California POU Leaders, Utilities Take Home National Honors
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Section: CMUA News

California public power had a strong showing in the American Public Power Association’s annual awards program in June, with two individuals and two utilities recognized for outstanding achievement.
SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard received APPA’s highest honor, the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award for exceptional leadership and dedication to public power.

Under Orchard’s leadership, SMUD has kept its electric rates among the lowest in California while ensuring high reliability for its customers and implementing a $7 billion integrated resources plan to dramatically reduce both SMUD’s and the region’s carbon footprint during the next 20 years.

A globally recognized leader and innovator in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric transportation, Orchard has worked in public power for more than three decades. He joined SMUD in 1990 and was named the utility’s CEO in 2014. Orchard plans to retire this year after his successor is named.

Bryan Cope, program development manager for the Southern California Public Power Authority, received the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award for significant contributions to public power.

With 35 years of experience in the electric utility industry, Cope has led the development of energy-efficiency programs in collaboration with all California public power utilities since 2006. He also has led SCPPA’s involvement in the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, which brings together 36 utilities to research transportation electrification along Interstate 5, from Canada to Mexico.

Cope serves on the California Electric Transportation Coalition Board on behalf of SCPPA members.

Pasadena Water and Power — which launched its transportation electrification initiative Power Up Pasadena in August 2018 — received APPA’s E.F. Scattergood Award for outstanding utility accomplishments.

This electric vehicle program has expanded to include several city departments and projects. Pasadena utility customers now have the highest percentage of EVs of any utility customer base in Southern California.

Glendale Water & Power received the Sue Kelly Community Service Award recognizing utilities for their “good neighbor” activities. The utility helped others in 2019 in a variety of ways through its DEVOTE program, which stands for Dedicated Employees Volunteering Our Time and Energy.

GWP’s community-focused projects were volunteering at a local homeless shelter, organizing and cleaning the Glendale Salvation Army’s food pantry and sponsoring a local afterschool program.

Award recipients were honored June 8-10 during APPA’s virtual summit.