Valley Forward: Barbara Lockwood
Director of Renewable Energy
Arizona Public Service
Barbara Lockwood is a chemical engineer who doesn’t consider herself an environmentalist at heart, yet there she is — director of renewable energy for Arizona Public Service.
“It’s not something that’s innate in me,” Lockwood says about the environment. “I got into it from a business perspective. What makes sense to me is that we as a global economy are all tied together on one planet. What truly makes the world go around is our businesses and our connections. Accordingly, to sustain that and be viable long term we must do everything we can to protect and sustain the Earth. I truly believe our businesses run our society.”
At APS since 1999, Lockwood is responsible for renewable energy programs, including generation planning, customer programs and policy. Lockwood began her career in the chemical industry at E.I. DuPont de Nemours in various engineering and management roles on the East Coast. Later she moved into consulting and managed diverse projects for national clients throughout the country.
Lockwood, who joined Valley Forward in 1970 and now is a member of the executive committee, holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Clemson University and a master of science in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I’m a chemical engineer and I stepped into the environment right out of college,” Lockwood says. “It was a hazardous waste treatment operation.”
Although much has changed since Lockwood launched her professional journey, “renewable energy was a natural progression of my career.”
All sources of renewable energy, including solar, wind and biomass, should remain part of Arizona’s energy portfolio, she says. Lockwood mentions a biomass operation near Snowflake that generates electricity primarily by burning woody waste material from nearby national forests.
Lockwood calls Arizona “the best solar resource in the world,” and expects greater use of that renewable energy in the years ahead.
“We’re definitely working on that,” she says. “Solar is the resource of choice in the sunny Southwest.”
The main benefit of renewable energy is what you don’t see.
“It reduces polluting emissions because it is a clean source of fuel, and it offers a stable price,” Lockwood says. “What’s more, it can create jobs in Arizona.”
Lockwood touts APS’ Green Choice Programs as a way to improve the environment. Green Choice involves such things as converting to compact fluorescent light bulbs, renewable energy resources such as solar and wind, and high-efficiency air conditioning.
She also touts APS.
“The company is committed to renewable energy, and I came here because of that reputation,” Lockwood says.