September 27, 2012
Turner Named Southwestern Administrator
Christopher Turner has been named as the new Administrator of the Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) in Tulsa, OK, effective July 29, 2012. Mr. Turner brings to Southwestern 30 years' experience in the electric utility industry, including various leadership positions involving transmission and distribution construction, energy trading, bulk power operations, resource planning, and compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) standards.
Mr. Turner began his career as a Test Engineer with Georgia Power after graduating from The Citadel in 1982 with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. Over the next 17 years with Georgia Power, he held several progressive positions, including Transmission Planning Engineer, Transmission Control Center Supervisor, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems Supervisor. While with Georgia Power, Mr. Turner attained his Master's degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University and his Professional Engineer's license.
In 2000, Mr. Turner joined Southern Company Engineering Marketing (later Mirant), a wholesale generating company, where he worked as Manager of Real Time Trading and Asset Optimization for the Western United States Region, running the real time trading organization and dispatching and optimizing the output of 15 generating plants.
After leaving Mirant in 2003, Mr. Turner took the position of Director of Resource Planning at PacifiCorp, a private utility serving customers in the western United States. In this role, he provided leadership and direction in planning and identifying major transmission and generation asset additions or commercial resource alternatives for long-term resource adequacy in PacifiCorp's six-state territory.
Mr. Turner stayed in the western area of the country with his move in 2006 to Seattle City Light, a municipal utility serving the citizens of Seattle and surrounding areas. Here, he acted as Director of System Operations and NERC Compliance, and his duties included not only oversight of dispatch functions and optimization of Seattle City Light's generation and transmission systems, but also formation of the company's NERC compliance group, which required him to represent the company's interests as a member of NERC's Standards Committee and in national and regional forums such as the Northwest Power Pool, the American Public Power Association, the Large Public Power Council, and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.
In 2008, Mr. Turner moved to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a private utility serving customers in northern and central California. As Director of Electric Operations at PG&E, he led a team responsible for all transmission and distribution control center operations for the southern half of PG&E's system. Later, he led operations at the distribution control center for all of PG&E's 5.3 million customers. Additional duties for Mr. Turner in this position included oversight of the vegetation management group, where he was responsible for safe operation of the system and ensuring compliance with all applicable NERC, California Public Utilities Commission, and California Independent System Operator standards, procedures, and regulations.
When asked how he sees himself leading Southwestern in its mission to market and reliably deliver Federal hydropower, Turner says, "I look forward to working at Southwestern and hope to use my industry knowledge to the agency's advantage in this ever-changing environment we face today in the electric utility industry. There are some definite challenges ahead, but lots of opportunity too, and I am ready to get to work."
September 27, 2012 Press Release - Turner Named Southwestern Administrator