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BPA Names Richard Bustamante Vice President of Transmission System Operations

The Bonneville Power Administration has named Richard Bustamante Vice President of Transmission System Operations.

Bustamante has served in an acting capacity since late July and will permanently take over the position on Feb. 11.

As head of Transmission System Operations, Bustamante will oversee the safe, reliable and resilient operation of BPA’s bulk electric grid, which includes 15,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, 259 substations and other facilities.

Bustamante will also preside over the organization’s operation of two 24/7 regional control centers and ensure the agency is represented on transmission operation and coordination issues with external balancing authorities and transmission operators such as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, the California Independent System Operator and Western Power Pool.

Bustamante started at BPA in 2004 as a commissioning and testing intern, completing engineering field work in substations across BPA’s service territory. Bustamante went on to work as a study engineer in Transmission Planning and as program coordinator in the Contract Management Office.

In 2012, he began his supervisory career managing the Protection Engineering team where he oversaw control and protection design for BPA’s transmission assets. Later, he also served as the supervisor of Transmission Infrastructure Development Planning, which manages large load and generation interconnection studies.

In 2019, Bustamante was selected as the manager of Transmission Planning. During his tenure, he led this team to develop plans of service in response to the exponential increase in generation and large-load interconnections and long-term firm transmission service requests as well as oversaw the 10-year planning horizon responsibilities for BPA Transmission.

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