisitions and alliances.

Rahill continues to support the vitality of the transmission industry by representing his company in various stakeholder forums as well as testifying before Congress and regulators.

Rahill’s recipe for success includes knowledge, but he said that motivation to make a difference based on what you know is the key to becoming a successful professional and a well-rounded person.

Rahill exemplifies his own formula for success. He has four school-aged children and said that it is important to balance family and other interests with a career. “Building a new company and a new industry requires a significant time commitment. I have learned over time how to balance the needs of my career with family responsibilities,” he said. “I find this can be partially accomplished by taking time to get away with my family on a regular basis.”

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