Robinson poised to lead Tacoma Power

Tacoma Public Utilities has selected one of its own department managers to serve as Tacoma Power’s next superintendent.

Pending confirmation by the Public Utility Board on March 25, Chris Robinson will take the helm as chief operating officer on May 1. He currently serves as the utility’s Power Management manager. If the Public Utility Board confirms his appointment, Robinson will succeed Ted Coates, who has served as Tacoma Power’s superintendent since 2009 and will retire on May 1.

Robinson began his career with Tacoma Power in 2001. As power manager, he oversees the planning and management of the utility’s power supply portfolio, which includes Tacoma Power’s three hydroelectric projects and a $125 million a year power purchase contract with the Bonneville Power Administration. He is responsible for planning the utility’s future power supply needs, balancing customer loads with energy supply, marketing and trading approximately $50 million of power on the wholesale market each year, and managing the utility’s energy conservation programs. Prior to his time at Tacoma Power, Robinson spent six years as a utility industry consultant.

Robinson holds a Master of Science in Resource Economics from the University of Maine, along with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University.

“We had the fortunate but challenging task of choosing between several highly qualified, seasoned executives within and outside the organization for the superintendent position,” said Tacoma Public Utilities Director and CEO Bill Gaines. “Although it was a tough decision, I’m confident we made the right one.”