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District Energy System

Employee Spotlight

Bob Lackey, Metro DES Liaison

Bob Lackey

Bob Lackey has worked for the Metro government for more than 40 years, and he has served as the Metro DES Liaison since 2010. He worked closely with DES from the time it began, and he was a part of every stage of the process, from the inception to the development and construction. Now, as DES Liaison, he works closely with the constellation and project administration to oversee plant operations, communicate with the Director of Finance, and administer the contract with Constellation Thermal Energy Group.

Q: In addition to the DES Liaison position, what other responsibilities do you have with the government?

A: In addition to serving as special project manager for District Energy System, I am also a part of the Sports Authority for LP Field and Convention Center Authority. I have a host of responsibilities with the Metro government, but I would estimate about 50 percent of my work is tied to my position as DES Liaison.

Q: What did you do before coming to DES? What brought you DES?

A: My career has always been in the finance department of the Metro government, and I served as the chief accountant for about 20 years. This position gave me the opportunity to be more specialized, and my focus changed to overseeing and managing contracts of the Metro government. Both being involved in DES from beginning and my expertise in managing contracts led to the transitioning of my position as DES Liaison.

Q: How do the systems expansion projects work when new buildings are serviced by DES?

A: First, we must determine whether the DES system is capable of serving the new buildings. A big factor in this decision process is the location of the building and whether it is within reach of the DES system. Once we determine the DES system can serve the new building, the project administrator works with the building owner to develop a model for pricing. We then use this pricing model to propose a contract to serve the potential customer.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

A: I would say the most challenging part is getting people to understand the true benefits of district energy. One of greatest benefits is that our customers receive a more economical value of energy while being able to maximize the use of their building space. To help others see the benefits, we often use recommendations from other customers. We also try to provide potential customers with information from their own building and plug it in to a model that demonstrates how the district energy system can be more advantageous for that building.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: I enjoy singing gospel music, and I’ve been doing it my whole life.