Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday nominated Mark Vannoy to the Public Utilities Commission.

Vannoy, an associate vice president for the Wright-Pierce engineering firm in Topsham, will replace Vendean Vafiades if confirmed by the Legislature. Vafiades recently resigned from the board.

The PUC, a three-member board of commissioners, was established in 1913 and regulates the state’s energy companies, water districts and telecommunication firms. The PUC also acts on wind farm permitting and other energy projects.

Vannoy works for Wright-Pierce’s civil and infrastructure engineering practice. According to the LePage administration, he has worked on a variety of projects, including industrial food and beverage plants and municipal utilities.

Vannoy also has worked on projects for the Poland Spring water company.

Vannoy also served in the Navy from 1993 to 1999 and remains a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve. He recently served as chairman of the Waldoboro Energy Committee.

Vannoy has received degrees in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and subsequently completed Navy nuclear power training in Orlando, Fla. He earned master’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University.

Vannoy, a Waldoboro resident, will be vetted by the Legislature’s Energy and Utilities Committee before the Senate considers confirming him.

Sen. Phil Bartlett, D-Gorham, said he wasn’t familiar with Vannoy, but that his experience seemed weighted toward engineering.

“It’s not the typical experience you’d expect,” said Bartlett, adding that he was looking forward to learning more about Vannoy.

Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield, the House co-chairman of the committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vannoy is expected to appear before the Energy Committee sometime this month.


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