PG&E names Bunker hydropower manager

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. named Bill Bunker its new Northern Area hydropower manager.

In this position, Bunker is responsible for managing 19 hydro powerhouses along the Pit and McCloud river systems, Battle Creek and Cow Creek. The system has a combined capacity of more than 800 MW.

Before joining PG&E, Bunker was vice president of hydropower operations for Alcoa Power Generating in Tennessee and North Carolina. He has 20 years’ experience in manufacturing and hydropower generation and is on the board of directors for the National Hydropower Association and chairman of emerging issues for NHA’s Electric Utility Cost Group.

Bunker replaces Chip Stalica, who was promoted to director of PG&E’s Power Generation Department.

Charles Reid named president and CEO of BC Hydro

Charles Reid
Charles Reid

BC Hydro appointed Charles Reid as president and chief executive officer.

An employee of BC Hydro since 2008, Reid previously held the position of the company’s executive vice president, finance and chief financial officer.

“Charles has served as our acting president and chief executive officer since last December. He has demonstrated to me and the Board that he is the kind of strong, steady leader we need at BC Hydro as we work to invest in British Columbia’s energy future while keeping our rates affordable and competitive for our customers,” says BC Hydro Chair Dan Doyle.

Prior to his work at BC Hydro, Reid served as group vice president, finance and chief financial officer at Canfor Corporation from 1999 through 2004. In this role, Reid handled a variety of financial areas including risk management, capital expenditure review and allocation, internal and external financial reporting, capital market relationships, mergers and more. Throughout his career in the financial industry, he has held senior positions in both finances and operations.

Lurie appointed senior vice president at NYPA

Utility industry veteran Bob Lurie is now senior vice president of strategic planning at New York Power Authority, effective July 30.

Lurie’s responsibilities include overseeing corporate and project development, staying abreast of changes and new technologies in the electric utility industry, defining long-term business strategy, project finance, and evaluating new business opportunities.

Lurie previously held the position of vice president of North American business development at Ocean Power Technologies for two years. He handled marketing, sales, public affairs, project finance, and partnership development in the North American market. OPT develops technology that utilizes the natural flow of waves to generate electricity. Lurie also served as Director of Business Development at Air Produces and Chemicals, Inc. from 2007 to 2009 and Chief of Strategic Planning at the Port Authority of NY & NJ from 2003-2007.

NYPA is the largest state-funded utility, with eight hydropower facilities throughout New York.

Tennessee Valley Authority CEO and president to retire

Tom Kilgore, chief executive officer and president of the Tennessee Valley Authority since 2005, announced his retirement effective at the end of 2012.

“I look forward to working more on my farm,” says Kilgore. “And I am proud of TVA’s focus on low rates, clean, reliable energy and enhancing the economic growth in the Tennessee Valley.”

Before joining TVA, Kilgore held the position of president and CEO at Progress Energy Ventures.

The search for a replacement is under way, says the TVA Board of Directors. “All of us across the Tennessee Valley appreciate the vision and leadership that Tom has brought to TVA, says Bill Sansom, Board Chairman. “Our job is to identify the next experienced leader for TVA.”

Until a replacement is hired, Kilgore will remain in the position.

TVA is a federally funded utility established in 1933 by Congress to develop systems of delivery for electricity and management of natural resources. Today, TVA maintains 29 hydroelectric projects, along with a pumped-storage facility and several externally owned dams, providing a combined capacity of 4,044 MW of clean, renewable energy to millions of customers each day.

Sprague named new Avista director of government relations

Avista Corp. has appointed Collins Sprague its director of government relations, taking over for Tom Paine who retired in August.

Sprague’s responsibilities include all legislative, government, public policy and political activities relating to and/or affecting customers or shareholders.

“Collins has demonstrated a great commitment to Avista customers and the communities we serve through his advocacy of energy policy issues and strong relationships with those working in the public arena,” says Jason Thackston, vice president of customer solutions.

Sprague has been with Avista for 22 years, serving as manager of Washington State government relations. In this role, Sprague helped push legislation that included the Kettle Falls biomass facility in a government initiative, an action that saved Avista customers money. Additionally, he was given the Ron Gjerde Award by the Association of Washington Business, which recognizes the state’s best lobbyist from the business industry.

Avista is involved in all aspects of energy production, distribution and transmission. Based in Spokane Wash., the utility provides coverage over 30,000 square miles and to a population of more than 1 million customers through operation of its eight hydroelectric facilities, contributing about 834 MW of installed capacity.

GEI Consultants employs three new engineers

Edward F. Neuhauser
Edward F. Neuhauser

GEI Consultants Inc., a geotechnical, environmental, water resources, ecological science and engineering firm, has expanded its project management team to include three new employees whose work relates to hydroelectricity, dams and water.

Senior Professional Edward F. Neuhauser, PhD, brings more than 35 years of experience in renewable energy, environmental research and development, and contamination project management to GEI. Dr. Neuhauser’s research areas include zebra mussel control at hydroelectric plants, wind power and biomass renewable energy. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Gas Research Institute. He completed both his Bachelors of Science and Doctorate at State University of New York.

Shaun A. Roark
Shaun A. Roark

Shaun A. Roark, PhD, contributes more than 20 years of experience in ecology and risk assessment. His work has involved risk assessments in a variety of locations, including floodplain soils and waterways. These assessments include site-specific data regarding soil and sediment in particular areas. Dr. Roark completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology at Wichita State University and attended Miami University for his doctorate degree in zoology.

Paul D. Thomas
Paul D. Thomas

GEI has also added Director of Energy Efficiency Projects Paul D. Thomas, who is responsible for managing energy efficiency programs in GEI’s Water-Energy Advisory Services program. Before joining GEI as a consultant, Thomas held leadership positions in energy efficiency at Southern California Edison. Thomas managed a variety of high-profile energy efficiency initiatives for SCE and represented the company as co-founder of the California Water and Energy Coalition and a member of its executive committee. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science from California State University in business administration.

Global Power Equipment Group appoints Ramirez president, CEO

Texas-based Global Power Equipment Group Inc. announces that Luis Manuel Ramirez is president and chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors. He assumed those roles July 1.

Ramirez joins Global Power after 12 years with GE, most recently as CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions. Before joining GE, Ramirez worked for more than a decade in technology, financial and business roles with Siemens.

David L. Keller, who has served as president and CEO of Global Power since September 2009, retired from the company June 30. Keller will serve as a consultant to assist in a smooth transition to Ramirez’s leadership.

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