The Orange County Power Authority has a new interim chief executive officer: Joe Mosca, the agency’s director of communications and external affairs.

The OCPA board unanimously elevated Mosca to the CEO post on Monday, May 8.

Mosca was chosen for the role because “he’s currently been doing a lot of external facing within the organization,” said Tammy Kim, an Irvine councilmember who also serves on the OCPA board.

“We wanted to select an existing employee because we knew that it would take a bit of time to go through the … process to find another (CEO),” Kim said.

The board prioritized having an interim CEO in place “so that information can be divulged and shared” before outgoing CEO Brian Probolsky’s term ends on May 31, said Fred Jung, chair of the OCPA board and Fullerton’s mayor.

The green power agency is on the lookout for a hiring firm and anticipates that it will take four to six months to find a new CEO, Kim said.

“Whomever we choose will be the right person for this role for certain this time,” Jung said. “We will go through an exhaustive nationwide search to find someone that can help this agency for the next foreseeable five to six years.”

Related links

OCPA fires embattled CEO Brian Probolsky
Orange County Power Authority rates ‘competitive,’ Irvine report says
State senator calls for resignation of OCPA chief executive amid scathing audit
Orange County Supervisors vote to pull out of deal for clean electricity

In April, Probolsky, who served at the helm of the ratepayer-funded agency for two years, was dismissed from the role.

As CEO, he oversaw the launch of OCPA which now serves four cities: Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine. Both residential and commercial customers receive power purchased through the agency.

However, Probolsky’s tenure was not without controversy. An audit by the Orange County Grand Jury, reviews by the county and a state audit all critiqued OCPA, particularly its leadership, for its management, pricing strategies and transparency.

The state audit alleged that Probolsky and staff did not follow their own procedures when executing power purchase agreements and improperly issued $1.8 million in marketing and financial services contracts. Probolsky also appeared to lack the necessary experience for the role, the county’s December report said.

Most recently, a review of the agency commissioned by Irvine found that OCPA has a higher opt-out rate (23%) compared to other green power agencies which typically have a rate between 5-10%. Overall, though, the city’s report was largely positive.

Launched in 2020 as a green alternative to Southern California Edison, OCPA started with the cities of Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine — with the county slated to join in late 2022. However, following the release of the first three audits, the county pulled out in December.

OCPA, Jung said, is in the process of implementing recommendations from the audits and grand jury report, including amending its risk management program, expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

Probolsky will work with Mosca on the transition, Kim said.

Mosca joined OCPA in December, according to his OCPA biography, and was a founding member and chair of San Diego Community Power, the second-largest community choice energy program in California. He has worked for San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company.

This story has been updated.

Related Articles

Local News |

Gov. Newsom touts state’s transition to renewable energy in LA facility tour

Local News |

Could Irvine’s plans to go all-electric in most new buildings be jeopardized by federal ruling?

Local News |

Can reprocessing offer a solution for San Onofre, other nuclear issues?

Local News |

EV charging hub in Riverside will power 40 Sysco trucks, 40 trailers

Local News |

Former VP Mike Pence talks up energy independence at Nixon Library