It is with great sadness that we share that Dr. Robert (Bob) Koger passed away on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
Dr. Koger made a large and lasting impact on both Advanced Energy and the energy industry as a whole. His career began with the Rural Electrification Administration in the 1960s, a governmental agency that helped bring electric and telephone services to rural communities. He was assigned to Greensboro, North Carolina, to work as a field engineer for the state.
In 1967, Dr. Koger was invited to join the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s staff, and he would go on to become a major staff leader for the next 10 years. In 1977, Gov. Hunt appointed Dr. Koger chairman of the Commission. He went on to serve as chairman for eight years and then as a commissioner for four years. In all, he worked 22 years with the Commission and staff, including returning twice to serve as an interim commissioner in 1999 and 2005.
Following a public hearing in 1979 involving an electric rate case hearing, Dr. Koger – then chairman of the Commission – wondered whether the heavy growth in electric demand could be slowed without hindering the state’s economic vitality. He proposed to his fellow commissioners that the Commission send out an order to set a hearing on the possibility of establishing a statewide nonprofit entity focused on promoting energy efficiency and renewable generation. The hearing was set for January of 1980, and as a result, the Utilities Commission founded the Alternative Energy Corporation (now Advanced Energy). In 1988, Dr. Koger, still at the Commission, was invited by the organization’s board of directors to serve as Advanced Energy’s president. He accepted the position and continued in this role until his retirement in 2018.
Under Dr. Koger’s leadership, Advanced Energy made a beneficial impact on both North Carolina and the nation at large. While maintaining its original mission and values, Advanced Energy more than doubled its staff, expanded its operations, added major research and testing laboratories, and won numerous grants to study energy-related issues.
Dr. Koger’s leadership has greatly influenced the energy world, and he is leaving a legacy that will help guide the industry for years to come. We are thankful to have had such a dedicated and visionary director and we will miss him greatly.
You can view Dr. Koger’s obituary and memorial service details by clicking here.