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Steve Wright

General Manager, Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County

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Member since: 2021

Steve was named General Manager of Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County (Chelan PUD) by the Board of Commissioners in September 2013. He is a member of the Boards of the American Public Power Association and the Alliance to Save Energy, on the Steering Committee for the Large Public Power Council (25 largest public power utilities in the country) and Chair of the Public Generating Pool (public power generators in Washington and Oregon).

He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master’s degree in public administration. Steve began his professional career at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in the energy conservation division in 1981. He held a number of positions within BPA, the last 12 years as Administrator/CEO. BPA provides roughly one-third the electricity and 70% of the high voltage transmission in the Pacific Northwest. At BPA he was in charge during the west coast energy crisis and the resulting financial recovery, completed a 10-year agreement for salmon restoration in the Columbia River basin, oversaw substantial increases in energy efficiency investments, established new transmission expansion and integration strategies to support wind power development, and new 20-year power sales contract for all of BPA’s supply.

As General Manager, Steve has led the development of two community based Strategic Plans with the most recent plan finalized in October 2019. Steve is committed to an open dialogue with customers, employees, and the PUD’s many business partners about the priorities of the PUD and continuing to ensure low rates and reliable service consistent with a financially stable public power utility. In 2020 survey 86% of customers indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with their Chelan PUD service. Chelan PUD has taken a leadership role to identify a least cost path for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the Pacific Northwest electric sector. Chelan PUD and the National Hydropower Association have coauthored an agenda for public policy actions to reinvigorate the hydropower industry.