WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Energy Department has chosen Bill Drummond to be the new administrator for the Bonneville Power Administration. As BPA’s administrator, Drummond will be responsible for managing the nonprofit federal agency, which markets carbon-free power from Columbia River hydroelectric dams and the region’s one nuclear plant.
BPA also operates most of the surrounding power grid, distributing wind and other energy to the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
“Bonneville represents the best expression of public vision and achievement; collaborative relationships, environmental steward-ship and a commitment to operational excellence,” said Drummond. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to my new role at BPA.”
Drummond’s leadership of BPA is part of a larger strategy to help lead the 21st century transformation of the nation’s electricity sector. According to the BPA press release on Drummond, “reliable and affordable electricity is a foundation of economic growth and a resilient electric grid also helps to better protect our national security.”
Drummond currently serves as BPA’s deputy administrator and has worked in the energy industry for more than 30 years.
“The leadership of BPA is critically important because America’s continued global competitiveness in the 21st century will be significantly affected by whether we can efficiently produce and distribute electricity to businesses and consumers, seamlessly integrating new technologies and new sources of power,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Chu went on to say, “I look forward to working with Bill Drummond to help lead BPA’s transition to a more flexible, resilient, and reliable electric grid and establish much greater coordination among system operators in partnership with its customers.”
“Drummond has had a stellar track record during his time at BPA and throughout his career in the energy sector,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “I am fully confident in his ability to provide the highest level of leadership and service to BPA’s customers, constituents, and employees.”
Drummond holds dual degrees; one in forestry from the University of Montana and one in economics from the University of Arizona. He began serving as BPA’s deputy administrator in October 2011, and his duties included providing strategic leadership and executive management to the agency.
In addition to his responsibilities as deputy, he oversaw the agency’s general counsel, and the departments of compliance and governance, risk management, internal audit, public affairs, finance, and corporate strategy functions.
Before joining BPA, Drummond was manager of the Western Montana Electric Generating and Transmission Cooperative in Missoula, Mont., for 17 years. From 1988 to 1994, he led the Public Power Council, an association of all Northwest publicly owned utilities.
During his 30 years in the energy industry, Drummond has been a leader on many regional task forces and committees, including the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Northwest Wind Integration Forum and Northwest Energy Efficiency Task Force.
Nationally, he has served on committees of the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Current BPA Administrator Steve Wright announced his plans to retire in June of last year, and Drummond will begin serving as administrator following Wright’s retirement.
“I also want to thank Steve Wright for his outstanding leadership of BPA and congratulate him for his achievements over the past 12 years in which he has served as administrator,” said Poneman.
The Energy Department conducted a competitive process under the federal civil service rules to select a new BPA administrator. BPA has annual revenues exceeding $3.2 billion, more than 3,100 full-time employees, and employs approximately 1,500 contractors.