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Don Baughman

Head of Origination, WECC & CAISO

Southern Power

Don focuses on facilitating investor-owned utilities, municipalities, energy cooperatives, community choice aggregation (CCA) / community choice energy (CCE) and other electric load serving entities achieve their long-term energy resource plan goals with new build renewable and traditional generation, as well as, energy storage systems in the Western US energy markets.

Currently, Don covers the Western (WECC) region which includes California (CAISO), Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Basin and Rockies.

“In business development, we engage all our stakeholders, internal and external, to continually modulate our strategic efforts for the optimal commercial effect. I strive to build a personal relationship with our customers and prospective customers and really get to know their organization’s energy needs. When we understand organically our stakeholders’ challenges, we can deliver an intuitive structured solution.”

Before joining Southern Power’s business development team, Don worked with Enron, Engie, Cinergy/Duke/BNP Paribas and most recently with EDF Trading/Energy Services for eight years.

“The only constant in the wholesale electric business, other than the physics, is that it’s always dynamic! I started on the trading and optimizing side of the business in the late ‘90s a couple years after FERC orders 888 & 889 opened access to the transmission grid and created a pathway for competitive electric prices and markets in the US. Appreciating those paradigm shifts and hyper volatile natural gas pricing and renewable energy subsidies/penetration; how can you help not being excited in this type of environment?”

“I love the people who engage our business on a daily basis. Ours is a very dense and complex business, and it is very compact in nature as far as people go. With that, there are incredibly brilliant folks on the transmission and resource planning, portfolio management, project and business development and optimization that endeavor to keep the lights on in the most efficient manner and have a great time doing it!”

Don graduated with a bachelor of in agriculture business and Master of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

He was born and raised in the Houston, Texas area, attending Alvin High School where he did his best to make Nolan Ryan proud. These days, Don spends a lot recreation time hunting and fishing in Texas and other wonderful parts of the United States with the focus on being the best steward of the environment as possible.

Phone: 205-901-6854 Email:

Connect with Don on LinkedIn

Learn more about what our team is up to during our quick Q&A sessions. Let's meet Don!

What’s the best vacation you’ve taken? My brother, Travis, lived and worked in Switzerland for several years and the time I spent, as a young man, traveling all of Western Europe with my best friend are times I will always treasure.

Favorite food. Wow that’s tough one, and not too sound indecisive, I’d have to say that I’m evenly split between barbeque and Tex-Mex!

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring? My trusty Leatherman Multi-Tool(knife/pliers), an undiminishable Steel/Magnesium fire making tool and the Bible. I wish that I could have four things: I would also have a still – for some coconut vodka.

Tell us something we might not know about you. Every year, I help with the Houston livestock show and rodeo.

What is the last book you read? I just finished “The Light of the World” by James Lee Burke and just now started reading “One Ranger” by Joaquin Jackson.

Tell us something on your bucket list. One summer, in the not distant future, I plan to travel with my family to experience the wonders of Yellowstone’s lakes, canyons and mountain ranges and fish for cutthroat and rainbow trout in the rivers in the region.

What is the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery? I’d fully fund 529 plans for my daughter and her cousin’s undergraduate and graduate degrees to take that off my brother and sister’s plate. Then, I’d probably buy a helicopter.

What is your biggest pet peeve? I try my best not be irritated with people, but when a person is inconsiderate to another on the road or just in general in daily life that gets me a little hot under the collar.

Do you have a hidden talent? I can talk to cattle, ie. pretty good “moo”er.

What are you currently watching on Netflix? “Peaky Blinders”