A day after announcing the hiring of Arkansas Public Service Commissioner Kim O’Guinn as its director of state regulatory policy, Southwest Power Pool of Little Rock revealed the promotions of two seasoned executives to leadership positions, including one role that’s new.
SPP, a regional transmission organization managing the electric grid and electricity markets in a 17-state footprint of the Midwest and mountain west, announced in a Wednesday news release that Antoine Lucas and David Kelley will start the new year with new titles at the not-for-profit company.
Lucas, previously SPP’s vice president of engineering, will become vice president of markets, a new position. Kelley, previously the company’s director of seams and tariff services, will succeed him as vice president of engineering.
In his new post, Lucas will oversee development, design and provisioning of all SPP market-based services, working with stakeholders to ensure efficient and reliable wholesale electricity markets under the grid overseer’s Open Access Transmission Tariff. He will also be developing other value-added services, the company news release said.
Senior Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew will continue to lead real-time operations, operational planning and analysis, as well as reliability coordination efforts. Rew will continue to oversee the expansion of SPP’s footprint, including RTO West, the nonprofit’s expansion in the Western Interconnection of the U.S. power transmission system.
“These changes allow SPP to continue to focus on the reliable operation of the bulk electric system while managing its ever-growing markets,” the release said, including the day-ahead wholesale integrated marketplace it has administered in the Eastern Interconnection since 2014, “and in the Western Interconnection its Western Energy Imbalance Services market that launched in February 2021.” In addition, the changes will focus on Markets+, a suite of market-related services being designed in collaboration with western utilities.
“I look forward to taking on this new role,” Lucas said in the release. “I’m excited to partner with our great staff and stakeholders to build from the current success of SPP’s markets and meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.”
As vice president of engineering, Kelley will lead continuing development of SPP’s transmission expansion, administer generator interconnection and transmission service studies and oversee regional resource adequacy policies and performance-of-engineering studies.
“I am incredibly excited to lead the talented, hard-working staff of SPP’s engineering organization and to continue serving our stakeholders in support of SPP’s mission,” Kelley said in the release. “Our industry is ripe for innovation on so many fronts, and SPP is well positioned to deliver a brighter future for our region.”
Kelley has more than 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry, having served the last 14 years in leadership roles at SPP. He also serves on the board of directors of the Division of Science and Technology of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Kelley has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University, an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Arkansas.
Lucas has almost nine years of experience at SPP, and before becoming VP of engineering in 2020, he was the company’s director of planning. He also has an engineering degree from Louisiana Tech and an MBA from UA-Little Rock.