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Home | Tag Archives: el paso electric

Tag Archives: el paso electric

El Paso Electric launches Electric Vehicle Community Initiative

Wednesday afternoon, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) officially launched the region’s first utility-led EV Community.

EPE officials say this is the latest initiative by the utility that serves to educate and reward the growing number of customers who are choosing to drive electric vehicles (EVs) and help protect the environment.

“As the demand for EVs continues to grow, we are committed to doing our part in connecting our customers to useful resources and information on EVs and how this is a viable transportation option for families and commuters,” EPE Vice President of Customer and Community Engagement Eddie Gutierrez shared.

“As EVs continue to evolve, the creation of EPE’s EV Community will serve as a useful tool for our customers to stay connected with EV trends and be the first to learn about future programs and incentives.”

EPE customers who drive an EV are invited to join the EV Community. To join the EV Community, drivers must reside in EPE’s service territory and own or lease a battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.

As members of this community, drivers will receive exclusive perks and access to content that is curated by EV enthusiasts such as exclusive insights, special newsletters, and will be invited to take part in virtual events – all for free.

EPE’s EV website was the region’s first website to offer an information hub to the public such as explanations on EVs, where drivers can charge their EV in the far West Texas and South New Mexico regions, and incentives vehicle shoppers can take advantage of in both Texas and New Mexico.

EPE’s EV Community can be accessed through EPE’s EV website, by clicking here.

Plaza Classic Film Festival goes online starting Wednesday

The online edition of the El Paso Community Foundation’s 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival goes live Wednesday, August 5.

Due the pandemic, this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival is a hybrid of 14 digitally streamed films and 11 nightly pop-up drive-in movie programs, both of which run through August 9. For more information, click here.

The streaming edition includes digitally streamed movies such as 1984’s Amadeus (with an exclusive interview with El Paso’s F. Murray Abraham), El Paso pop star Khalid’s Free Spirit, and the annual Local Flavor filmmaker showcase.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival Online opens with the iconic 1980 documentary The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter at 1 p.m. August 5, and concludes at 2 p.m. August 9 with Amadeus, preceded by a Zoom Q&A with Abraham, who won the Academy Award for his performance.

Free Spirit, a companion piece to Khalid’s album of the same name, streams at 7:30 p.m. August 5.

This year’s virtual festival features seven documentaries, including Paul Espinosa’s Singing Our Way to Freedom, an engaging look at Chicano musician and activist Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez; Peter Miller’s Projections of America, about the idealistic American propaganda films supervised by screenwriter Robert Riskin; and Witness at Tornillo, Shane Franklin’s chronicle of one man’s effort to shut down a camp for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas.

The annual Local Flavor showcase highlights new local and locally connected films in two shorts programs, Local Flavor I and Local Flavor II, curated by filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee.

The third Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by El Paso Electric, will feature the announcement and encore screenings of two films, the $1,000 first prize and $500 second prize selections.

Also, Joshua Lozano’s Rest Stop, an adaptation of the Stephen King short story, will be shown out of competition.

Here’s the schedule:

  • August 5:The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, 1 pm;Banging Lanie, filmed in Las Cruces, N.M. (followed by a Q&A with director Allison Powell), 3:30 pm; and Free Spirit, 7:30 pm.
  • August 6:Projections of America(with Q&A with director Peter Miller), 1 pm; The Hanged Woman Vol. II: The Den of Iniquity (with Q&A with filmmaker Marco Marcus), 3:30 pm; and Singing Our Way to Freedom, 7 pm.
  • August 7:Witness at Tornillo, 1 pm;The One and Only Jewish Miss America (with Q&A with director David Arond), 3:30 pm; Local Flavor I (with filmmaker Q&A with curators Zach Passero and Lucky McKee), 7 pm
  • August 8:Finding Freddy,Robert Holguin’s look at late El Paso comic Freddy Soto, 1 pm; Rest Stop (with Q&A with filmmaker Joshua Lozano), 3:30 pm; Local Flavor II (with filmmaker Q&A), 7 pm
  • August 9:The Local Flavor Awards, 1 pm; Amadeus (preceded by a Q&A with El Paso native F. Murray Abraham), 2 pm.

Admission is $5 per film, or $30 for the entire series, on sale now at plazaclassic.com and onlinefest.us. Streamed screenings are available only at the announced date and time of each showing.

Sponsors for this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour and Online are El Paso Electric, the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation/Mills Plaza Properties, GECU, Debbi Hester/Realtor and Perry Hester/Realtor, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, In*Situ Architecture, the Texas Film Commission, TFCU, Tammy Vasilatos CPA, and the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

El Paso Electric sale complete, New Board of Directors names new CEO

Wednesday afternoon, El Paso Electric Company (EPE)  announced that its acquisition by the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) has closed. The new Board of Directors has appointed Kelly Tomblin as incoming Chief Executive Officer.  

Ms. Tomblin will join EPE after a three-decade career leading utilities both in the United States and internationally.

Most recently, Ms. Tomblin served as President and CEO of INTREN, L.L.C., a leading utility solutions provider with 14 regional offices across the United States. Prior to that, she served as CEO of Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), where she helped lead an energy revolution for Jamaica, which included the development of an extensive smart grid program and substantial growth in renewable energy.

Frank Cassidy, incoming Chairman of the El Paso Electric Board of Directors, said, “Kelly Tomblin is one of the most dynamic and accomplished leaders in the energy industry and we are excited to appoint her as EPE’s incoming CEO. A thorough search was conducted, and we believe Kelly’s executive experience, proven track-record of improving safety and commitment to our vision of innovation make her the ideal leader for this important time in EPE’s history.”

“This is truly an exciting time to be joining El Paso Electric as we begin our new partnership with IIF and deliver the many benefits of the transaction,” said Ms. Tomblin. “EPE plays a critical role in the communities they serve and I look forward to making this community my own. I am committed to ensuring that EPE continues to invest in our neighborhoods while delivering safe and reliable service to all our customers. As we look to the future, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage the talent and creativity of our workforce to accelerate EPE’s transition to a smarter grid and renewable energy. I look forward to working with the EPE team to fulfill the Company’s mission of innovation as we continue to develop platforms for economic vibrancy.”

In connection with the closing of the transaction and consistent with associated regulatory approvals, EPE has established a new 10-member Board of Directors comprised of seven independent directors including an independent Chairman, as well as two IIF designees and EPE’s CEO.

The Board’s composition ensures strong, independent local oversight and includes directors who have complementary skills and expertise to support EPE’s growth and mission, including directors who have served as senior executives and board members of other regulated utility companies and who specialize in utility and power sector investments, community and regulatory affairs, human resources, accounting and finance.

Mr. Cassidy said, “This long-term partnership with IIF represents a shared vision for local job retention and development, creates a sustainable path to grow our investment in the community and ensures the future of our more than 1,100 employees, their families and the customers we serve. Our Board is made up of individuals with strong community ties and a deep understanding of regulated utilities. I and the entire incoming EPE Board are excited to support El Paso Electric, its employees, customers and communities through this next phase of growth and success.”

EPE’s incoming independent directors are:

Frank Cassidy, Chairman: 

Mr. Cassidy is an electric and gas utility industry veteran having worked for Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) for almost 40 years in various senior executive roles, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of PSEG Power LLC.

From 2008 to 2018 he served as a director of Calpine Corporation, including two years as board Chair. Calpine was sold to a private equity consortium in 2018.

Kathy Alexander: 

Ms. Alexander brings to the EPE Board significant legal, regulatory affairs and energy experience.  She has held positions as Attorney and Corporate Officer for Southwestern Energy Company, and as Senior Vice President and General Counsel to CenterPoint Energy Arkla.

She has also represented corporations before state regulatory commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and in state and federal courts. Ms. Alexander previously served on the Alternative Fuels Commission, the Entergy Arkansas Advisory Board and as a Special Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. In addition, she was appointed by the Arkansas Governor as the Utility Representative to the State Energy Advisory Board.

 Ed Escudero: 

A native El Pasoan, Mr. Escudero has been a member of EPE’s Board since 2013. He is President and CEO of High Desert Capital, a finance company that specializes in providing capital alternatives to small and mid-size companies. Previously, he served as Secretary and CFO of Petro Stopping Centers, LP.

He believes strongly in community service and currently serves on the boards of several area organizations, including Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, WestStar Bank, Hospitals of Providence Memorial/Sierra Campus, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Texas2036, UTEP Business Advisory Council, Texas Business Leadership Council and the Trellis Company.

He also served on the Texas State Securities Board from 2007 to 2011 and the El Paso Water Utility Public Service Board from 2010 to 2013.

 Frederick “Rick” Francis:

Mr. Francis is Chairman and CEO of WestStar Bank, a community bank with branches in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

As a business executive and philanthropic leader in El Paso, he brings to the EPE Board deep knowledge of the local community needs and interests. He is the Vice Chairman of the board of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, the Hospitals of Providence, the Borderplex Alliance, the El Paso Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Texas Business Leadership Council, the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Community Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association and the Pioneer Association of El Paso County.

Mr. Francis served on the Board of Regents as Chairman for Texas Tech University System, on the Executive Committee for the Texas Hospital Trustees, and the board of Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR). In recognition of his contributions and accomplishments, Mr. Francis has been named “El Pasoan of the Year” by El Paso Inc., inducted into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame, honored as a “Silver Beaver” by the Boy Scouts of America, received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; and along with his wife, Ginger, named El Paso’s “Philanthropists of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Mike Jesanis: 

Mr. Jesanis has had a long career leading and advising high achieving companies, primarily in the utility and power sectors. As an executive, he led the transformation of a small regional integrated utility, New England Electric System, into the growth engine for National Grid, a multi-national energy company.

Mr. Jesanis currently serves on the Board of Directors of NiSource Inc., a utility holding company based in Indiana, and is the past chair of the company’s Audit Committee and its Environmental, Safety and Sustainability Committee. Mr. Jesanis previously served on the Board of Directors of Ameresco, Inc, a renewable energy company, where he chaired the Audit Committee at the time of the company’s initial public offering, and on the Board of Directors of National Grid, plc.

He s is a past trustee of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he earned bachelors and masters degrees in mathematics, and where he and his wife Janet have endowed a faculty chair. He also earned a MBA with high distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received an honorary doctorate from Becker College, where he served as a trustee for 11 years, including 4 years as board chair.

In addition, Mr. Jesanis serves on the Watershed Committee of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.

 Peter Kind: 

Mr. Kind brings significant expertise in utility and power sector finance, capital raising, investment and strategic advisory. Prior to founding energy consulting firm eiAdvocates, he worked as an investment banker for more than 30 years, including at Bank of America, where he led Power and Utilities Corporate & Investment Banking, at Citigroup and Kidder Peabody, where he co-directed Power & Utilities teams of each of those firms and at Macquarie Group.

Mr. Kind currently serves on the boards of Enable Midstream Partners, NextEra Energy Partners LP and SouthWest Water Company.

 Raymond Palacios: 

Mr. Palacios has been a member of EPE’s Board since 2017. He is CEO of Bravo Chevrolet Cadillac in Las Cruces, New Mexico and Bravo Cadillac in El Paso, Texas. He previously served as Vice President of Perry Homes, based in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Palacios has held various leadership positions in his industry and community. He has served on numerous dealer councils within the General Motors’ network. In 2011 he was appointed to the board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Rick Perry, where he served as the Finance/Audit Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the board. In 2016 he was appointed as Chairman of the agency by Governor Greg Abbott.

He is the current Chairman of the board of the Borderplex Alliance, serves on the board of the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, and previously served on the board of FirstSun Capital Bank. Mr. Palacios has been honored to be the recipient of numerous business and community service awards and recognitions, including the Time Quality Dealer of the Year Award for the State of Texas in 2015 and induction into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 2013.

The incoming IIF designees are:

Andrew “Landy” Gilbert

Mr. Gilbert is a Managing Director in the Infrastructure Investments Group at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Gilbert joined J.P. Morgan from Direct Energy where he headed power generation operations and corporate development. Under his leadership, Direct Energy significantly improved operations of the existing portfolio and developed strategies for upstream gas and power investment, investing over $1 billion in North America.

Prior to Direct Energy, he spent five years at International Power, PLC as Vice President, Business Development and was instrumental in expanding International Power’s North American business through acquisitions and asset development. Over those five years, Mr. Gilbert expanded operations into new regions while doubling the fleet in both size and margin.

Mr. Gilbert spent ten years at PSEG in corporate development in the company’s power generation and utility businesses where he led the expansion of the company into New England, developed several new generation facilities and was a key member of the integration teams for the PSEG-Exelon transaction. Mr. Gilbert began his career at General Electric after completing a BSME at the University of Massachusetts.

More information about El Paso Electric’s Board of Directors can be found on the Company’s website.

Kathleen Lawler: 

Ms. Lawler is an Executive Director in the Infrastructure Investments Group at J.P. Morgan. Ms. Lawler joined J.P. Morgan from Energy Capital Partners, where she focused on investments in the power sector. She joined Energy Capital Partners as an investment professional at the fund level, and spent her last two years with that firm working with the management team of its portfolio company, EquiPower Resources, an approximately 8 GW private independent power producer.

Prior to Energy Capital Partners, Ms. Lawler was an analyst in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Energy & Power investment banking group. Ms. Lawler graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics & Mathematics. 

Officials share that as a long-term investor in utility companies, IIF is aligned with EPE and its mission. In connection with the acquisition, the following commitments, among others, have been made to support EPE and its customers, employees and communities:

  • Local Workforce Retention and Development Opportunities: Provision for continuity of EPE’s workforce, including union and non-union employees and management. EPE will develop entry-level job training programs in the engineering, management, and finance areas at The University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), New Mexico State University (NMSU) and El Paso Community College (EPCC). EPE will also develop apprenticeships for technical and professional jobs in high schools and colleges within our service area.
  • Local Leadership and Headquarters: EPE will continue as an independently-operated, locally-led, regulated utility. EPE’s management will retain day-to-day control of EPE’s operations and will be the primary point of contact for EPE’s customers, regulators and other stakeholders. EPE will continue to be headquartered in El Paso, Texas.
  • Electric Bill Rate Credits for Customers: EPE customers will receive rate credits on their electric bills over 3 years, representing a $21 million credit for Texas customers and an $8.7 million credit for New Mexico customers.
  • Community Contributions: At least $1.2 million in annual charitable contributions will continue to be made under EPE’s existing Community Partner Program, which provides employee engagement and financial support to many local organizations that positively impact EPE’s service area.
  • Economic Sustainability Fund: EPE and IIF will dedicate a total aggregate amount of $100 million to promote economic development in EPE’s service territory. Of that amount, $80 million will be allocated to EPE’s Texas service area, to be distributed over 15 years, and $20 million will be allocated to EPE’s New Mexico service area, to be distributed over 20 years.
  • Renewable Energy Efforts: EPE will remain committed to the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act. EPE will also study and evaluate the growth of electric vehicles, renewable energy resources, and battery storage in partnership with UTEP, NMSU, and EPCC.

As previously announced, under the terms of the agreement, EPE shareholders will receive $68.25 in cash for each share of EPE common stock they hold. In connection with the closing, EPE’s common stock will cease trading on the NYSE at market close today.

The Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) is a $12.5 billion private investment vehicle advised by a dedicated infrastructure investment group within J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.

IIF is responsible for investing and growing the retirement funds of more than 40 million families, including 2 million people across Texas and New Mexico who will be invested in El Paso Electric.

El Paso Electric: Customers set record for ‘New Peak Demand’ during heat advisory

According to El Paso Electric Company (EPE) officials on Monday, July 13, customers set a new peak demand for electricity smashing the previous peak record established in 2019.

The new peak demand for electricity – approximately 2,173 megawatts (MW), 9.5% or 188 MW higher than the 2019 peak – occurred between the hours of 4 and 5 p.m. as afternoon highs hit 110°F and became the hottest afternoon high so far in 2020.

At that time,  El Paso region was under a 7-day heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service office in Santa Teresa, New Mexico and customers set new peak demand records nine times during that same period.

“Meeting the energy needs of our customers in a safe and reliable manner is our number one priority. This year’s record-breaking increase in peak demand proves the need to further invest in and automate our grid, continue our capital investment program, and move forward with new planned generation to meet the increasing energy needs of our customers,” shares EPE interim CEO Adrian J. Rodriguez.

This is the highest level of energy demand growth on record and it also surpasses EPE’s 2020 peak demand forecast and reaches peak demand levels that were expected in 2026.

“It is a credit to our dedicated crews that modified operations and schedules to ensure the highly utilized generating facilities and overall grid was able to deliver the needed power to our customers as well as mitigate power outages,” EPE officials added.

Typical factors that lead to new peak demands include annual customer growth of 1.6%, continued adoption and conversion of refrigerated air conditioning from evaporated cooling, as well as increasingly hot weather with sustained heat.

This year, due to the pandemic, and government issued shelter in place orders, more people are staying and working at home, so usage per residential customer has increased.

A new annual peak has been set by EPE customers in 19 of the last 21 years (see chart attached).

“By 2023 we expect to add 320 MW of generating capacity from large solar facilities and a new state-of-the-art air-cooled natural gas-fired generation unit.  One utility-scale solar facility will also utilize battery storage, a first for our utility. While we prepare for future growth, we are cognizant that an increase in energy use by our customers can also mean higher electricity bills. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, we ask our customers to contact us if they find themselves facing financial hardships during this time. We have financial options and numerous programs available to assist our customers,” Rodriguez added.

To learn more about payment assistance and options, customers can contact the El Paso Electric Customer Care Team by email at CustomerCare@epelectric.com or by phone at (915) 543-5970 or (575) 526-5555.

Graph courtesy EP Electric

El Paso Electric, Texas Gas Service unite to Honor El Paso’s Community Heroes

El Paso Electric (EPE) and Texas Gas Service have united to recognize and honor El Paso’s community heroes with a sweet gesture by donating Girl Scout cookies to every first responder within the City of El Paso’s Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services Team and 9-1-1 Dispatch.

With 1,100 first responders that serve the El Paso community, a box of Girl Scout cookies went to every worker to say ‘Thank You’ for their selflessness and bravery they show every day.

“At El Paso Electric, we understand the important work frontline workers do as we see our teams working every day to provide our community with reliable electric service and it makes you realize how much you appreciate everyone coming together to support our community,” shares EPE’s Vice President of Community Engagement Eddie Gutierrez.

“This is a small gesture of appreciation for the bravery of frontline and essential workers do to help move our community forward, from store clerks to nurses and doctors to first responders and utility workers. We were looking for ways to support the mission of the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest while also showing our appreciation to others who are doing so much for our community. We thank Texas Gas Service for their partnership with this initiative and hope it brings a smile to these hardworking individuals.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest (GSDSW), the region’s Girl Scout troop, faced challenges in making their annual cookie sales which serves as their major funding source.

A phone call was made to EPE asking if the company would assist by simply asking its 1,200 employees if they would be interested in purchasing cookies. This call started it all.

“We have always appreciated the support from El Paso Electric and the grant we apply for annually to their Community Partnership Program, so we decided to ask what we thought would be a simple request,” reflects GSDSW Chief Executive Officer Patty Craven. “We were overjoyed when El Paso Electric came back asking to set aside 1,100 boxes of cookies as they would be partnering with Texas Gas Service to donate them to El Paso first responders. We could not have asked for a better opportunity.”

Texas Gas Service joined EPE in purchasing the Girl Scout cookies that would be donated to every first responder with the City of El Paso.

“Texas Gas Service appreciates the hard work of our fellow frontline friends,” said Elizabeth O’Hara, Community Relations Manager of Texas Gas Service. “Helping the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest while giving emergency personnel a sweet “thank you” gift is an added bonus. We hope it helps the Girl Scouts have a successful year.”

The partnership between EPE and Texas Gas Service is part of a larger initiative led by EPE to honor the region’s Community Heroes as donations of Girl Scout cookies have also been made to El Paso Water, City of El Paso’s Testing Center personnel, and EPE’s lineworker and power station personnel. Deliveries were made possible by GSDSW and Feed The Frontline El Paso.

El Paso Electric: Decrease on bills this Summer for Texas Customers

Thursday afternoon, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) announced that customers who reside in Texas will see a decrease on their electric bills during peak usage of Summer.

EPE Officials say they are filing a request with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to issue a temporary fuel refund.

“On June 16, EPE filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to request a fuel refund for Texas customers over a two-month period,” EPE officials shared.

“If both the refund and refund period are approved, the average residential customer may see a monthly savings of about $5.94 in July and about $6.58 in August for a total savings of $12.52 over the two-month period. Large commercial customers will receive a one-time credit in July 2020.”

According to EPE officials, the fuel factor is designed to recover the cost of the fuel used to generate electricity, a cost EPE incurs supplying electricity to customers.

“EPE is permitted by its regulators to only recover the actual fuel expenses and any over-recoveries are then subject to refund,” officials added via a news release. “EPE adjusts fuel factors periodically to more accurately reflect the current and forecast cost of fuel. EPE does not earn a profit on fuel costs.”

Customers are encouraged to visit the EPE website for energy savings tips and to learn about EPE’s energy efficiency programs.

Op-Ed: Question still unresolved: Who will control EPE if the sale goes through?

On Feb. 4, the El Paso City Council voted 4-2, with one abstention, to grant the use of city rights of way – a franchise – to Sun Jupiter, one of a dizzying array of companies connected to the proposed purchase of El Paso Electric (EPE).

That vote marks the City’s final action in the proposed deal. However, it still must pass muster at the federal level with both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Those bodies are studying the vital question of who would control El Paso Electric if the deal goes through. As stated above, Sun Jupiter is one of a series of companies involved in the purchase, which would actually be by an entity called IIF US Holdings 2 GP LLC (IIF).

However, there is evidence that these purchasers are controlled by JP Morgan, which would mean that EPE, one of the community’s most significant institutions, would be owned by a Wall Street bank.

Why does that matter? IIF initially denied affiliation with JP Morgan, but in December finally agreed to be treated in Texas as though it was an affiliate, which does provide regulatory oversight at the state level. Although the belated concession is helpful, by stipulating that it was not admitting a legal affiliate relationship, it avoids federal oversight of that relationship, leaving a loophole in the regulatory framework of protections for our constituents.

EPE is a publicly traded company. The purchasers are private. The transfer of EPE from public to private, coupled with the possible affiliate relationship between IIF and JP Morgan, would potentially allow market transactions that are not in EPE ratepayers’ interest but are outside the reach of Texas regulators, while shielding those transactions from federal reporting requirements.

IIF is managed by the Infrastructure Investments Group (IIG), which is a division of JP Morgan. JP Morgan is paid through a calculation of profits described in FERC filings as an incentive fee that is “15% of an investor’s return over an annual net 7% return but subject to a cap of 13.5% and is measured over a three year period and payable over a subsequent three year period.” This is incomprehensible, and not meaningful. Understanding how much in actual dollars JP Morgan makes from its management of IIF is crucial to understanding this proposed deal.

Further, IIF “owners” may not be owners in the common sense of the term. They serve set terms, which are term-limited. They rotate through a system of nominations by two current IIF owners and a General Partner of IIF International. The latter’s involvement was only revealed in a Jan. 6th response by the purchasers, and the person’s identity is unknown. And while they put down $10,000 to become owners, they don’t actually put any money, as the $10,000 from a previous owner is assigned to them.

In recent filings with the Federal Energy Review Commission (FERC), the purchasers reveal new information: There is a new owner among the owners of IIF, and there is a previously unmentioned “General Partner” who selects new owners.

All of these facts raise obvious questions: Who is the new owner? Who is the General Partner? Why did it take the intervention of Public Citizen to generate the new information about a General Partner? Why would owners of a management fund pay nothing to become owners, and what is the criteria for choosing them? How much does JP Morgan make from consulting services provided through IIG to IIF, and what other possible sources of income does JP Morgan derive from this relationship, and does it profit from those as well?

Some of the major elements of this deal have been well publicized, including IIF’s commitments to keep EPE headquarters in El Paso for 10 years, and maintain current employee obligations for five years. Although these commitments seem favorable on the surface, for a company that has been in our community for over a century, the commitments are minimal at best.

In contrast, executives would receive a reported $80 million in bonuses. This dwarfs the $21 million committed to ratepayers, an amount that is likely to be offset by rate increases in the next year or two.

In addition, the City of El Paso would receive $80 million over 15 years for economic development. These funds would help alleviate the City government’s need for revenue, which has driven significant tax increases and debt obligations in recent years, but it does not guarantee any specific benefits to ratepayers or the public in general.

Utilities are core elements of a municipality; without water and power, there is no modern city. In fact, the origin of EPE is part and parcel of El Paso’s emergence as a modern, highly urbanized, progressive municipality.

El Paso, unlike other many other regions in Texas, is a captive market. El Paso Electric operates a monopoly, with no competition. Accordingly, given both its essential nature and lack of customer options for utility-generated power, a decision regarding the future of EPE is one of the most consequential votes City Council can take.

Agreeing to provide a franchise without truly knowing who is at the other end of the deal didn’t have to happen now, before all the facts are in. That is why I urged the City Council to delay action, and why I am looking forward to the federal review.

Author: Senator José R. Rodríguez, District 29

Senator Rodríguez represents Texas Senate District 29, which includes the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio. He represents both urban and rural constituencies, and more than 350 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. Senator Rodríguez currently serves as the Chairman of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, and is a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture (Vice Chair), Transportation, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Water and Rural Affairs.

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El Paso Electric accepting applications for 8th Annual Summer High School Internship Program

On Thursday, El Paso Electric (EPE) officials announced that the company is now accepting applications for the 2020 Summer High School Internship Program.

“The transition from your junior year to senior year in high school is incredibly pivotal in the educational career for any student, so having access to internships of this type can be a unique experience in determining what trajectory they choose to take,” shares EPE interim CEO Adrian J. Rodriguez.

“Each student will become an integral part of the team gaining insight to the energy industry while experiencing the power of community partnerships built by a local company.”

The paid internship opportunity, in its eighth year, is open to all high school juniors in EPE’s service area, from Van Horn, TX to Hatch, NM.

The application deadline is February 10, 2020.

EPE’s Summer Internship Program provides students with the opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills through various group projects and work assignments. Each student will be placed in a department to learn work skills related to their future educational and/or career goals.

The internship will include a learning curriculum that covers the fundamentals of power generation, transmission, and distribution. Students will also participate in trainings that teach about business, finance, leadership and management skills.

A major component to the summer internship is the Corporate Social Responsibility Project, an annual initiative in which the students identify a need within the community and find creative ways to help address it.

High school students interested in the EPE summer internship program can access the application online, via this link and click on “Look at Current Openings.” There is no application fee.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled as a high school junior in an accredited high school within the EPE service territory (Van Horn, TX to Hatch, NM)
  • Must be classified as a high school junior for the 2019-2020 academic school year and entering their senior year beginning August 2020
  • Must have an overall high school G.P.A. of a 3.0 or above
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Must be available to work Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. from Monday, June 9, 2020 – Friday, July 31, 2020.

El Paso Electric plans to add Utility-Scale Battery Storage, 100’s of MWs of Solar Energy by 2023

On Wednesday, El Paso Electric officials announced their new steps to make its power generation portfolio cleaner and more sustainable by enacting a long-term energy supply resource plan that includes expanding solar energy, introducing their first utility-scale battery storage, and constructing a new state-of-the-art-natural gas-fired generation unit.

If the projects receive regulatory approval, the added generation resources will help meet EPE’s 2022-2023 summer peak seasons energy demand and replace older, less efficient gas-fired generation.

In 2017, in response to continued customer and load growth as well as a need to replace power from aging generation units, EPE determined that additional capacity of approximately 50 megawatts (MW) by 2022 and 320 MW by 2023 was needed to continue to meet the needs of its customers.

After an extensive review of proposals received in response to an All Source Request for Proposal, three Long-Term Purchased Power Agreements (LTPPAs) and a new gas-fired generation unit were chosen.

The LTTPAs provide for the purchase of energy and capacity from a 100 MW solar facility to be constructed in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, a 100 MW solar facility combined with 50 MW of battery storage to be constructed in Otero County, New Mexico, and a 50 MW stand-alone battery storage facility to be constructed in Canutillo, Texas.

The 228 MW gas-fired generation unit is expected to be constructed at EPE’s existing Newman Power Plant site (Newman Unit 6). The two 50 MW battery storage projects will be EPE’s very first utility-scale battery storage resources.

“Over the last year we have continued seeing growth in our region and have added approximately 7,000 customers. Additionally, because of falling renewable energy prices, and changing customer expectations on how they receive their energy, we are able to offer more sustainable solutions.  Today’s announcement further underscores our responsibility to both increase and enhance our power generation capability while simultaneously meeting our regional customers changing needs in a safe, clean, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said EPE’s Interim Chief Executive Officer Adrian J. Rodriguez.

“Our ability to grow our renewable energy portfolio with additional solar is maximized with the addition of battery storage capability. By being able to introduce large-scale battery storage into our region, we will, for the first time ever, be able to harness the power of the sun from our solar facilities and utilize that energy at night and during cloudy days.”

Hecate Energy will take the lead on the first project, a 100 MW solar facility in Santa Teresa. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will develop, own and operate the second project, a 100 MW solar facility in Otero County that will also include 50 MWs of battery storage.

Ørsted Onshore (formerly Lincoln Clean Energy) will serve as the project developer of the third project, a 50 MW battery storage facility in Canutillo. Pending approval of the necessary regulating bodies, the two solar facilities coupled with 50 MW of battery storage are anticipated to be in service by May 2022.

The 50 MW stand-alone battery storage facility and the new gas generation unit are expected to be in service prior to summer 2023.

The addition of these energy resources will nearly triple EPE’s renewable energy portfolio, a landmark achievement since EPE’s announcement in 2016 as the first in Texas and New Mexico to go 100% coal-free.

EPE’s choice to divest its interests in the coal-fired generating plant, Four Corners Generating Station, was the equivalent of eliminating two billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which was done along with a promise to increase its investment in utility-scale solar.

“Hecate is fortunate to work with many leading North American utilities deploying thousands of megawatts of next-generation, carbon-free solar power, and in our experience, EPE is a top performer,” shares Alex Pugh, manager of development for Hecate Energy.

“We are pleased to help EPE diversify its energy generation and provide cost-effective, clean, and reliable renewable energy to its customers,” said Matt Handel, vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. “The Buena Vista Solar project, which will be paired with a battery energy storage system, will allow EPE to provide customers with more renewable energy and capacity over more hours of the day, even when the sun is not shining.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with El Paso Electric on the Canutillo Energy Project,” stated Frank O’Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Strategy for Ørsted Onshore. “Ørsted is committed to bringing cutting edge storage solutions to the market to help our partners like EPE reliably and cost effectively meet the evolving energy needs of the communities they serve.”

Newman Unit 6 is expected to be a Mitsubishi 228 MW air-cooled natural gas generation unit and is part of EPE’s long-term energy supply resource plan aimed at replacing older, less-efficient, more water intensive generation units that the EPE plans to retire in the next several years.

“MHPS (Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems) is proud that El Paso Electric has selected our air-cooled GAC technology for the Newman 6 project.  Like our customers throughout the United States, EPE is using a combination of renewables, storage and natural gas power generation to replace more carbon-intensive assets and meet their growing demand for cleaner, affordable and reliable electricity,” shares Paul Browning, president and chief executive officer for MHPS.

“Our GAC technology provides fast-start, fast-ramping capability to compliment intermittent renewable power, and air cooling to minimize water usage. We are helping EPE achieve a Change in Power.”

TTUHSC El Paso surpasses fundraising goal of $250k for Medical Student Scholarships

On Tuesday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) announced that more than $350,000 has been raised for scholarships benefiting incoming and current students attending the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. 

Funding for scholarships was raised through sponsorships and gifts in honor of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, “A Red Tie Affair for A White Coat Occasion.” More than a dozen community sponsors have contributed to the event, including sponsors Datamark, Hunt Family Foundation, Robert and Sheri Brown, and El Paso Electric.

“Our 10th anniversary celebration is particularly unique in that all proceeds will fund the education of our students through special anniversary scholarships,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of TTUHSC El Paso and dean of the Foster School of Medicine. “I am thrilled we have surpassed our original goal of $250,000, and I hope that this success will inspire even more giving in the time leading up to and during our celebration event.”

The scholarship program, which consists of Foster Scholarships, Excellence Scholarships, and Anniversary Scholarships, makes medical school and residency possible for more students, and it provides talented young people from the region the opportunity to attend medical school in their hometown.

With annual tuition and fees for an in-state medical student totaling less than $20,000, the Foster School of Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso has been ranked one of the most affordable public medical schools in the country by U.S News and World Report.

“We will continue to fundraise as the event nears and have exciting, competitive ways for our guests to help our incoming students during the night’s events,” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement.

“The El Paso community continues to amaze me with their investments in our city’s future well-being.  Thanks to their support, we are able to offer scholarships to students throughout their medical school journey and continue a “grow our own” approach to addressing our region’s physician shortage.”

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine was established to serve the mission of improving access to quality health care in the Borderland.  It opened its doors to an inaugural class of 40 students in 2009, and since then it has sent 523 aspiring doctors into the medical profession.

Graduates have been matched to residency programs at top national institutions, including The Johns Hopkins University Hospital, George Washington University, Baylor University, New York University, Mayo Clinic, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

TTUHSC El Paso’s “A Red Tie Affair For A White Coat Occasion” event will be held on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in celebration of the Foster School of Medicine’s 10-year anniversary.

All event proceeds will support student scholarships, with a focus on recruiting students from El Paso and West Texas who will go on to practice in the region and serve their local communities.

The celebratory event will include a special black carpet entrance with interactive social media experiences, a guest appearance from the Texas Tech Masked Rider and El Paso’s Thomas Jefferson High School band.

TxDoT, El Paso Police, El Paso Electric, Socorro ISD Launch Pedestrian Safety Campaign

The Texas Department of Transportation El Paso District is partnering with the El Paso Police Department, the El Paso Electric Company, and the Socorro Independent School District for a pedestrian safety campaign launching ahead of Halloween and the end of daylight saving time.

The campaign, which was initiated last year, consists of bilingual educational material and the distribution of thousands of reflective slap bands.

“We have had 21 pedestrian traffic related deaths in the City of El Paso this year, compared to 21 at this time last year,” said El Paso Police Assistant Chief Victor Zarur. “We believe education and awareness can reduce or eliminate future fatalities. While the driver has been at fault in a few cases, the majority of our pedestrian deaths this year are a result of pedestrians not crossing at appropriate locations.”

About half of those deaths have occurred on high speed roadways like I-10 and US 54, prompting additional concern.

“One death on our roadways is one too many,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Tomas Treviño. “High speed roadways like I-10, US 54, and Loop 375 aren’t places for walking or crossing. Things can change in an instant while we are driving. Everyone always needs to be alert and pay attention, eliminate distractions like cell phones and listening devices and take extra precautions at night.”

Pedestrians are encouraged to always use a crosswalk and use sidewalks if available. It is illegal to walk in the road if a sidewalk is nearby.

If there isn’t a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic, as far away from traffic as possible.

“Safety comes first’ is a common phrase and a daily practice at El Paso Electric,” said El Paso Electric Interim Chief Executive Officer Adrian Rodriguez. “As our core value, it is our priority to ensure the safety of our employees and those we serve, and we are proud to partner with TxDOT, EPPD, and SISD in sharing this important message.”

In addition, drivers involved in a crash or who experience their vehicle stalling should remember to move their ride to the side if possible, turn on their hazard lights, and call for help.

If drivers are stalled on a main lane, they should turn on their hazard lights, stay buckled in their vehicle and call 9-1-1.

With the sun setting earlier and Halloween around the corner, everyone is especially reminded of child pedestrian safety.

“Our number one priority is to provide safe and supportive learning environments, which includes before and after school when our students and families are on the roads and sidewalks,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “I encourage everyone to be highly vigilant around our schools and at peak traffic times to ensure our pedestrians are safe. Team SISD is proud to be working with TXDOT, EPPD and EP Electric to Keep SISD Safe.”

El Paso Electric presents $15k grant to STTE Foundation in support of STEAM Education

El Paso Electric (EPE), through its Community Partner Program, presented a $15,000 grant at a check presentation ceremony to the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation to continue its advocacy of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education.

“Our commitment to the community we serve extends far beyond providing a reliable and sustainable source of electricity to each of our customers, it is about partnering with our community and asking, where can we help?” shares Adrian J. Rodriguez, interim CEO of EPE.

“We realized there was a need for support for our local robotics teams, and with the help of the STTE Foundation, we were able to create a fund that will assist students and educators directly in a field that is evolving quickly. It is important that we assist our education partners with the ability to develop and retain talent like our youth in our region.”

The EPE grant will go towards STTE’s continued efforts to develop curriculum centered around STEAM, and its robotics program. The STTE Robotics Program includes coding and engineering where over 160 students took advantage of this opportunity.
“For decades we all have been users and consumers of technology; however, the evolution of technology now grants us both access and the ability to craft it the way we would like to see it,” said Joseph Sapien, executive director of the STTE Foundation. “Our youth have the potential and the passion to be leaders in the technology and engineering sectors, so now it is about creating and expanding platforms for them to deem it possible.”
STTE has taken the partnership with EPE a step further by launching the inaugural Sun City Challenge, the Foundation’s newest initiative the will encompass a virtual reality and 3D competition open to high school students within EPE’s service territory.
Students are called to re-engineer, design, and educate their community on the power of renewable energy.
EPE will use the products created by the winning teams in each category as educational tools and presentations led by the Company’s renewable and emerging technologies department. There will be $10,000 in cash prizes awarded to the winning teams in their respective categories.
The STTE Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to partnering with public and private middle and secondary schools and institutions of higher learning to advance the competitiveness of the borderplex region through digital literacy, access to STEAM fields and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Officials with the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation, New Mexico State University, the regions’ three largest school districts – Ysleta, Socorro and El Paso, as well as students from Eastwood High School’s Robotics Team were in attendance.

El Paso Electric celebrates Summer Interns for their efforts, contributions

For a large majority of teenagers who are currently attending school, summer is primetime for ‘R & R’ – rest and relaxation before heading back to school this fall; however, for 18 young adults, this summer was extra special as they made up El Paso Electric’s (EPE) 2019 Summer Internship Program cohort.

“My internship with El Paso Electric has taught me more than I could have imagined,” reflects Katya Marquez, 2019 EPE summer college intern. “This experience is preparing me in a number of ways from public speaking, to working with deadlines, to gaining knowledge from hands on training. I am very thankful for this opportunity to make an impact in our community with the Corporate Social Responsibility project while getting closer to my goal of becoming an electrical engineer.”

At a reception held Friday, August 2, at the Utility’s headquarters in Downtown El Paso, EPE employees along with friends and family of this year’s high school and college interns celebrated the completion of the 7th year of the program and all of their accomplishments.

“For high school students, the transition from the junior year to senior year is incredibly pivotal in the educational journey for any student, so having access to internships of this type can be a unique experience in determining what trajectory they choose to take,” shares interim CEO of EPE Adrian J. Rodriguez.

“Each student – both high school and college – will become a vital part of the team gaining insight to the Utility while experiencing integral partnerships built by a local company.”

One of the major components to the EPE summer internship is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Project, an annual initiative in which the students identify a need within the community and find creative ways to help address it.

This year, the EPE intern cohort built a STEAM Lab at the El Paso Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and unveiled it on July 30, 2019, that included a donation of $2,000 to help maintain the Lab through the year.

“Giving back to those in need is very important because here in El Paso we need to grow together,” said Javier Villalba, intern with EPE Human Resources Department. “This year’s CSR project has helped impact the lives of children at the ASYMCA, as well as offer me insight on leadership, organization and even presentation skills.”

EPE’s Summer Internship Program provides students with opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork skills through various group projects and work assignments.

Each student is placed with an EPE department to learn work skills related to their future educational and/or career goals. The internship included a learning curriculum that covers the fundamentals of power generation, transmission, and distribution.

Students also participated in trainings that teach about business, finance, leadership and management skills.

El Paso Children’s Hospital, El Paso Electric partner to expand Pediatric Surgical Services

On Thursday, El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) named a hospital room in honor of EPE’s $25,000 donation that will assist in the expansion of pediatric surgical services.

Watts of Courage, formally known as Room 762, will be the newest hospital room welcomed to EPCH’s 7th floor Oncology Department.

The room adorned with EPE’s mighty Power Pack – the Utility’s mascots who represent different aspects of the electric infrastructure – aims to serve as a source of inspiration and resilience for the warriors battling and overcoming cancer.

“Partnerships such as the one with El Paso Electric are very instrumental in helping the community understand the level of services provided here,” shares EPCH’s CEO Cindy Stout. “We continue to grow our services to ensure that the level of care we offer is what we need for all the children of our community.”

The $25,000 donation from EPE, part of the Utility’s Community Partner Program, will help EPCH ensure they have access to the latest equipment for the pediatric cases in the Paso del Norte region. Since opening in 2012 EPCH has reduced the number of children having to leave El Paso for services by 85%.

Nikki Rhodes, who’s daughter is an EPCH patient, states, “It is an amazing thing to have El Paso Children’s Hospital right here for children who need it most. I hope they get the same quality experience and convenience we did here in El Paso, which was quick, personal and what we needed.”

As a result of EPE’s $25,000 donation, EPE employees had the opportunity to be part of this larger initiative by naming the EPCH hospital room – Watts of Courage.

“We are happy that our employees were able to participate in an initiative that is so much bigger than all of us,” states EPE’s Vice President of Strategic Communications, Customer and Community Engagement Eddie Gutierrez. “The local services that our contribution will help provide to our community are important to El Paso Electric. These children are our future, and we want to do our part to make our community healthy and safe for all our families.”

With the help of EPE and other community partnerships, EPCH is able to help ensure families stay close to home and get the specialized care in El Paso.

El Paso Electric Makes Community Partnership Donation to El Paso Children's Hospital

El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) named a hospital room in honor of EPE’s $25,000 donation that will assist in the expansion of pediatric surgical services. The $25,000 donation from EPE, part of the Utility’s Community Partner Program, will help EPCH ensure they have access to the latest equipment for the pediatric cases in the Paso del Norte region.

Posted by El Paso Electric on Thursday, July 25, 2019

El Pasoan Adrian Rodriguez named Interim CEO of EP Electric; Kipp heads to Washington State

El Paso Electric Company (EPE) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Adrian Rodriguez, EPE’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, as interim Chief Executive Officer.

These appointments are effective beginning August 1, 2019 and follow Mary Kipp’s (EPE’s current CEO and President) decision to accept the position of President with Puget Sound Energy in Washington state.

EPE officials added, to ensure a smooth transition, Kipp will continue with EPE until August 1, 2019.

Adrian Rodriguez, EPE’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary

Rodriguez, a native of El Paso, joined EPE in 2013 and was appointed as an Officer of the Company and Senior Vice President, General Counsel in 2017.  In his role at El Paso Electric, Rodriguez has worked closely with other members of the executive leadership team in developing the Company’s strategy and overseeing EPE’s operations, with Rodriguez responsible for EPE’s Legal, Governance, External Affairs and Regulatory and Rates departments.

“Adrian has a strong record of leadership and accomplishment at El Paso Electric,” Charles Yamarone, Chairperson of the El Paso Electric Board, shared.  “Adrian has consistently prioritized community service in his home town of El Paso, and his knowledge of our operations and our culture make him a natural choice to take on this responsibility.

The Board has the utmost confidence that Adrian and the leadership team, alongside the dedicated EPE employees across the organization, will successfully guide the Company as it continues to deliver exceptional service to the region.”

“In my role as the interim CEO I look forward to working with the rest of the senior management team, our strong union and all employees while keeping EPE focused on our vision for delivering safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy to our community,” shared Rodriguez.

“I also want to thank Mary for setting the path towards a cleaner energy future and for her years of dedicated work to our community.”

Kipp

“El Paso Electric’s commitments to our customers and our region, the place I have called home since I was a child, will continue after my departure. I am fully confident in the leadership of our management team and Adrian,” shares Kipp.

“Realizing this is an important time for El Paso Electric, I have weighed the choice to depart very carefully as I considered, at length, the long-term plans for me and my family. My decision to move to Puget Sound Energy will allow my son to be closer to family which is very important to both of us.”

Kipp has been with EPE since 2007 and was named president in September 2014, appointed CEO in December 2015, and President & CEO in May 2017.The Company’s biggest accomplishments under Kipp’s leadership have included the expansion of renewable energy and sustainability initiatives in our region in response to evolving customer demands.

“As the Company’s CEO, Mary has worked tirelessly to make the community proud of El Paso Electric’s accomplishments and

Elaina Ball, EPE’s Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

contributions to the region,” added Yamarone.

“In addition to maintaining EPE’s status as an industry leader and major economic driver for the local economy, the Company achieved numerous milestones under Mary’s leadership, most notably becoming coal free in 2016. On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Mary for her years of service and dedication, as well as for her help with this transition.”

The Board has also appointed Elaina Ball, EPE’s Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, as interim Chief Operating  Officer.

Landy Gilbert, Managing Director, of J.P. Morgan’s Infrastructure Investments Group, Investment Advisor to the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) released the following statement:

We have been informed that Mary E. Kipp has accepted a position at Puget Sound Energy and that the El Paso Electric Board of Directors has appointed Adrian J. Rodriguez interim Chief Executive Officer and Elaina L. Ball as interim Chief Operating Officer.

While this was unexpected since we had planned for Mary to continue as CEO of the Company, we know that talent runs deep throughout the EPE organization. We share the Board’s confidence in Adrian and Elaina, and look forward to continuing to work with them and the broader EPE team to complete the transaction and partner together for the benefit of EPE and its stakeholders.  

Below is the letter Ms. Kipp sent to all EPE Employees:

To: All El Paso Electric Employees

Team,

After being part of the El Paso Electric family for 12 years, I am announcing to you that I am leaving the Company in the hands of a strong leadership team including Adrian Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, who will serve as interim CEO. I have accepted a position as president of Puget Sound Energy in Washington state.

My move is not a result of our agreement to be purchased by IIF. I believe that this agreement is a great partnership between EPE and IIF and leaves the Company, employees, and communities we serve in a better position than they have ever been.

This was a difficult decision for me to make, as I’ve called this area home for many years. My family, as I’m sure yours is as well, is my top priority. Major life events provide each of us with an opportunity to reflect and, if necessary, make changes. Given some recent events in my life, I have decided to pursue the next chapter of my life and my career closer to my family. I will remain with EPE until August 1, 2019, and will then make the move to help my son get settled before the start of the school year in his new middle school.

The goals I have seen all of you accomplish have been monumental. You have successfully brought Montana Power Station online, right after celebrating the opening of the Eastside Operations Center. You have expanded our renewable energy portfolio in stride with launching the inaugural Community Solar program for Texas customers. You also became one of the first utilities in the region to generate coal-free electricity and released the Company’s first Corporate Sustainability Report. These and so many more achievements are all thanks to the hard work and dedication of each of you.

I am so proud and grateful to have been a part of the EPE family over these last few years, and I will be available today in the Stanton Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to answer any questions you may have. Additional meetings at all EPE locations will be scheduled the week of July 8th. Thank you for the lasting memories but most importantly, I hope you will stay in touch as we continue in our respective journeys.

Kind Regards,

Mary Kipp President and Chief Executive Officer

 

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