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Powering Lubbock: LP&L's Interim Manager of Market Operations Guides Transition to Competition

With over two decades of experience at Lubbock Power & Light, Michael Winegeart holds valuable insights into the essential operations that keep the power on in Lubbock.

Michael Winegeart

Winegeart previously served as production superintendent, where he actively oversaw the three power plants responsible for generating electricity for LP&L customers. In the past year, Winegeart has played a crucial role in LP&L's transition to retail electric competition, taking charge of coordinating interdepartmental efforts to ensure a seamless transition as interim manager of market operations working daily with the Market Operations Team.

In 1999, Winegeart joined LP&L as a plant operator after his service in the U.S. Navy. He utilized the skills he acquired during Navy training, which involved running generators and learning how power plants function. This background enabled a natural career progression to LP&L, and eventually to his role as production superintendent. Today, he effectively manages all aspects of LP&L's plants, encompassing operations, maintenance, coordination with ERCOT for retail competition and budget planning. He is also a part of several ERCOT groups, including co-chair of the Lubbock Retail Integration Task Force and a member of the Retail Market Subcommittee.

Winegeart emphasizes the people and the diverse challenges that draw him to his current role. "As a manager, I embrace a variety of responsibilities and work with an incredibly dedicated team,” Winegeart said. “Over time, my role has evolved from technical proficiency to understanding the business side of the job and every day brings a new challenge, which I find rewarding and interesting.”

Behind the scenes, Winegeart's team works relentlessly around the clock to ensure a continuous power supply to Lubbock. "I am fortunate to work alongside a group that works tirelessly to ensure power is available for our community,” Winegeart said. “They are the unsung heroes behind the scenes, working day and night to keep the lights on in Lubbock."

With LP&L's transition to retail electric competition, Winegeart's role has shifted toward coordinating the transition process with ERCOT, the plants and across various groups within LP&L, including engineering, construction and customer service. This entails aligning these departments and ensuring their collaborative support. Additionally, he assumes the responsibility of equipping retail electric providers with the necessary resources to initiate business operations once the transition is complete.

Regarding customers, Winegeart underlines the significance of their understanding and preparedness for the transition. "This is a significant milestone – unlike any other municipality in Texas, we have willingly embraced retail electric competition in response to our customers' desire for greater freedom in choosing their power provider,” Winegeart said. “This decision empowers customers to determine their own priorities from a power company, whether it be opting for green energy, prioritizing reliability, choosing exceptional customer service or seeking the most competitive rates. The power is now in their hands to make the choice that best aligns with their individual preferences."

Customers have a variety of ways to learn more about the transition to competition and can check out frequent updates on LP&L's website, attend community meetings and follow LP&L on Facebook and Twitter. “No matter what, LP&L is continually committed to maintaining the grid, delivering reliable power and promptly addressing customer needs during outages, as these are the areas where we excel,” Winegeart concluded.