Companies in U.S., Finland, Canada announce personnel changes

Over the past week, several companies have announced changes to their personnel. Below is more information on these announcements:

In the U.S., Pacific Gas and Electric Company has appointed Jon Franke vice president, power generation, effective Nov. 1.

In this position, he will lead PG&E’s power generation organization, with responsibility for the continued safe and reliable operation of the company’s natural gas, hydroelectric and renewable power plant fleet. He also will “continue to lead utility functions related to power plant decommissioning,” according to a press release.

Nick Stavoropoulos, president and chief operating office of PG&E, called Franke an experienced leader with a proven track record of success.

Franke previously was vice president, generation technical services. He joined PG&E in January 2017, bringing with him more than 30 years of nuclear and energy industry experience with the U.S. Navy, Carolina Power and Light, Progress Energy, Duke Energy, PPL Corporation and Talen Energy.

PG&E’s hydroelectric system is built along 16 river basins, uses water from more than 100 reservoirs, has 67 powerhouses, and provides a capacity of about 3,900 MW.

In Finland, Fortum announced that Deputy Chief Executive Officer Matti Ruotsala would retire as planned on Oct. 31.

Ruotsala has been with Fortum since 2007 and held several positions, including executive vice president of the power division and chief operating officer. He was named deputy CEO in 2016.

“On behalf of myself and the whole [of] Fortum, I would like to thank Matti for his excellent work,” said Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO. “Matti has had an important role in developing our power generation business and … Fortum to the successful clean energy company we are today.”

Fortum is divided into four business divisions, and the generation division is responsible for the large-scale power production, physical optimization and trading activities in the Nordic area. Hydropower accounts for more than a third of Fortum’s annual power generation, according to the website, and a long-term refurbishment program will add 100 MW of hydropower by 2020.

And in Canada, Robert Woolgar, P.Eng., has joined Stantec as senior hydropower engineer in the waterpower and dams sector in eastern Canada.

Woolgar brings more than 21 years of experience, including river management, ice dynamics, dam safety, energy planning and hydraulic studies, according to a press release.

“Our clients want to work with consultants who have hands-on experience in planning and executing projects, and Robert’s new position in St. John’s will allow us to meet those requirements,” said David Rupay, Stantec’s WaterPower and Dams business sector lead for Canada.

Previously, Woolgar worked as project delivery manager for Atlantic Canada and renewable power business unit manager for Newfoundland and Labrador. His most recent position was as deputy project manager on the 824-MW Muskrat Falls Generation Project on the Churchill River in Labrador, Canada.

Stantec acquired MWH in May 2016 and provides feasibility studies, detailed design, and construction management for waterpower and dams, as well as many other services.

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