The Bonneville Power Administration presented Battle Ground resident Carl Schwartz with one of its highest honors as part of the Administrator’s Excellence Awards program. BPA is a federal power marketing administration under the U.S. Department of Energy.

The annual program honors employees and members of the public who have made exceptional contributions to BPA’s mission, the electric utility industry or the local community through innovation, initiative, superior service or courageous acts.

Schwartz, an electrical engineer for Aerotek currently working with BPA’s Testing and Commissioning group in Vancouver, received the Administrator’s Special Service Award, which recognizes continued extraordinary service to BPA and the Northwest.

BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer presented the awards in a ceremony at its Portland headquarters.

“Over the past year, each and every awardee had an enormous impact on their organizations and the people around them,” Mainzer said. “It’s my pleasure to honor these remarkable people who are making a positive difference at BPA and in the Pacific Northwest.”

Schwartz, who has been a prominent figure in the energy industry for decades, has a history at BPA that spans 40 years. In his work at BPA, he developed an in-house system that allows engineers to test technical equipment to aid in the control of BPA’s vast power system, which includes over 15,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in eight western states.

As technology advances, traditional test equipment occasionally becomes unavailable and new test devices sometimes do not yet exist. This is where Schwartz’s expertise has been so valuable. He has helped to overcome some of these challenges by arranging new test devices and procedures to evaluate the reliability of equipment before it goes into service.

Today, test equipment for circuit boards, interface boxes and software scripts and suites that are integral to the commissioning of electrical substations is affectionately known as “the Carl Schwartz box.”

Schwartz received a bachelor of science from Walla Walla College in 1969 and is a 1965 graduate of Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash.

Award recipients were nominated by their peers and evaluated on criteria such as excellence in their chosen field, technical achievement, community outreach or service as an “unsung hero.”

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners have also saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. For more information, contact BPA at (503) 230-5131 or visit our website at

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