Powering Strong Communities
Electricity Markets

Ed Bielarski Named Interim CEO of Gainesville Regional Utilities

The Gainesville Regional Utilities Authority recently appointed Ed Bielarski interim Chief Executive Officer of Florida public power utility Gainesville Regional Utilities during a board meeting.

Bielarski, who was appointed to the GRU Authority board by Gov. Ron DeSantis in May 2024 and nominated as chair by his fellow directors, resigned from the board to accept his new role. 

Bielarski was GRU’s general manager from 2015 to 2022 and is perhaps best known for getting the utility out of an expensive contract with the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, often referred to as the biomass plant, the utility noted.

In 2017, Bielarski negotiated GRU out of the contract and purchased the plant. This action ultimately saved customers more than $1 billion and reduced bills by 8 to 10 percent.

“Bielarski earned a reputation as a tough negotiator by fighting to lower the annual transfer of funds to the City of Gainesville, which is used by the city to pay for services,” GRU said.

Bielarski negotiated with the Gainesville City Commission to lower the transfer $2 million a year over six years from a high of around $38 million. 

Prior to his career at GRU, Bielarski was chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the Lehigh County Authority in Allentown, Pa., where he shepherded a one-of-a-kind 50-year concession arrangement with the City of Allentown. The agreement was awarded the 2013 Northeast Deal of the Year by The Bond Buyer. 

Bielarski ran for mayor of Gainesville in 2022 and has written extensively about GRU’s most recent history from his time at GRU.

NEW Topics