Top of Mind: Jim Gordon, Extended Version

JB: Let’s assume that you get the final go-ahead (the record of decision). The financing is tough in this economy—is this something you think about?

JG: We are well aware of the financial climate. We believe that the credit markets are going to come back. We’re highly confident that we’re going to be able to successfully finance and build this project. And obviously there are significant policy objectives that are helping to move renewable energy projects into the grid….

JB: And if this doesn’t pass? Do you think about that?

JG: Of course, we’ve invested a lot of our careers and significant years in this project and significant amounts of resources. A lot of money—many many many many many many many many many many many many many millions of dollars.

But when I visit Cape Cod and look out on the horizon now, I see these small specks on the horizon. I can just see them gracefully spinning, quietly.

JB: So, in your mind’s eye, this is going to happen?

JG: Yes.

You mentioned you spend some time not always working. What do you do?

JG: I like to play tennis. I like to hit the gym a few times a week. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my children. I have two daughters (ages three and six), and I have a 21-year-old son. My wife and kids give me great satisfaction. I go to a lot of films—I’ve been going to a lot of children’s films lately. I just like to relax when I get the chance.

I’m sure that doesn’t happen too often.

JG: I think I’m able to balance my life pretty well.

Because that would be the risk with something this big, for it to become all-consuming.

That’s something I’ve tried to guard against. There are moments when you’re pulled into the thick of things. The pace of the development…there’s a lot of waiting for things: responses and reports. So it comes in fits and starts and stops.

I use words like “thick skin” and “determination.” But I guess patience has also been a requirement?

Patience has been a major requirement. We’ve crawled and walked. We’ve evolved over 35 years. …But I think we literally are inches from the goal line.

JB: How do you plan to celebrate if you cross that goal line?

I think a lot of people will celebrate once this project is up and running. Even those opponents that have invested a lot in opposing this project, I think once they see that a lot of their concerns and fears haven’t materialized, even they will embrace and be proud of it.

JB: So you won’t be popping champagne when you receive the final word from Washington?

Oh, we’ll do some of that. But I think the celebration will be walking out on the beach that my dad used to take me to and just looking out on the horizon and hoping that it’s a clear day so I can see it in the first place. That will be just an incredible moment, an indescribable moment.