Calling it “the most comprehensive restructuring ever undertaken” by the department, Imperial Irrigation District officials recently reorganized the energy department.
Growing regulatory and compliance requirements, coupled with an organizational structure that was too large, made for a department that had become difficult to manage, said Carl Stills, interim energy manager.
Indeed, regulatory affairs, engineering and operations, and financial operations managers report to Stills, with the rest of the managers reporting to them.
Lahde is a former IID consultant who was recently rehired to optimize the energy department.
While much of the organization had become inefficient, it was a changing regulatory and planning environment that drove much of the change, Stills said.
“Regional coordination and regional planning issues were killing us,” he said.
Other entities are encroaching on the IID’s service boundaries. The district is trying to take advantage of renewable energy development and increase its energy transmission capacity.
And then there is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order No. 1000, a complex regulatory order that is being challenged. It says that states can be required to coordinate on energy transmission.
“That order is a cost-allocation methodology for regional transmission,” Stills said. “It’s in a state of flux. Nobody knows how that’s coming out yet.”
Additionally, the energy department’s new special projects team is investigating small hydro-energy development in the district’s canals, an initiative headed up by Mario Escalera.
“His water (department) background helps in that aspect of it,” Stills said.
Staff Writer Antoine Abou-Diwan can be reached at 760-337-3454 or firstname.lastname@example.org