MMUA's Kegel, SMMPA Win National Awards

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MMUA's Kegel, SMMPA Win National Awards

June 22, 2021

Orlando, Florida, June 22, 2021 — Twenty-Two individuals and eleven utilities were recognized for service to the American Public Power Association and the public power industry during APPA’s National Conference in Orlando, Florida.  Among those honored were MMUA CEO Jack Kegel and the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA).

Kegel was honored with the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award. This award recognizes people who have made a substantial contribution to the electric utility industry, with a special commitment to public power.

Under his leadership, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) has grown from having five employees and a budget of less than $700,000 to 30 employees and a budget of $5.3 million. Additionally, Jack has strengthened MMUA's resources in the core association function of government relations. MMUA continues to improve its visibility and credibility with legislators and key state agencies and forged strong working relationships with other industry players, including IOUs, co-ops, and environmental and consumer advocacy groups. He has led MMUA to become a national leader in safety and training. Since 1999, MMUA has owned and operated a municipal utility training center on an 18-acre campus in Marshall, Minnesota. For many years, MMUA has partnered with APPA in hosting educational opportunities at the training center and has trained students from around the country. Jack is planning to retire this fall after a 33-year career in public power. 

SMMPA won an Energy Innovator Award, for its Member EV Charging Network.

The Network is a collaboration between the agency, 17 of its member utilities, and ZEF Energy to facilitate the acceptance of electric vehicles and help with the transformation of both the electric utility and transportation industries. SMMPA made the investment in the chargers and maintenance programs, while member utilities located suitable sites and handled the installation. This project will bring fast charging stations to the region and reduce range anxiety by providing EV owners with a quick charge when they are traveling longer distances. SMMPA has developed a blueprint for how to create an EV charging network across members within a joint action agency and has learned valuable lessons throughout this project. As a result, SMMPA has had several webinars on this project, including sessions on siting and site design, installation and commissioning, pricing and rate setting, and using the portal and various apps.


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