CONTACT: Eric Barendsen,​, 303-704-0765

Bart Barnhart

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Barton V. Barnhart has been selected as Western Area Power Administration’s senior vice president and Rocky Mountain regional manager by Interim Administrator and CEO Tracey A. LeBeau. Barnhart will assume the role August 1. 

“Bart has an impressive array of experience in the energy business and beyond,” LeBeau said. “His distinguished military career and executive-level experience managing complex organizations and facilities position him to get up to speed quickly and excel at WAPA.”

In this role based in Loveland, Colorado, Barnhart will lead more than 460 federal and contract staff responsible for selling federal hydropower and operating and maintaining more than 5,400 miles of high-voltage electric transmission lines, approximately 120 substations and other critical energy infrastructure in a five-state service territory. Each year, Rocky Mountain sells and delivers more than 2.8 million megawatt-hours of hydropower generated at 20 hydroelectric plants in the Loveland Area Projects to 65 public, nonprofit utilities and organizations in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

“I feel honored to be chosen to lead WAPA’s Rocky Mountain region as we face new challenges on the energy frontier,” Barnhart said. “I’ve known about WAPA since my days as a lieutenant at Lowry Air Force Base and am very excited about this opportunity to be part of a team I’ve always held in high esteem!”

Barnhart previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Petroleum Reserves in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management where he oversaw the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve and the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves.

Barnhart joined DOE in 2015, where he led decommissioning and demolition of nuclear facilities in the Office of Environmental Management. 

As a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Barnhart was the chief engineer in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command and was responsible for engineer warfighting operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Barnhart also led policy development, budget planning and execution for the Air Force’s environmental and energy programs. 

He brings a breadth of experience leading construction, contract management, facilities, maintenance, fire protection and disaster and emergency response, all of which will help him manage critical functions at WAPA.

Hailing from Chariton, Iowa, Barnhart holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a master’s degree in military art and science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is a licensed professional engineer, project management professional and certified facility manager.


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at​.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023