Wednesday, January 29, 2014

McCormick will retire from Springs Utilities

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 11:18 AM

click to enlarge McCormick: See ya later. - COURTESY SPRINGS UTILITIES
  • Courtesy Springs Utilities
  • McCormick: See ya later.
After more than 26 years with Colorado Springs Utilities, Chief Energy Officer Bruce McCormick is retiring.

McCormick, 54, joined Utilities in the late 1980s after working at Salt River Project in Phoenix. In 2006, McCormick was named chief water officer and oversaw the city's application for the Southern Delivery System, perhaps the biggest project he oversaw during his career.


The $1 billion water pipeline will deliver water by 2016 from Pueblo Reservoir, increasing the city's supply by a third. 

"That was a lot of my activity as officer getting through the federal and regional permitting process for SDS," he says in an interview. "And also converting from a planning effort into a construction project." 

But McCormick also lived through Utilities' biggest electric transmission expansion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the overhaul of its wastewater system from 2006 to 2009.

In 2009, he was named interim energy officer upon the retirement of Tom Black, and was named the permanent energy officer the next year.

"Coming back to energy and being part of the emissions controls process that we’ve gone through — that’s installing the scrubbers at Drake [power plant] and we’re moving to do similar work at Nixon [power plant]," he says.

McCormick says he's retiring because, "Frankly, this can be an all consuming job. I’m at a point when I want to try something different. I don’t see myself as retiring. I love construction and I’m going to move into doing something in construction. I built a couple of homes and probably am going to do something related to that as I go forward. I’m from Montana. My parents are still there. Clearly, I will be spending more time if not a majority of my time in Montana for awhile. I don’t think I’ll ever be too far from Colorado. My kids and grandkids are here."

Asked to describe the biggest challenge ahead for Utilities' energy division, he said:

Clearly, the Drake decision [when and how to close it] is a big one, but I think the whole energy conversation around what’s the regulatory environment going to be like in the future, and how does a utility best prepare for those unknowns and at the same time keep delivery of energy at competitive and low prices as we’ve been able to do over our history, and the key to that is keeping a diverse fuel supply.

The other issue is what’s the right level of renewable energy for our utility, our nation and the world. There are challenges with those renewables and we have to address those from a technology and a system perspective.
His last day will be March 31. He's retiring from his $250,000-a-year job, so there is no severance pay.

Utilities CEO Jerry Forte will name McCormick's replacement.

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