William O. (Billy) Ball has been elected executive vice president and chief transmission officer of Southern Company, effective April 1. Ball will oversee the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Southern Company’s transmission system, including more than 27,000 miles of transmission lines in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. He will report to Thomas A. Fanning, the company’s chief operating officer.
Ball previously served as senior vice president of transmission design and construction, with system-wide responsibility for transmission design and construction activities. From 2004-2008, he was senior vice president of transmission planning and operations, responsible for the planning and operations of Southern Company’s network transmission grid, transmission policy and industry interfaces. While in this role, he served as vice chairman of the board of SERC Corp., and chairman of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. Members Representative Committee.
Ball began his career with Southern Company in 1983 in the company’s cooperative education program, alternating semesters of college study and work. Early in his career, he helped develop transmission pricing methods, including the company’s first open access transmission tariffs, and provided transmission policy recommendations and negotiated transmission service contracts with third parties. He also held the position of manager, system planning, with both generation and transmission planning responsibilities at Mississippi Power, and worked at Mirant (formerly Southern Energy) where he was responsible for technical due diligence on business development projects, transmission and operations and maintenance support to the various business units.
A native of Columbia, Ball graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and earned an MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi.