The Department of Energy has chosen Bill Drummond to be the new administrator for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), one of the four Power Marketing Administrations the DOE oversees.
As BPA's administrator, Drummond will be responsible for managing the non-profit federal agency, which markets carbon-free power from Columbia River hydroelectric dams and operates the surrounding power grid, distributing wind, nuclear and other energy to the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Drummond's leadership of BPA is part of a larger strategy for each of the DOE's PMAs to help lead the 21st century transformation of our nation's electricity sector.
Reliable and affordable electricity is a foundation of economic growth and a resilient electric grid also helps to better protect our national security. Drummond currently serves as BPA's deputy administrator and has worked in the energy industry for over 30 years.
"The leadership of BPA is critically important because America's continued global competiveness in the 21st century will be significantly affected by whether we can efficiently produce and distribute electricity to businesses and consumers, seamlessly integrating new technologies and new sources of power," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "I look forward to working with Bill Drummond to help lead BPA's transition to a more flexible, resilient, and reliable electric grid and establish much greater coordination among system operators in partnership with its customers."
Drummond began serving as BPA's deputy administrator in October 2011, which included providing strategic leadership and executive management to the agency. In addition to his responsibilities as deputy, he oversaw the agency's general counsel, and compliance and governance, risk management, internal audit, public affairs, finance and corporate strategy functions.
Before joining BPA, Drummond was manager of the Western Montana Electric Generating and Transmission Cooperative in Missoula, Montana, for 17 years. From 1988 to 1994, he led the Public Power Council, an association of all Northwest publicly-owned utilities.
During his 30 years in the energy industry, Drummond has been a leader on many regional task forces and committees, including the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Northwest Wind Integration Forum and Northwest Energy Efficiency Task Force. Nationally, he has served on committees of the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Drummond holds degrees in forestry from the University of Montana and economics from the University of Arizona.
The Energy Department conducted a competitive process under the federal civil service rules to select a new BPA Administrator. BPA has annual revenues exceeding $3.2 billion, over 3,100 full-time employees, and employs about 1,500 contractors. Current BPA Administrator Steve Wright announced his plans to retire in June of last year, and Drummond will begin serving as administrator following Wright's retirement early next month.