The Bonneville Power Administration has announced the selection of John Lahti as its vice president of Transmission Field Services.
Lahti will lead roughly one-third of BPA’s workforce responsible for field operations, emergency response, and construction and maintenance of BPA’s 15,200 circuit miles of transmission lines in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
“John is the right person at the right time to lead this vital component of BPA’s Transmission Services organization,” said BPA Chief Operating Officer John Hairston. “Transmission plays a critical role in the value that BPA provides to the region. John has shown himself to be highly effective in leading groups that are dedicated to preserving and expanding the availability of that transmission and doing so in a cost-effective manner.”
As manager of Construction and Maintenance Services, Lahti led a complex and sensitive reorganization in 2018 to create a more effective and streamlined process, assuring execution of the agency’s Transmission Services capital program on time and within budget. The plan consolidated build resources from across multiple work groups into a single organization in a span of six months, which resulted in greater resource visibility and project execution transparency. During his five-year tenure in Construction and Maintenance Services, Lahti managed an annual budget of more than $47 million and a multidisciplinary team of more than 220 professional, skilled crafts and trade employees.
“The bottom line is John Lahti delivers results and – just as important to me – he delivers those results safely,” said Richard Shaheen, the senior vice president for Transmission Services. “He played a critical role in partnering with our Safety organization to reduce recordable injuries and other key indicators of safety and human performance.”
“I look forward to this new challenge at BPA, working with a multitude of employees and across disciplines toward a common goal of preserving and enhancing the value of our transmission system and keeping the lights on in the Northwest,” Lahti said.
Lahti’s career has included many facets of transmission, including front line worker, resource management, strategic organization and planning, and incident response and system restoration.
“John has covered our field services organization from soup to nuts in his nearly three decades at BPA,” Shaheen said. “His experience, leadership, and operational excellence make him the perfect choice for leading this vital component of Transmission Services as we seek to drive greater value to our customers and the region.”
His journey at BPA began as an electronics engineer in July 1992. He quickly rose to management levels, first as a Power System Control district manager in The Dalles and then as a deputy regional manager out of Idaho Falls. Lahti returned to PSC to supervise the program across BPA’s service territory before becoming manager for Commissioning and Testing. Lahti served as acting vice president for Engineering and Technical Services and temporarily served as a Transmission Business Strategist before landing in his current role as manager of Construction and Maintenance Services.
Lahti earned a bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1992. He holds certification from the Institute of Asset Management and a Utility Executive Certificate from the University of Idaho. Lahti is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Lahti begins his new role on Aug. 2.