The organization that provides hydro-electric power to Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg has hired a new chief executive officer. The Southeast Alaska Power Agency, or SEAPA, Tuesday announced the hiring of Trey Acteson. He’s a power plant manager with Chugach Electric Association, a cooperative headquartered in Anchorage.

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Board chair Jeremy Maxand of Wrangell said he’s pleased to be bringing Acteson on with the agency. “We went through a very robust search and hiring process,” Maxand said. “We ended up with a handful of very qualified candidates and we interviewed them as a board and it became pretty clear pretty fast that Trey was somebody that we believe has the diverse skillset to take SEAPA to the next level.”

SEAPA owns two hydro power plants and transmission lines serving about 18-thousand customers in the three Southeast communities. Acteson has worked 11 years for Chugach Electric, managing natural gas and hydro-electric power plants. He has over of 27 years experience in the electric industry in Alaska, including time with the Golden Valley Electric Association, a cooperative based in Fairbanks.

His experience with hydro power plants made him a top candidate for Maxand and the rest of SEAPA’s board. “Yeah hydro power both on the ground and somebody who gets their hands dirty with projects themselves, with project management, with human resource management, with dealing with decision makers on the state level and the federal level,” Maxand said. “Those things all come into play when you are maintaining a hydro power system like we have, we’re fortunate to have, but also when we’re looking forward into the next 5, 10, 15 years as we bring on new hydro power capacity.”

Acteson is replacing Dave Carlson, who is retiring after decades of involvement in Southeast electrical power projects with SEAPA, a predecessor organization called the Four Dam Pool and the regional organization Southeast Conference. Acteson said he sees many positives with the new job. “SEAPA’s a great organization,” he said. “They’ve got such an excellent seasoned professional staff. I’m fortunate to be walking in with that fully assembled and ready to go. And of course the board and Mr. Carlson have built a really strong healthy organization.”

Acteson’s new job is with a joint public agency formed by the three municipalities. He said SEAPA has some similarities with the member-owned electrical cooperatives where he’s worked. “We’re all still founded on the basic same premise to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to those that we serve. That’s my vision going forward for SEAPA and I believe that’s consistent with the current administration as well,” Acteson said.

Acteson was hired after a search process that took several months. He’ll paid an annual salary of 168-thousand dollars. He’ll be tasked with leading the power agency through some big projects in the next few years. Those include about 12 million dollars worth of replacement, repair and improvements on the existing power grid. SEAPA is also pursuing more water storage capacity at Swan Lake near Ketchikan, possible transmission line connections to Kake and Metlakatla and options for additional electrical sources in the future.

The Wasilla resident turns 48 this month. He’ll be moving to Ketchikan with his wife and two kids Acteson starts work August 20th.