Thursday, December 17, 2015

Idaho Falls Power GM elected to chair UAMPS

Jackie Flowers
Jackie Flowers, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, was elected chairwoman of the board of directors of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems at the recent 2015 UAMPS member meeting in Salt Lake City. Flowers is the first woman to be elected to the UAMPS Board of Directors.

At Idaho Falls Power, Flowers manages 68 employees and a $70 million budget. In addition to providing electric service, the utility owns and maintains four hydropower plants, maintains nearly 450 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and manages the city’s dark fiberoptic network.

Flowers came to Idaho Falls from Sheridan, Wyo. She is a registered professional engineer with a background in civil engineering and more than 20 years of experience. She has served on the UAMPS board for a number of years, recently as chairwoman of two key committees – the Horse Butte Wind Project Committee and the Carbon Free Power Project Committee.

Mike Lehto
The Horse Butte project, located 16 miles east of Idaho Falls, consists of 32 wind turbines generating 57.6 megawatts of electricity. The Carbon Free Power Project committee is investigating the viability of developing a small modular nuclear reactor project, possibly on the Department of Energy’s Idaho site west of Idaho Falls.

Also at the UAMPS meeting, Mike Lehto, president of the Idaho Falls City Council, was honored as Champion of Public Power. The award is given to someone from one of UAMPS’ 45 communities who has provided exceptional service to municipal public power.

Lehto was unable to attend the meeting, and Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper accepted the award on his behalf. He has served as the council's liaison to the Idaho Falls Power for 15 years. During the West Coast energy crisis of 2002, Lehto was led the city’s effort to establish and maintain a strong risk management policy and healthy rate stabilization fund.

He was nominated to the American Public Power Association’s Policy Maker Council in 2005. He was awarded the Spencer Vanderlinden Public Official Award in 2011.

Lehto did not run for re-election this fall and will be stepping down from the City Council in January.

UAMPS is a joint action agency providing wholesale electricity and electric energy services to 45 public power utility members in eight Western states. Established in 1980, it helps its members with planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various projects for the generation, supply, transmission and management of electric energy.