After 38 years of service, Will Kaul, Great River Energy’s vice president and chief transmission officer, has set his retirement date for July 1, 2017, after which he will continue to provide consulting and expertise to Great River Energy and the future grid initiative he has led since 2014.
“It’s been a great opportunity, experience and feeling of accomplishment after 38 years with the cooperative. Providing essential services on a non-profit basis means you wake up every morning knowing you are going to do some good, make a difference in people’s lives. It’s a passion we all share at Great River Energy, making it an even richer experience for me. But I’m not gone yet and I’ll continue to be involved in a consulting role after July 1, so this isn’t goodbye.”
Kaul joined the organization in 1978 as an environmental specialist at Cooperative Power and was named manager of that department in 1979. When Great River Energy was formed in 1999, he was selected to serve on the senior staff as vice president, transmission.
Under his leadership, Great River Energy’s transmission team has become known for its expertise and innovation. The company has continuously improved service reliability to members, last year recording the lowest number of outages at its members’ substations since 1999.
Kaul represents the company around the country, providing insight and thought leadership on transmission issues.
Kaul is a founder, director and past president of WIRES, a Washington, D.C.-based working group that promotes investment in the transmission grid. At the WIRES 10-year anniversary annual meeting in November, Kaul was re-elected to the board of directors. As part of the program, Kaul spoke to the group about the dramatic changes that have occurred in the last ten years and what to expect in the next ten. He followed Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz who emphasized the critical importance of the two foundational networks of a modern economy, the electric grid and the Internet.