NRECA’s Louis Finkel Appointed to DOE Electricity Advisory Committee

Louis Finkel, NRECA’s senior vice president of Government Relations, will represent electric co-ops on the DOE’s Electricity Advisory Committee. (Photo By: Alexis Matsui/NRECA)

Louis Finkel, NRECA’s senior vice president of Government Relations, has been appointed by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee.

“I’m honored to be able to serve as a voice for America’s electric cooperatives as the nation works toward a future that depends more on electricity to power the American economy,” Finkel said. “It’s critically important for rural communities and the co-ops that serve them to have a seat at the table during this crucial time.”

Granholm said the committee “will provide significant value to DOE in helping to define a strategy on long-range planning and priorities for the modernization of the nation’s electricity delivery infrastructure.”

“As a member of the EAC, you will have the important responsibility to provide DOE advice concerning these critical issues,” the secretary wrote in an Aug. 22 letter to Finkel inviting him to serve a two-year term.

Among the issues the committee will discuss, Granholm said, are “the development of smart grid technologies, research and development of energy storage technologies, renewable energy resource system integration, and new transmission infrastructure.”

The committee, which reports to the assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity, is made up of about 35 members appointed by the energy secretary. Members, who are not compensated for their service, include representatives of utility companies, equipment manufacturers, construction companies, state governments, national security and law enforcement agencies, environmental and consumer groups, and cybersecurity and national defense industries.

Representatives from NRECA and its member co-ops have served on the committee in the past. Clay Koplin, CEO of Cordova Electric Cooperative in Alaska, was just reappointed and will serve with Finkel.

The advisory panel’s next meeting will be held at NRECA’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters on Oct. 26 and 27.

Erin Kelly is a staff writer for NRECA.