Paul Lambert Nominated to Chair National UTC Board

Paul Lambert Nominated to Chair National UTC Board

In June, energy and water utility representatives across the U.S. nominated a new slate of officers to lead the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), effective through June 2022. During UTC’s June 21 Board of Directors meeting, UTC board members nominated Paul Lambert of East River Electric Power Cooperative as its new Chairman, Dewey Day of Pacific Gas & Electric as Vice Chair, and Kirt Mayson of NorthWestern Energy as Secretary/Treasurer. If confirmed by UTC’s membership in August, each will serve in these capacities until UTC’s June 2022 Telecom & Technology Annual Conference.

“Telecom and technology play an ever-increasing role in the quantity and quality of services provided to the end consumers of the utility industry,” said Lambert. “UTC is uniquely positioned to help ensure the safe and reliable delivery of critical services. I want to thank East River for their dedicated support of these efforts over the years and especially going forward during my tenure as Chairman of the Board. I am looking forward to continuing the mission of the UTC.”

UTC is the global association at the nexus of the energy, utility and telecommunications industries. Representing energy and water providers of all sizes and ownership structures, UTC advocates for the information and communications technology (ICT) needed for the safe and reliable delivery of these vital services. The new officers have assumed their roles on an acting basis their nominations are subject to confirmation during the Aug. 22-27 UTC Annual Telecom & Technology Meeting.

“Congratulations to Acting Chair Lambert, Acting Vice Chair Day, and Acting Secretary/Treasurer Mayson,” said UTC President and CEO Sheryl Osiene-Riggs. “Once again, the UTC Board of Directors has nominated a slate of leaders who will continue to push us forward. Acting Chair Lambert has been involved with UTC for decades and I am excited about the next year and beyond. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank and salute Immediate Past Chair Angst. I am so thankful for his leadership and support.”

Lambert is a supervisor in the Telecommunications Department at East River Electric Power Cooperative in Madison, S.D., where his direct responsibilities are mobile trunked radio, SCADA, load management, multiple wireless systems and their associated antenna systems, and standby generator backups. He has worked in the utility telecommunications field for more than four decades. He is a graduate of Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, S.D., with a degree in Electronics/Communications. He holds a First Class Federal Communications Commission Operators License and is a certified tower climber. Chairman Lambert previously served on the Advisory Board for the electronics program at LATI and served on the Lake County 911 Communications committee.

Chairman Lambert has been an active participant in UTC’s Region 5 for many years and is a past officer and Chairman. He currently serves on the International Board of Directors for the Knights of Columbus. He and his wife Julie are the parents of four adult children and have five grandchildren.

East River Electric Power Cooperative Now Supplying Region with 40 Percent Carbon-Free Energy

East River Electric Power Cooperative Now Supplying Region with 40 Percent Carbon-Free Energy

East River Electric Power Cooperative, which provides power to 24 electric distribution systems and one municipal electric system in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota, is now supplying the region’s electric cooperative consumers with more than 40 percent carbon-free energy. In 2020, more than 25 percent of East River’s power supply came from wind and more than 17 percent came from hydropower from the dams on the Missouri River. An additional two percent came from carbon-free sources including recovered energy technology and nuclear energy.

As a generation and transmission cooperative, East River receives its power supply from Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Western Area Power Administration. East River owns and operates over 3,000 miles of transmission lines and 250 substations across South Dakota and Minnesota that safely and reliably deliver low-cost wholesale power to member distribution systems which, in turn, deliver power to homes and businesses in the region.

“Over the past few decades, our cooperative family has been adding renewables to our generation mix using a realistic and fiscally responsible approach,” said East River Electric General Manager Tom Boyko. “If you look back about 10 years ago, just 8 percent of our power supply came from wind. Even more, the percentage of coal in our power supply has dropped 17 percent in the past decade, now making up only about 45 percent. This is a proven, realistic and fiscally-responsible approach of adding renewable energy to our generation mix.”

The trend of increasing renewables is set to continue, with solar energy being added to East River’s generation mix through two new solar projects that were recently announced by Basin Electric. In Feb. 2020, Geronimo Energy, a National Grid company, and Basin Electric announced the execution of a Power Purchase Agreement for the Wild Springs Solar Project, a 128 megawatt (MW) solar energy project that is being constructed near New Underwood, S.D., and is projected to be operational by 2022. Once operational, Wild Springs will be the largest solar project in South Dakota. In June 2020, Basin Electric announced its second solar energy project—the Cabin Creek Solar Project with Clēnera Renewable Energy. When complete, Cabin Creek will consist of two, 75 MW projects in southeastern Montana.

“Our cooperative network is always looking to ensure we have a mix of power resources to meet the needs of our membership and renewable energy is an important part of that strategy,” said Boyko. “These solar projects are important strategic steps as we look to the future in continuing our strong history of providing safe, affordable and reliable power.”