Puget Sound Energy announcement.
Puget Sound Energy announced today the appointment of Wade Smith as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Smith begins on July 18, 2022, and will report to Mary Kipp, PSE’s president and CEO. He will be responsible for all of PSE’s operational areas, which include natural gas and electric operations and energy supply, serving approximately 1.2 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers.
“Wade will be instrumental in transforming how PSE meets our customers’ expectations for clean energy in balance with uncompromised reliability, safety, and affordability,” said Kipp. “He is a champion of operational excellence and leads with safety, customers and employees first. We are delighted to have him on our team.”
Smith brings more than 30 years of operations experience to PSE. Since May 2021, he has served as senior vice president, Electric Operations, for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, leading electric transmission and distribution operations and maintenance, as well as emergency preparedness and response efforts.
Prior to that, he held a number of leadership roles over the course of three decades at American Electric Company (AEP). That includes serving as senior vice president, Grid Development, where he executed AEP’s $20 billion transmission capital investment program and led efforts to improve reliability and increase operational efficiency across a 40,000-mile transmission system. He also served as president and chief operating officer for AEP Texas; vice president, Transmission Engineering and Project Services for AEP Service Corporation; and director, Gas Turbine and Joint Venture Operations for AEP Service Corporation, among other operations and engineering roles at the company.
“I’m proud to join the best-in-class team at PSE, serving one of the most dynamic and forward-looking regions in the world,” said Smith. “Utilities are at the heart of our communities. Now is an exceptionally exciting time, with the opportunity to lead on clean energy while ensuring we are there for our customers 24/7, under all conditions.” PSE has set an aspirational goal to be a Beyond Net Zero Carbon energy company by 2045, targeting the reduction of its own emissions to net zero and going beyond by helping enable carbon reduction in other sectors across the state of Washington.
Smith holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University and an MBA from Abilene Christian University. He graduated from The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and from the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.