AGA Presents 2020 Distinguished Service Award to Kent Larson
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) awarded the 2020 Distinguished Service Award to Kent Larson. Kent Larson served Xcel Energy for 38 years as an operations leader in the energy industry. Larson was most recently executive vice president and group president, Operations, at Xcel Energy which provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states.
“Kent’s career is impressive. He has given so much of his time and talents to ensure Xcel, AGA, and our entire industry strive for excellence.” said Diane Leopold, Chief Operating Officer of Dominion Energy and AGA Board Chair at a virtual meeting of the AGA Executive Committee. “I know I speak on behalf of all your colleagues in the industry that this award is well deserved.”
Under Larson’s leadership, Xcel Energy accomplished many goals through the completion of major initiatives related to the gas distribution side of the business. From proposing critical gas infrastructure projects to empowering employees through training opportunities, Larson upheld Xcel Energy’s values of safety and commitment to customers.
Larson was also instrumental in Xcel Energy’s ongoing gas pipeline replacement projects in Colorado and Minnesota, in which the company moved quickly to replace problematic pipe types. As a result, Xcel Energy has replaced all 880 miles of cast iron pipe that remained in its system and has regulatory approval to continue removing bare-steel pipe from the system over the next five years.
In alignment with Xcel Energy’s carbon vision to be 100 percent carbon-free by 2050, Larson helped lead the company in its ongoing clean energy transition. Larson guided the conversion of many coal plants to gas, including Black Dog in Minnesota and Cherokee in Colorado, among others. These initiatives contributed to a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions in 2019, Xcel Energy’s largest single-year decline in carbon emissions.
AGA and the industry benefitted from Larson’s experience and commitment to safety, reliability and environmental responsibility. With over 20 years of service, Larson was one of the longest serving members of the AGA board of directors to date, and participated on almost every committee on the board, including chairing the safety committee.
The Distinguished Service Award, AGA’s highest award, is given to the individual or individuals who, in the opinion of AGA’s member company executives, have made an outstanding and significant contribution to the natural gas distribution industry.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.