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Jim Stanfield Announces He Will Stay On As General Manager of Lakeland Electric Through March 2012

JIM STANFIELD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT PLANS

AGREES TO STAY AS GENERAL MANAGER OF LAKELAND ELECTRIC THROUGH MARCH 2012

LAKELAND, FL (November 21, 2011) --  Although it was previously reported that Lakeland Electric General Manager Jim Stanfield was originally planning to retire on December 31, 2011, he has accepted a request by Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas to remain at the helm of the utility through March 31, 2012. 

Thomas said, “I have asked Jim to consider a slight delay in his original retirement plans to assist the utility complete a few remaining issues that were delayed due to the additional time involved with the utility’s recent rate case.”  He added, “Jim’s leadership and tenure with the electric utility will be invaluable as Lakeland Electric finalizes a number of key initiatives, including the completion of the utility’s updated integrated Resource Plan (IRP).”  The IRP is a a comprehensive decision support tool that outlines the most efficient way to meet customer’s electricity needs while addressing the substantial risks and uncertainties inherent in the electric utility business.

Stanfield will also be overseeing the finalization of the smart meter installation process and the staffing needs associated with supporting smart grid technology.   Stanfield said, “I am pleased to assist with the completion of some matters initiated by this team and help Doug finalize a few remaining utility projects  before I end my tenure here.”  Stanfield has been General Manager of Lakeland Electric since 2003. He enrolled in the City’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) on March 18, 2011 and is fully able to retain regular full time employment with the City through March 18, 2016. 

Prior to this appointment as General Manager, he served as Director of Legislative, Regulatory and Environmental Affairs for Lakeland Electric.  While General Manager at Lakeland Electric, he has managed to cut $11 million per year in O&M costs.  Before assuming his job at Lakeland Electric, Stanfield held several positions during his 22-year career at Florida Power Corp., including that of Public Service Commission Liaison and Senior Counsel for the utility.  He was the former chair of the Public Utilities Law Committee of the Florida Bar Association and also worked for the City of Gainesville and the Salt River Project in Arizona before joining Florida Power. 

Stanfield has been active on the boards at the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Florida Municipal Power Pool, the Florida Municipal Power Agency and the ERO for Florida, the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.  He received the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award from the American Public Power Association in 2011.

Lakeland Electric is a full service power provider with over 600 full-time employees and it was one of the first electric utilities in the state of Florida.  Serving over 120,000 customers, it is the third largest public power provider in Florida generating over 1,100-megawatts and operating 2000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities.  Lakeland Electric owns and operates one of the most efficient combined cycle gas units in the United States and has been on the forefront of emerging renewable energy sources.  It was one of the first utilities in the country to offer customers a solar hot water heater program over 20 years ago.  The utility continues a push to the future with a recent large platform roof-top solar project and it will soon be introducing a 5.5-megawatt, 40-acre solar farm into the generation mix as part of its commitment to renewable energy.

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