Elliot Mainzer announces departure from BPA

Portland, Oregon – Elliot Mainzer, who has served as administrator and CEO of the Bonneville Power Administration for the past seven years, will leave the agency at the end of August.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve as BPA administrator and CEO, said Mainzer. “I would like to thank the U.S. Department of Energy, the BPA community, our customers, tribal, state and federal officials, members of the environmental community, and our other regional partners for collaborating with us to strengthen and modernize BPA and position the agency as an engine of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability for many years to come.”

“The department thanks Elliot for his dedicated service to BPA’s utility customers and the people of the Northwest,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The region has benefited from his expertise, leadership and commitment to collaboration during an incredibly transformational time.”

Mainzer was sworn in as the 15th administrator in BPA’s 83-year history on Feb. 20, 2014 after serving as acting administrator since July 2013. From day one, Mainzer prioritized taking care of the BPA workforce and building a healthier and stronger organizational culture, which he did by instituting safety as a core value and implementing a new executive structure, decision-making process and focusing on management excellence, diversity and inclusion. Under Mainzer’s leadership, BPA has achieved the strongest safety performance in the organization’s history.

Mainzer served as administrator during a period of significant industry change. In response, he led the development of BPA’s 2018-2023 strategic plan, which serves as a roadmap to sustain BPA’s financial strength, modernize BPA’s assets and system operations, provide competitive power products and services, and meet transmission customer needs efficiently and responsively. A central element of the strategic plan has been a focus on grid modernization and preparing BPA to adapt to evolving energy markets and new technologies. Mainzer also advanced new approaches to transmission planning and advocated for an enhanced regional resource adequacy program and a reinvigorated Northwest Power Pool.

Throughout his 18-year career at BPA, Mainzer focused on the opportunities and challenges of large-scale renewables integration and helped enable BPA to connect more than 5,000 MW of wind energy to its high-voltage transmission system.

In recent years, he has also worked to strengthen regional partnerships and understanding of shared interests within the Columbia River Basin on the complex issues associated with salmon recovery, hydroelectricity, tribal culture, navigation, irrigation, and rural economic development.

“Energy markets, technologies and public policies will continue to evolve at a rapid pace,” said Mainzer. “I am confident that with a continued focus on collaborative relationships, customer responsiveness, disciplined cost management and business agility, BPA will successfully address the market, technological and environmental challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Mainzer will continue to serve as administrator through Aug. 31. DOE will announce an acting administrator at a later date to ensure a smooth transition.

“I am profoundly grateful for the focus and dedication of the BPA workforce during my time as administrator and am proud of their many accomplishments,” added Mainzer. “As I move on to my next professional opportunity, I look forward to staying in touch with my colleagues in the Pacific Northwest as we work towards a prosperous clean energy future.”