I am a candidate for Trustee of the Overton Power District because I want to serve the people of the District. I spent more than 45 years in an electrical engineering and management career working on defense systems at Hughes Aircraft Company, then during the Space Race at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Now I want to apply my Ph.D. in electrical engineering and professional skills towards making the OPD the best rural electric utility in Nevada. I will work to keep rates low, to improve reliability, to prepare for changes in the energy industry, and to engage the public in debate and decision making.
The Overton Power District serves Mesquite, Bunkerville, Overton, Logandale, Moapa and surrounding areas. I am running for Seat No. 7, which is the at-large seat that represents all of the residents of the District. I chose to run for this seat because I want to serve all ratepayers fairly and objectively, without bias towards one community. I believe that complete objectivity is best for OPD and for the ratepayers. I have no personal or business conflicts of interest.
I will work for OPD to better engage the public. I would like the Board meetings to have interactive discussions between the Trustees and the public on all important issues. This will enable the Trustees and management to better understand the needs and concerns of the ratepayers, and to benefit from their ideas and advice in reaching decisions. Collaboration between management and all levels of employees has been key throughout my aerospace career, and collaboration between OPD and the public can help OPD to be more responsive to its customers and provide better service. It would also improve the ratepayers perception of OPD.
The recent District-wide outage lasting approximately eight hours has brought attention to the need to improve reliability. The outage was caused by unusually extreme flash flooding which took out equipment owned and operated by NV Energy. Even though the failure was not in OPD’s equipment, OPD is responsible to its ratepayers to have high reliability of service. OPD should apply system engineering disciplines to identify possible failures that could result in long outages, to determine ways to eliminate the failures or mitigate their impacts, to estimate the costs of each and to set priorities. The public should be engaged in decisions when major costs would be incurred.
Besides reliable service, OPD customers expect and deserve low rates. I will put priority on reliability improvements that will reduce costs by preventing expensive failures. I will also work to review the rate structure to assure fairness to all customers.
OPD must keep abreast of trends and capabilities for renewable energy, especially solar, and should involve the public in open discussions of options, costs and risks. I have been studying renewable energy for several years, and am familiar with technologies and costs. I attended the National Clean Energy Summit in September to gain a better understanding of the political and regulatory issues. Rooftop solar electric systems are appearing on local homes, and are supported by OPD. At this time, use of solar energy on a large scale by the District is not practical. As a Trustee, I will help to guide and evaluate the studies necessary to determine if and when use of renewable energy is in the best interests of OPD customers.
If you are a voter in the Overton Power District, I am asking that you vote for me as your Trustee in the November election.