Saving money, saving time, reducing environmental impact? See how Tim Thompson helps BPA achieve its mission while reducing costs and modernizing BPA’s fleet to include electric vehicles.


“It’s been exciting to learn about the role electric vehicles can play in BPA’s future. Also, it’s exciting to see the other power marketing administrations and BPA come together to discuss and strategize on how to plan and adopt ideas around electrifying our respective fleets.”

Tim Thompson, BPA Fleet Manager
How would you explain your job to your neighbor, so they not only understand what you do but what BPA does and its role in our region?
I oversee BPA’s Fleet Management program, ensuring we procure and maintain motor vehicles and heavy mobile equipment for all BPA. Our fleet assets range from passenger vehicles to heavy duty trucks, line worker trucks and heavy mobile equipment. It’s also made up of both BPA-owned and government-leased fleet assets. 

How does your work support BPA’s mission and strategy?
I focus on helping BPA meet our mission of providing reliable, clean energy by ensuring we have the appropriate fleet to get to and maintain the agency’s transmission infrastructure across its service territory.
We have 15 fleet garages, one in each district, to provide motor vehicle and equipment maintenance as well as emergency support. In addition, I work to ensure Fleet stays on top of handling equipment requests, provides program support for various fleet-related activities, and aquires and supports electric vehicles. 

How does your work help BPA keep rates low, stick to budget, reduce debt or generate revenue?
I am leading Fleet in adopting new asset management practices to make sure we are making the right fleet asset investments that will save BPA and ratepayers money as well as reduce our impact on the environment. These practices includes upgrading our enterprise and capital asset management systems to allow us to make informed business decisions when purchasing new assets; lowering asset maintenance cost; and procuring parts through economy of scale.

For instance, I am encouraging the practice of replacing aging fleet assets as soon as possible to reduce inflated maintenance costs consistent with older equipment and reassigning assets from low use areas to high need areas to reduce the need to purchase additional assets. These two practices support the agency’s asset management goals as well as Fleet’s goal of increasing our assets’ availability. 

A new or technical aspect of my job that I enjoy is: 
Executive Order 14057 sets requirements for federal agencies to reduce their impact on the environment and climate change, so a new aspect of my job that I enjoy learning about is the rollout of electric vehicles and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. It’s been exciting to learn about the role electric vehicles can play in BPA’s future. Also, it’s exciting to see the other power marketing administrations and BPA come together to discuss and strategize on how to plan and adopt ideas around electrifying our respective fleets. It has been a team effort where we rely on input and feedback from various BPA organizations so that we truly make decisions that will benefit all of BPA. 

The coolest or most surprising thing about my job is:
The coolest and best part of my job is the people I work with. Fleet has an outstanding cast of “can-do” people that make things happen on a regular basis. Not only can I rely on my team, but I know I have their support in improving the Fleet Management program to better serve our customers. I’ve been able to witness this team’s dedication, from continuing to build Fleet’s relationship with Transmission to revising our business practices to be more efficient. The growth I have seen with our program has been an honor to lead and witness. 

I like working at BPA because:
Not to sound redundant, but the people at BPA are really the best thing about working here. So many of us are committed to BPA’s mission and doing the right thing. It is hard to put into words the value of a person who is committed to doing the right thing, who supports our mission and cares about the needs of our customers. Also, knowing that BPA plays a major role in keeping the power on in the region makes me feel lucky to be part of such a big responsibility. 

Safety is a core value at BPA. How do you incorporate safe behavior into your practices?
As the Fleet Manager, I have a major responsibility of ensuring safety guidelines are adhered to throughout all of our fleet garages. The heavy mobile equipment mechanics have a highly dangerous job, so I am diligent in making sure they receive the proper training, knowledge and support to perform their job safely. I also hold regular safety meetings with the Fleet staff to allow people to share safety tips, lessons learned and express any safety concerns they may have.

My most memorable story while working at BPA is:
I spent time in Puerto Rico supporting the Hurricane Maria cleanup and rebuild effort when BPA sent a team to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I had the chance to get to know the people who call Puerto Rico home and the other federal employees from different agencies who were also there to help. It was a humbling and rewarding experience to rebuild certain parts of Puerto Rico’s power grid. The best part was getting to celebrate the mini victories with the locals and federal employees. Spending four months in Puerto Rico was probably one of the most stressful and exhausting time periods of my BPA career, but it was definitely one of the most memorable and rewarding opportunities.

Tell us about your notable accomplishments, past jobs, awards, published work, etc.
My most noteworthy accomplishments are bringing groups together and helping create a better, more-efficient workgroup. As I’ve already shared, I really enjoy working with the people at BPA. I enjoy creating and strengthening relationships. That has been a real focus of mine in my 22 years at the agency. 

I am a proud recipient of several workgroup awards. I was named the Skilled Trade and Craft Person of the Year when I worked under the Transmission organization. I’ve been recognized with the Administrator’s Excellence Award for safety as part of a group award for hosting an exceptional safety meeting. I also received the Secretary of Energy Accomplishment award for my time spent in Puerto Rico.

My favorite thing about working and living in the Northwest is:
I love the mountains, trees and everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I grew up here for most of my life with a short time spent in Alaska and the south when I was in the military. Clean air, clean water and the ability to get out of town to the beach or mountains are a real plus to living here. We are also lucky to be able to travel east of the Cascade Range for a drier and sunnier climate to escape from the rain.

Two things I can’t live without are:
My wife and my family are the two most important things to me. Thankfully, I work at a place that puts a high priority on work-life balance. I am very lucky to be able to work in a job that allows me the flexibility to spend and devote time to my family as needed. 

I am inspired by (people or places):
I have had several really great relationships with my bosses and co-workers over the years. I’ve been able to play golf with some, even though I am terrible at golf. But it’s really about the relationships I get to build along the way. 

I’m grateful to work with so many great people that have shaped me into the person I am today. It’s always a blessing to be surrounded by people who are willing to lend a hand in your personal and professional development.

Where did you go to school? What did you study? What attracted you to that/those subject(s)?
I graduated from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business. 

Did you serve in the U.S Armed Forces? If so, what branch and what did you do?
I was in the Army as an infantryman, 11B, in the early 1990s as part of the 101st Airborne. 

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