Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas; August 28, 2012— Dennis Koehl, currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Xcel Energy, has been selected to be the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nuclear Officer of the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company. He will assume this position on October 15, 2012.
“Dennis Koehl is one of the top Chief Nuclear Officers in the nation and brings the in-depth experience and leadership skills we wanted in a person taking the helm of the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company,” said John Ragan, President of NRG Energy’s Gulf Coast Region. “His hands-on leadership style has led to success at Xcel and in every position he has held. The tremendous work he has done shaping and leading best practices in nuclear operations in America make him ideally suited to maintain and improve on the solid record of performance at South Texas Project 1 and 2.”
In his current position, Koehl is responsible for activities at Xcel Energy’s three nuclear units at Prairie Island and Monticello. He is the Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Nuclear Strategic Issues Advisory Committee, Vice Chairman of the Board of Utilities Services Alliance (USA) and serves on the 12-member U.S. Fukushima Response Steering Committee, the Executive Committee of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Nuclear Power Council and the board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council.
“I am fortunate to have been offered an opportunity at the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company to work with such a strong team; the accomplishments, significant talent and potential of the team is commendable,” said Koehl. “I look forward to working with the team to deliver the future that the staff, community, and owners envision for the South Texas Project.”
Koehl has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry, including positions of increasing responsibility at Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants. He has a diverse background in operations, assessment, engineering and plant performance. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. and served as an officer aboard the nuclear-powered submarine U.S.S. Patrick Henry.
“As Dennis moves into this position, we want to thank Kevin Richards and David Rencurrel for their hard work in bringing the plant out of a major outage and operating at peak efficiency during the summer to ensure Texas had the power it needed,” said Richard Pena, Senior Vice President of Energy Development for CPS Energy. “We value their outstanding leadership and commitment over the last six months as we have gone through this selection process and look forward to their counsel and support going forward.”
“The South Texas Project has been a consistent high-volume, low cost electricity provider and has routinely been among industry leaders for the last decade,” said Cheryl Mele, Chief Operating Officer for Austin Energy. “They have earned an excellent reputation and have been trailblazers in such diverse areas as Fukushima response, risk management and outage management. We are confident Dennis will lead the team at the South Texas Project to continued innovation and excellence.”
The South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, owned by Austin Energy (16%), CPS Energy (40%), and NRG Energy (44%), operates two pressurized water reactors at the South Texas Project in Matagorda County, Texas. These units produce 2,700 megawatts of carbon-free energy, representing 7.5% of power generation in Texas and powering more than two million homes throughout the State.