Georgia’s Oglethorpe Power names new president

Oglethorpe Power Corporation’s board of directors has unanimously appointed Michael L. Smith as its new president and CEO, the power supply cooperative and hydropower project operator has announced.

Prior to his selection by Oglethorpe Power, Smith has spent more than 30 years in the energy industry with experience in finance, risk control and operations.

Smith most recently served as president and CEO of Georgia Transmission Corporation, which grew in assets from US$1.4 billion to $2 billion and set records for improved reliability and service since his appointment in 2005.

“We were impressed by Mike’s work experience, industry knowledge and leadership capabilities, and are confident in his ability to continue to move Oglethorpe forward in order to meet the energy needs of our members,” board of directors chairman Benny Denham said.

Oglethorpe is one of the nation’s largest power supply co-ops, with more than $8 billion in hydroelectric, coal, natural gas and nuclear assets that combine to provide energy to more than four million Georgia consumers in 38 member systems.

The company received a $24 million federal Clean Renewable Energy Bond in 2008 to help it upgrade its 1,095-MW Rocky Mountain pumped-storage hydropower plant, which is located near Rome, Ga.

Michael Smith takes over for the outgoing Tom Smith, whose tenure will end November 6.

“I sincerely appreciate the strong organization that Tom developed and look forward to continue to serve Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives in this new capacity,” Michael said. “I look forward to the challenge and opportunity to provide our members with reliable and cost-effective electric service.”

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