Michael L. McDowell


I hold two degrees from the University of Kansas, a BS degree and Master of Public Administration degree.  My course work included advanced organizational management, public policy, and electrical engineering.


My career in the electric industry began managing a small public power community for four years. My electric industry experience includes serving as CEO of both state and regional industry trade associations as well as operating utilities.  I served on the Board of Directors of the American Public Power Association and chaired committees of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) responsible for federal energy issues.


I was CEO and later Board member as well as President of Western States Power Corporation, organized by customers of the U.S. DOE Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) to provide oversight and funding of approved generation and transmission projects at facilities owned by WAPA, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 Western states.


I was CEO of Heartland Consumers Power District nearly 10 years prior to retirement December 31, 2013. Heartland provides wholesale power and energy, energy services, and customer support to municipal and cooperative utilities in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Heartland power resources included the then largest wind farm in South Dakota, Federal hydropower, baseload coal and nuclear units, and solar PV. Heartland was a partner in a 13,000 mile multistate HV transmission system prior to the owners joining Southwest Power Pool (SPP) as individual members. SPP operates members’ generation and transmission resources across 14 states from the Canadian border to Southwest Texas and Eastern New Mexico. I serve on a SPP review panel for proposed new transmission projects.


I have provided testimony before federal and state legislative committees and regulatory agencies. I also served in leadership positions in numerous state and community organizations, including South Dakota Transportation Commission, two four-year terms as a local elected official, Board member and President of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, an economic development agency of Lake County and the City of Madison, South Dakota, and the Board of Directors of Lake County/Miner County, South Dakota United Way.


I am married to Barbara Gower McDowell.  Barbara is a retired educator.   We have two adult sons, one living in Kansas City working in internet security management of the nation’s nuclear weapons, and one in Oklahoma City working for a major international oil field services company.