Auburn, Calif.- The appointment of Jay L’Estrange as the new Director of Power Generation Services for the Placer County Water Agency was announced Monday (June 20) by PCWA General Manager David A. Breninger.
L’Estrange, who brings 22 years of experience in hydroelectric energy management, succeeds Steve Jones, who retires July 1 from a 28-year career with the agency.
The newest member of the PCWA management team comes to the agency from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, Washington, where as chief of the technical support branch he managed a staff of 18 providing technical support for six hydroelectric projects. His previous experience includes 9 years with the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) in Eugene, Oregon where he served as generation supervisor and generation manager. He also worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as an electrical engineer and operations and maintenance supervisor for the Central California Area Office, including 11 years at Folsom Dam.
“I’ve always hoped that I would be able to come back to this area,” said L’Estrange, a U.S. Navy veteran and 1989 electrical engineering graduate of California State University, Sacramento. He said he is impressed with the PCWA Middle Fork American River Project, which he will be managing. “I’ve toured the facilities and they’re in good shape. They’ve been doing a good job up there. I want to keep that going.” During his years with EWEB, L’Estrange was involved with federal relicensing efforts, an experience expected to serve him well over the next few years as PCWA seeks to renew its original 50-year license on the Middle Fork Project.
The PCWA Power System is based in Foresthill and operates the Middle Fork Project with its extensive network of reservoirs, dams, waterways and powerhouses. The system employs 18 and has a 2011 operating budget of $13.8 million.
L’Estrange and his wife, Jessica, have settled in Auburn. His first day with PCWA is June 20.