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Schuetz selected as Energy Northwest’s new CEO

News release


Carla Martinez, Public Affairs, 509-372-5156 
Anna Markham, Public Affairs, 509-377-8162

RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Northwest’s Executive Board today named Robert (Bob) Schuetz as the agency’s CEO, effective Aug. 7. Schuetz has been the site vice president since August 2018. 

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead this talented organization,” Schuetz told the board today. “We have an amazing team that I’m proud of; and with their talent, our current carbon-free portfolio and strategic initiatives, I am excited for the bright future we have helping the Pacific Northwest meet its clean energy goals.”

Schuetz joined EN in 2013. He was promoted to plant general manager for Columbia Generating Station in 2014 and became site vice president in 2018. Before joining EN, he served as a plant evaluation team leader for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), concluding his INPO tenure on a reverse-loan assignment to EN. Schuetz is a 28-year U.S. Navy veteran who retired from service as the deputy commander and chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force, where he oversaw more than 7,000 service members operating 36 ships from four bases.

“Bob’s diverse leadership experience, combined with his nuclear background and time with Energy Northwest, provide continuity for the agency and a formula for continued success,” said Will Purser, executive board acting chair. “His talent and relentless pursuit of excellence contributed to earning the agency recognition as a top performing nuclear plant. His contributions have helped grow our carbon-free energy portfolio and paved the way for our leadership with advanced reactors.” 

As CEO, Schuetz will lead an organization of more than 1,000 employees who help power the region and he will provide oversight of the agency’s mix of carbon-free resources, including hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, wind and battery storage facilities. 

Schuetz holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s in engineering management from Old Dominion University and a master’s in economics from the University of Oklahoma, as well as senior reactor operator management certificates from EN and Westinghouse. 

Hettel to continue as chief nuclear officer
Grover Hettel will remain EN’s chief nuclear officer with responsibility for the overall performance of the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant, Columbia Generating Station, which provides approximately 10% of Washington’s electricity. 

“With Bob and Grover in our top leadership positions, we’re confident Energy Northwest will continue to provide the most reliable, cost-effective, carbon-free power and energy solutions to regional electric customers,” Purser said.  

During the last decade, EN’s Columbia Generating Station set numerous generation records and received industry recognition for performance. The agency has earned multiple safety awards, reduced costs and was named as a utility partner for two Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program awards.   

About Energy Northwest                                                                             
Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar, battery storage and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear power facility. These projects provide carbon-free electricity at the cost of generation – enough clean, cost-effective and reliable energy to power more than a million homes each year. As an independent joint operating agency of Washington state, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million customers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs.

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