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Kimberly O’Guinn Leaving PSC to Join Southwest Power Pool

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Kimberly A. O’Guinn, a member of the Arkansas Public Service Commission since 2016, is leaving the state utility regulatory body to join Southwest Power Pool of Arkansas next month as its director of state regulatory policy, the regional power transmission organization announced Tuesday.

O’Guinn is the second of the panel’s three commissioners to depart the panel in the last four months. Commission Chair Ted Thomas stepped down at the beginning of October after eight years on the commission and has since established a consultancy based in Conway. He was succeeded by Hutchinson appointee Katie Anderson.

O’Guinn, who was named to the commission by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in November 2016, saw her primary responsibility at the PSC as ensuring that the state’s utilities “provide safe, adequate and reliable service at just and reasonable rates.

At SPP, she will oversee regulatory policy work and support the not-for-profit company’s efforts and interact with “a wide variety of stakeholder” organizations, SPP said in a news release. Her last day on the commission will be Jan. 7, a spokesman for SPP told Arkansas Business.

“SPP is thrilled to welcome Kim to our team,” Paul Suskie, the grid manager’s executive vice president of regulatory policy, said in the release. “As a former president of the Regional State Committee (RSC), Kim is very familiar with SPP, and her experience as a nationally respected commissioner is a great asset to the organization.” The RSC, which plays a role in Southwest Power Pool’s governance, is made up of utility regulators from states across its geographical footprint.

SPP manages the power grid across 17 central and western states and provides energy services as a contractor to utilities and other customers in the U.S. power system’s Eastern and Western Interconnections.

O’Guinn specialty is environmental engineering, and the University of Oklahoma graduate has more than 20 years of regulatory experience in the utility sector.

O’Guinn said in a statement that she’s proud to join SPP, and had enjoyed working with the company as a regulator. “My career has been dedicated to regulatory issues, which provided me an opportunity to work with SPP and its stakeholders during my tenure at the PSC. I look forward to working with an amazing team of people.”

Before joining the PSC, O’Guinn spent years at Arkansas government agencies, serving as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s director of communications and as a permit engineer at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Air.

She was a leader with the Entergy Regional State Committee, the Organization of MISO States, SPP’s RSC, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council, Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, the American Association of Blacks in Energy and Arkansas Women in Power.

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