Bateman, Leonard Arthur

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Bateman, Leonard Arthur

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1919-

History

Leonard A. Bateman, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1919, has served all his professional life in the energy industry. Bateman received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1942, joined Winnipeg Hydro after graduation as a design engineer, earned a M.Sc. in 1948, and would remain employed with the company for the next 14 years. During his time at Winnipeg Hydro, Bateman rose steadily through the ranks of the organization, being first promoted to System Operating Engineer in 1948 and then General Superintendent of Production in 1952.

Bateman began his time with Manitoba Hydro in 1956, first working as a Systems Planning Engineer. During his early years with the utility, Bateman was involved with the planning and development of the Grand Rapids Generating Station, the Kelsey Generating Station, and the first 120,000 volt loop around Winnipeg. Beginning in 1967, Bateman took over responsibility for planning functions in Manitoba Hydro and acted as a design liaison for the design of the Nelson River D.C. Transmission System. Bateman was also responsible for the first interconnection negotiations with American utilities beginning in 1967-1968.

In late 1972, Bateman was asked to accept the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Manitoba Hydro. It was during his six-year tenure as C.E.O. of Manitoba Hydro that the utility would experience a period of unprecedented growth and expansion. The 1224 mw Kettle Generating Station was completed in 1974 at a cost of $240 million, with the Long Spruce Generating Station being completed later in 1979 at a cost of $508 million. Other major undertakings initiated or completed during Bateman’s time as Chairman and C.E.O. included the Lake Winnipeg Regulation project, the Churchill River Diversion project, and the second phase of the Nelson River D.C. Transmission project (Bi-Pole II).

A change in the political climate in the late-1970s would spell the end of Len Bateman’s career with Manitoba Hydro, though he would continue to operate a successful private consulting firm for the next 25 years. Leonard Bateman was President and/or Vice-President of several professional organizations, including The Canadian Nuclear Association, The Canadian Electricity Association, and The Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba. He is the past and founding President of The Canadian Society of Senior Engineers and in 2003 was invested into the Order of Manitoba.

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