Paula Gold-Williams is the CEO of CPS Energy.
It isn't just Public Utilities Fortnightly that reaches out to Paula Gold-Williams for her views on everything from leadership in the utilities industry to addressing the growing demands of utility customers to building an innovative culture in a large workforce.
You might have seen, for example, the recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Why Are There Still So Few Black CEOs?" that discussed the experiences and accomplished careers of a few senior leaders including Paula. Here, the PUF team sat down with her, in this instance to hear about innovation San Antonio style, at CPS Energy.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Why is innovation important at CPS Energy?
Paula Gold-Williams: I've talked to our organization about innovation a lot. We're already in an energy evolution. It's been in process for a long time. I've been at CPS Energy for sixteen years. When I came in, our service was good. We have a diversified portfolio. We would build capacity and understand that the community would grow into it.
I learned the ABCs of the industry. That said, we had been in wind for years; now we've been in wind for twenty years. At the time people said, solar is never going to take off. People would say it's too expensive, it's intermittent, you can't integrate it in the grid, all these things. However, people kept investing, and we kept thinking, how do we improve it?