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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Platte River Power Authority works toward 2030 carbon-use goals

Photo+courtesy+of+Platte+River+Power+Authority

Photo courtesy of Platte River Power Authority

Piper Russell, News Editor

Colorado’s Platte River Power Authority hired new leadership and added to their organization to achieve their goals regarding energy transitions.

Raj Singam Setti: Transition and integration

Platte River Power Authority created the transition and integration division to help with their energy transition and Resource Diversification Policy. PRPA hired Raj Singam Setti as chief transition and integration officer. 

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According to a press release from PRPA, Singam Setti was hired after a nationwide search for someone to lead the new division, and he began work at PRPA in March. Singam Setti previously worked in “resource portfolio strategy, digital transformation, clean energy integration and grid solutions,” according to the press release.  

Growing up in India, Singam Setti saw that electricity wasn’t always available. Singam Setti said he wanted to work “in a field that had an impact.”

“This is one industry that you can do that,” Singam Setti said. “You can help people. You are helping the community; you’re helping the businesses; you’re helping everything because the energy industry, specifically electricity, plays a big role in building up the economy of any city of any country.”

“At the power at its core, it is about that: being able to create change and impact our communities in a direct way.” –Eddie Gutiérrez, Platte River Power Authority chief strategy officer

Singam Setti has a Master of Business Administration in operations from Purdue University, a computer science and engineering master’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an electrical and electronics engineering bachelor’s degree from India’s Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Eddie Gutiérrez: Strategy

Eddie Gutiérrez was recently hired as PRPA’s chief strategy officer. Gutiérrez’s staff bio states he works on everything from communications and marketing to human resources, safety and legislative affairs for PRPA.

“This is an amazing industry because it’s so transformative,” Gutiérrez said. “If you looked at electric utilities even 10 (or) 15 years ago, the narrative of moving towards more renewable, transition(ing) to a cleaner and smarter kind of energy, really fascinated me.”

Gutiérrez has “a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College,” according to his staff bio.

Gutiérrez said working at PRPA allows him to “have a connection with a smaller group and make a bigger impact.”

“At the power at its core, it is about that: being able to create change and impact our communities in a direct way,” Gutiérrez said.

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Energy transition, Resource Diversification Policy

According to the PRPA’s website, the Resource Diversification Policy, which passed in 2018 by PRPA’s board of directors, sets “the standard as a clean energy leader by calling for the pursuit of a 100% noncarbon energy mix by 2030.” The Resource Diversification Policy also states it will maintain “Platte River’s three pillars of providing reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable electricity and services.”

Singam Setti spoke about PRPA’s plans to achieve these goals. He said they will retire the Rawhide Energy Station coal plant and replace it with renewable energy production, including solar and wind power.

To support the intermittent nature of these types of power, Singam Setti said they will be “bringing in energy storage as well as other dispatchable capacities with low emission rates.” He said this should cover a large portion of their goal while the rest will come from communities.

Both Singam Setti and Gutiérrez spoke about their passion for the work they’re doing. Singam Setti said he became interested in taking the job as leader of the transition and integration division when he heard about the Resource Diversification Policy.

“I felt like I had to be part of that transition,” Singam Setti said. “This could set an example for many other cities and communities out there, so I wanted to be part of that change, and this was a perfect opportunity.”

Gutiérrez also spoke about what goes into working to achieve a considerable goal.

“As we move towards our resource diversification plan, we have an aggressive goal, … and that takes a lot of hard work and investment but a lot of passion and drive that didn’t come from a mandate and didn’t come because someone told us,” Gutiérrez said. “Organizationally and culturally, we want to do our part to make a difference in our region.”

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.

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Piper Russell, News Editor

Piper Russell is one of The Collegian’s news editors this year and is thrilled to be working in the role. She started as a news reporter her sophomore...

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