The Orange County Power Authority has a new interim chief executive officer: Joe Mosca, the agency’s director of communications and external affairs.

The OCPA board unanimously elevated Mosca to the CEO post on Monday, May 8.

Mosca was chosen for the role because “he’s currently been doing a lot of external facing within the organization,” said Tammy Kim, an Irvine councilmember who also serves on the OCPA board.

“We wanted to select an existing employee because we knew that it would take a bit of time to go through the … process to find another (CEO),” Kim said.

The green power agency is on the lookout for a hiring firm and anticipates that it will take four to six months to find a new CEO, Kim said.

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In April, Brian Probolsky, who served at the helm of the ratepayer-funded agency for two years, was dismissed from the role.

As CEO, he oversaw the launch of OCPA which now serves four cities: Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine. Both residential and commercial customers receive power purchased through the agency.

However, Probolsky’s tenure was not without controversy. An audit by the Orange County Grand Jury, reviews by the county and a state audit all critiqued OCPA, particularly its leadership, for its management, pricing strategies and transparency.

The state audit alleged that Probolsky and staff did not follow their own procedures when executing power purchase agreements and improperly issued $1.8 million in marketing and financial services contracts. Probolsky also appeared to lack the necessary experience for the role, the county’s December report said.

Most recently, a review of the agency commissioned by Irvine found that OCPA has a higher opt-out rate (23%) compared to other green power agencies which typically have a rate between 5-10%. Overall, though, the city’s report was largely positive.

Launched in 2020 as a green alternative to Southern California Edison, OCPA started with the cities of Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach and Irvine — with the county slated to join in late 2022. However, following the release of the first three audits, the county pulled out in December.

Probolsky will stay on till the end of May and will work with Mosca on the transition, said Kim.

Mosca joined OCPA in December, according to his OCPA biography, and was a founding member and chair of San Diego Community Power, the second-largest community choice energy program in California. He has worked for San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company.

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