Calpine Corp. named veteran power industry leader Charlie Gates as its Executive Vice President of Power Operations effective April 1. Gates previously served as Duke Energy Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Fossil/Hydro Officer. He will report to Calpine’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Thad Hill. Gates will succeed Tom Webb, who came out of retirement to lead Calpine’s Power Operations team on an interim bases since August 2015 and previously had led the team in 2009-2010.
“The depth of Charlie’s experience and accomplishments in the power industry is hard to match. In addition to heading operations of one of the largest power plant fleets in the nation, Charlie has developed important technological improvements, led merger integration teams and achieved impressive safety performance. I am very pleased to welcome him to Calpine’s executive management team,” Hill said. “I am also very grateful to Tom for his leadership over the past several months as he applied his deep knowledge and skills to maintaining operational excellence across our power plant fleet.”
At Duke, Gates was responsible for all regulated non-nuclear generation assets, including significant budgets and approximately 42,000 MWs of generation capacity. He was promoted to his most recent role in August 2014 after serving as SVP of Power Generation Operations since July 2012, when Progress Energy merged with Duke. He had served in a similar capacity for Progress since January 2012 after being promoted from Vice President of Fossil Generation for Progress Energy for the Carolinas and Florida.
Gates was previously General Manager of Progress Energy Florida from the time the company merged with Carolina Power & Light Company in 2001 to 2006. He Gates began his power industry career with Carolina Power & Light in 1982 as an associate engineer and moved up through increasingly responsible positions to become General Manager of five fossil-fuel plants in 2000.
His other industry leadership roles include serving as Chairman of the Generation Council for the Electric Power Research Institute. Gates earned bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Calpine Corp. owns and operates a fleet of natural gas and geothermal-powered resources. Its 84 power plants in operation or under construction represents more than 27,000 megawatts of generation capacity. Through wholesale power operations and its retail business, Champion Energy, Calpine serves customers in 20 states and Canada.