May 8, 2022

Theoharides takes US offshore wind job for German company

Jumps from Baker cabinet job to executive position | Bruce Mohl | CommonWealth Magazine | May 6, 2022 |

Kathleen Theoharides, who oversaw offshore wind development for the Baker administration, is now taking a job as the head of US offshore wind development for a German company that is a big player in the worldwide industry.

Theoharides announced late last month that she was leaving as Gov. Charlie Baker’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs but waited until Friday to say she was taking a job as head of US offshore wind development for RWE Renewables starting June 1.

A press release issued by RWE said Theoharides will oversee all of the company’s offshore wind development along the East Coast of the United States. RWE recently leased an area in the so-called New York Bight in partnership with National Grid Ventures under the joint venture name of Community Offshore Wind. RWE is also testing a floating offshore wind array off the coast of Maine.

National Grid is familiar to Massachusetts residents as the operator of electric and natural gas utilities in the state, both of which are regulated by the Department of Public Utilities, one of many agencies that had been under the oversight of Theoharides as Baker’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs.

Theoharides has been seen as an effective cabinet secretary and knows well many of the players in the offshore wind industry. At the ceremonial groundbreaking for Vineyard Wind, the first industrial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, Theoharides played master of ceremonies at an event that featured a who’s who of public and private officials involved in the offshore wind industry, including US Interior Secretary Deborah Haaland.

Paul D. Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance issued a statement criticizing Theoharides for playing key roles as a state official in promoting the offshore wind industry and then taking a job from a company in that industry.

“Advocating for the interests of offshore wind companies while working in state government, only to end up working for those interests once you leave state government, is a clear conflict,” he said.

URL to article: