Preserve Local Authority
Since April 2014, Sue Kelly has been president and CEO of the American Public Power Association - the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. Earlier, she was the senior vice president, policy analysis and general counsel. Under Kelly's leadership, the association has advocated on wholesale electric market issues, worked to strengthen cybersecurity awareness and resources for utilities and raised the profile of public power in Washington, D.C.
Since I became president and CEO of the American Public Power Association in 2014, I've traveled from coast to coast and to many points in between, visiting many of our two thousand public power communities.
Those who follow my travels on my blog know that I am intrigued by the differences and similarities among our member utilities. I've been from the wild Oregon coast to the cornhusker state and even to Alaska, the last frontier.
The diversity in public power underscores that a one-size-fits all approach to managing how they produce, manage and distribute electricity would not work. Public power utilities share underlying core values of local control and community ownership.
I've had the pleasure of visiting and learning about many innovative distributed energy and electric storage projects our members are involved in. In large measure, these projects have benefited from local communities being able to have a conversation about and decide what they want to do with their utilities and their resource portfolios. Here's just a sampling of what public power utilities have done:
Village of Minster, Ohio: In 2016, the small village of Minster, Ohio, brought a solar-plus-storage project online, with 4.2 megawatts of solar, seven megawatts of storage and four different revenue streams. The village utility was named Public Power Utility of the Year by the Smart Electric Power Alliance.