3 days / 12 talks
Transformation Through Electrification

November 26-28
Plenary 9

Blake Mertens

Vice President, Electric Operations, Empire District Electric Company, Liberty Utilities, Algonquin Power

Mr. Mertens was appointed to his current position in September 2016.  He joined the Company in 2001 as Staff Engineer in Energy Supply.  Positions he has held include Planning Engineer, Combustion Turbine Construction Project Manager, Manager of Strategic Projects and Associate Director of Strategic Projects.  He was named Director of Strategic Projects, Safety, and Environmental Services in January of 2010 prior to accepting the position of General Manager – Energy Supply in November of 2010.  In May 2011, he was elected Vice President – Energy Supply and in May 2015 he was elected Vice President of Energy Supply and Delivery Operations.   Prior to his employment with Empire, Mr. Mertens was an Energy Consultant for Black & Veatch of Overland Park, Kansas.

Mr. Mertens largely spent the first ten years of his career at Empire developing and managing strategic generation projects.  These ranged from simple cycle and combined cycle combustion turbine projects to partnerships in large coal projects, such as Iatan 2, to wind generation projects to retrofits of coal-fired facilities with air quality control systems.  More recently, while still integrally involved with these types of projects, he has added duties in all operation aspects of Empire’s generation, transmission, and distribution divisions of the company.

A native of the Wichita, Kansas area, Mr. Mertens received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University and a Masters in Business Administration at Missouri State University.  He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Kansas.

Mr. Mertens serves on the board of the Joseph Newman Innovation Center and the United Way of Southwest Missouri/Southeast Kansas.  He has served on the board and as vice-chairman of the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center. He also was vice-chairman/treasurer of the Carl Junction Youth Athletic Association board.  He is a graduate of Leadership Missouri.

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