November 6, 2014
Changing Utility Industry Prompts Realignment of Resources
With the onset of energy markets, increased regulation, clean energy trends, and efforts to modernize the transmission grid, the utility industry is being challenged to keep up. According to Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) Administrator Chris Turner, Southwestern, too, has found itself responding to meet the challenges of a shifting business environment.
"Our people are our greatest asset," says Turner, "but with all the new rules and developments we needed to find a way to better focus our efforts to meet our customers' business needs while accomplishing our mission of marketing and delivering Federal hydropower."
Turner says the key to doing this was to realign what were essentially engineering and information technology functions so that they specifically address challenges in the industry.
"The big change, of course, was the creation of the Division of System Protection and Communications," he says. “We merged staff from the Division of Information Technology and the Division of Transmission Engineering and Planning and dedicated them solely to the protection of our transmission system and the communications of the agency. We felt that since these are the backbone of what we do at Southwestern, we’d better dedicate sufficient resources."
Turner says that in addition to naming Doug Johnson as Director of the new Division, two other Directors were named. "We're fortunate to have Danny Johnson and Carlos Valencia step up to take on the other maintenance and engineering functions. I think we're heading in the right direction on where we need to be in the future."