In addition to receiving the administrator’s coin, APPA CEO Sue Kelly met with BPA executives to share her thoughts on the public power industry. “It was an incredible opportunity to hear from a titan in our industry,” said Administrator Elliot Mainzer on her visit.
In late October, Administrator Elliot Mainzer presented Sue Kelly, departing Chief Executive Officer of the American Public Power Association, with an administrator's coin for her leadership on public power policy issues and vision on challenges facing public power and the energy industry. Mainzer invited Kelly, who plans to retire at the end of the year, to meet with Bonneville Power Administration's executive team and share her thoughts and vision on policies, strategies and risks in public power. Reflecting on the hurdles facing the greater public power community, Kelly urged BPA to set its own narrative on the benefits of hydropower and the agency's role in meeting the clean energy needs of the Northwest.“While some may not realize it now, hydropower is and will continue to be a cornerstone of a clean, affordable and reliable grid," said Kelly. “Hydropower is a top-notch renewable resource, and I believe that markets will move – and are moving – toward valuing it appropriately."As a federal nonprofit power marketer and transmission operator, BPA and its mission to provide low-cost, dependable power to its consumers aligns with APPA's advocacy efforts to support the availability of affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible power. “The APPA works to educate policy makers and the public on the values public power provides, including reliable, low-cost electricity service with the communities they serve as their first priority," said Sonya Baskerville, National Relations manager in BPA's Washington, D.C. office. According to the APPA's website, public power utilities provide power to 49 million Americans across 49 states and five U.S. territories. On average, when compared with homes serviced by private utilities, homes serviced by public power utilities pay $15 less for electricity per month and experience being without power for only 74 minutes a year, half the amount of time of private utility customers. As the CEO and president of the APPA for the last five years, Kelly has specifically advocated for and protected BPA's interests. “She has avidly worked to protect BPA's separate and distinct authorized structure so we can continue to maximize our business efficiency," said Baskerville. “She has also worked to assure BPA and its assets stay within federal ownership for the benefit of the Pacific Northwest economy, and she has been a valuable adviser to BPA on its participation in wholesale markets." Kelly began working in the energy sector 35 years ago as an energy lawyer and has championed public power for over 20 years. She will officially retire from her position on Dec. 31.