Bob Coates is retiring from KEA as the Manager of Operations and Engineering on May 31, after five and a half years of service to the cooperative. Our best wishes go to Bob and his wife Teresa for a long and happy retirement!
KEA’s members have experienced greater system reliability due to Bob’s leadership in significant upgrades to the cooperative’s substations to implement and utilize technological advances in circuit breakers and protective relays, his development of enhanced maintenance practices for substations, towers, transmission and distribution lines, and the company fleet, and his establishment of a proactive and vigorous tree trimming program. Bob spearheaded KEA’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) installation and startup, helping to move forward the highly successful High Penetration Wind Project. His exceptional focus on safety embraces all facets of utility work and is an outstanding complement to his expertise in technical areas.
The Northwest Public Power Association awarded Bob with their prestigious Excellence in Engineering or Operations/Milton Hunt McGuire Award on April 9, 2013, in recognition of his outstanding proficiency, foresight, and ability in utility engineering and operations, and for his contributions to the industry over his career.
Bob leaves the position in the capable hands of Jim Devlin, KEA’s new Manager of Operations and Engineering. Jim was promoted from the position of Manager of Engineering, and has over 26 years of expertise and service in KEA’s Engineering Department.