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Climate and Environment

Troubled Orange County Power Authority Gets New Interim Leadership

A field of solar panels is surrounded by dry flat fields with mountains in the background.
Solar panels in the Mojave Desert. The OCPA recently agreed to purchase energy from Grace Orchard Energy Center, which plans to develop a solar-plus-battery storage-project in Riverside County.
(Patrick T. Fallon
AFP via Getty Images)
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The board of the troubled Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) appointed a new interim CEO on Monday — the latest move by the agency's new board to try and save the county's clean energy plans.

What's the OCPA? It’s a public agency that provides mostly renewable energy to customers in Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine. It hoped to expand service to more of Orange County but the rapid decline in public confidence has kept the agency in survival mode.

What happened to the previous CEO? OCPA CEO Brian Probolsky faced heavy criticism from official auditors and citizen groups for sloppy hiring practices and financial mismanagement, among other concerns. The county's board of supervisors voted to exit the agency in December over a lack of confidence, and Irvine had threatened to do the same if Probolsky wasn't replaced.

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Who's the new CEO? The OCPA board picked Joe Mosca to take over leadership as interim CEO on June 1, pending a finalized employment contract. Mosca is currently the OCPA’s communications director. Previously, he helped found San Diego Community Power, the state's second largest agency under the community choice aggregation (CCA) model. CCAs allow cities and counties to purchase clean energy on behalf of their residents and are credited with accelerating the development of renewable energy.

Go deeper: Mismanagement, Sloppy Hiring Practices, Lack Of Transparency. Will Orange County's Fledgling Clean Power Agency Survive?

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