Elster Solutions, LLC
Public Power Daily

APPA

Monday, December 8, 2014
On Dec. 3, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced a shorter version of their bipartisan energy efficiency bill. The American Public Power Association (APPA) backs the measure.

The bill, S. 2971, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, is identical in content and title to H.R. 2126, which passed the House on March 3, 2014, by a vote of 375-36. The bill stalled in the Senate last May when it failed to get enough votes (60) to avoid a filibuster.

Title I of the bill encourages commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption through the Tenant Star Program, a voluntary certification and recognition program.

Title II exempts from regulation certain thermal storage water heaters under new Department of Energy efficiency standards that go into effect in April 2015, a provision that was previously supported by APPA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and others as a stand-alone bill (H.R. 4066).

Title III requires federal agencies to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, and DOE to establish guidelines for implementing energy-saving information technologies.

Title IV requires that federally leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.

Earlier this year, APPA, the Alliance to Save Energy and a broad coalition of over 80 companies, organizations, and trade associations wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, asking them to bring the Shaheen-Portman bill to the floor for a vote. The measure "would help meet America's goals of increasing energy productivity, enhancing energy security, reducing harmful emissions, and promoting economic growth in a financially responsible manner," the coalition said (see Public Power Daily, May 2, 2014).

Whether the Senate will take up the bill in the remaining days of the 113th Congress is an open question, but by re-introducing a bill that is identical to one that has already passed the House, Sens. Shaheen and Portman appear to have boosted the measure's chances of passage. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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National Information Solutions Cooperative
TESSCO
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors on Dec. 4 approved a $1.47 billion budget for 2015. It provides funding for all operations and maintenance, and capital programs, projects and initiatives needed to meet the strategic directives set by the board.

SMUD said that it will start 2015 with a strong cash balance. When combined with cash generated from operations, SMUD expects to be able to cover the budget expenditures, including capital projects, without issuing new debt. The ability to fund SMUD’s 2015 normal system infrastructure through cash flow is a positive factor in maintaining strong credit ratings, it noted.  

The 2015 budget anticipates a small increase in the number of customers SMUD serves but kilowatt-hour sales volume is expected to be slightly lower than in 2014 due to increases in energy efficiency and customer solar, which reduce average electricity consumption per customer. The number of low-income customers receiving a discounted rate is relatively flat, though a new census indicates that the number of customers eligible continues to grow.

Energy-supply commodity costs -- the cost of natural gas to fuel power plants, wholesale power purchases and transmission -- make up about half of SMUD’s total O&M budget. SMUD said it has locked in fixed prices for most expected energy requirements for 2015 to ensure cost and rate stability for customers. Only a very small percentage of budgeted purchases are exposed to short-term market price fluctuations.

SMUD went on to say that reliability is foremost among its priorities. The budget includes funds for, among other things, ongoing preventive maintenance and capital-improvement projects needed to ensure high reliability of the distribution system; a comprehensive risk assessment of SMUD’s assets to meet physical security standards; and improving communications to customers when they’re affected by an outage.

SMUD said that it continues to implement, test and evaluate new technologies to modernize the grid, create operational efficiencies and give customers new tools to manage their energy use. SMUD is making permanent some of the programs tested under the "SmartSacramento" federal grant awarded in 2009, such as advanced lighting controls and in-home energy displays.

With respect to SMUD’s environmental stewardship efforts, SMUD noted that projects in the 2015 budget include, among others, continued investment in research and development projects focusing on ways to better manage intermittent sources of renewable energy, distributed-energy storage and plug-in vehicles and protecting bald and golden eagles at SMUD’s Solano Wind Farm through implementation of a conservation program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Meanwhile, SMUD said that its customers continue to pay significantly less for electricity than most Californians and as of January 2015, about 26 percent less than residential customers who are supplied by neighboring Pacific Gas & Electric.—PAUL CIAMPOLI


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SEDC, Inc.
NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries on Dec. 3 announced a definitive agreement under which the companies have agreed to combine. The transaction is valued at approximately $4.3 billion.

Along with Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval, the transaction also is subject to, among other things, approval by Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
 
Florida-based NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries expect the transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, to be completed within approximately 12 months. Both companies are investor-owned utilities.

The transaction includes the assumption of $1.7 billion in Hawaiian Electric Industries debt and excludes ASB Hawaii, a banking subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries. In connection with the agreement, Hawaiian Electric Industries separately announced on Dec. 3 a plan to spin off ASB Hawaii, the parent company of American Savings Bank, to Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders and establish it as an independent publicly traded company.

The spinoff of ASB Hawaii is expected to be completed immediately prior to, and is contingent upon, the completion of the combination of Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra Energy.

In other recent merger-related news, Louisiana-based IOU Cleco in October said that that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of North American long-term infrastructure investors in a deal that valued Cleco at approximately $4.7 billion, including approximately $1.3 billion of assumed debt (see Public Power Daily, Oct. 21, 2014).—PAUL CIAMPOLI

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NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries on Dec. 3 announced a definitive agreement under which the companies have agreed to combine. The transaction is valued at approximately $4.3 billion.

Along with Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval, the transaction also is subject to, among other things, approval by Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
 
Florida-based NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries expect the transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, to be completed within approximately 12 months. Both companies are investor-owned utilities.

The transaction includes the assumption of $1.7 billion in Hawaiian Electric Industries debt and excludes ASB Hawaii, a banking subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries. In connection with the agreement, Hawaiian Electric Industries separately announced on Dec. 3 a plan to spin off ASB Hawaii, the parent company of American Savings Bank, to Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders and establish it as an independent publicly traded company.

The spinoff of ASB Hawaii is expected to be completed immediately prior to, and is contingent upon, the completion of the combination of Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra Energy.

In other recent merger-related news, Louisiana-based IOU Cleco in October said that that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of North American long-term infrastructure investors in a deal that valued Cleco at approximately $4.7 billion, including approximately $1.3 billion of assumed debt (see Public Power Daily, Oct. 21, 2014).—PAUL CIAMPOLI

New York’s state's electric system has the capacity to meet demand for electricity, as well as the operating reserves it needs, during extreme cold through the 2014-2015 winter season, the New York Independent System Operator said Dec. 3.

The New York ISO anticipates a peak load demand of 24,737 megawatts this winter. The forecast is below last winter’s peak, when the polar vortex produced a record-setting winter peak load of 25,738 MW on Jan. 7, 2014.

The winter peak forecast is based on average winter weather conditions, with composite statewide temperatures of 15-16°F. If extreme weather produces colder conditions, with temperatures in the 5-6°F range, peak demand across the state could increase to approximately 26,300 MW, the ISO said.

Installed generation capacity in New York state this winter adds up to 39,803 MW, the ISO said. Net external capacity purchases of 1,078 MW also have been secured for the winter period. When combined with the 843 MW of projected demand response in a program that enlists consumers to reduce electricity use during peak conditions, the total capacity resources amount to 41,724 MW.

The electric system requires surplus power supplies to guarantee that sufficient electricity is available in the event of unanticipated power plant outages, transmission outages or unexpected increases in power consumption, the ISO noted. New York’s grid operators maintain 1,910 MW of operating reserves.

"Last winter, as much of the country dealt with frigid temperatures from polar vortex events, New York’s electricity use set a new record winter peak," said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. "Last winter’s record-setting demand, combined with natural gas fuel constraints, led to significant price volatility. We continue to work with our regulators and stakeholders on fuel assurance initiatives, operational measures and potential improvements to our market design that will address the growing reliance on natural gas and strengthen grid reliability and market efficiency."

Disruptions in the supply or delivery of natural gas can affect the ability of gas-fired generation to provide power, which could affect electric system reliability, the ISO noted. In New York, natural gas supplies much of the state’s generating capacity, mostly from "dual-fuel" units capable of using gas or oil to produce power. The fuel-switching capability helps mitigate the impact of fuel supply disruptions, the ISO said.

The ISO observed that its hourly bid process, the ability to adjust bids in real-time for fuel costs, and a day-ahead market for posting gas nominations "are all part of the NYISO’s strong market design."

For the 2014-2015 winter season, the ISO said it "has added expanded visualization of the natural gas system so grid operators can see more clearly the status of the pipeline system; increased day-ahead reference level flexibility for generators; conducted winter preparedness outreach among market participants; and expanded both the fuel and emissions surveys to enhance reliability." New gas infrastructure serving the downstate region also is expected to help improve generators’ access to fuel sources.

The grid operator noted that the state’s electricity system registers its greatest demand during summer months, due in large part to the power demands of air conditioning and cooling systems. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fewer than 10 percent of New York households rely on electricity as the main source of home heating, while more than 70 percent use air conditioning.

This year, New York hit its annual summer peak load in September, recording a peak of 29,782 MW on Sept. 2, which was the third lowest peak since 2000. In July 2013, the state set an all-time record peak of 33,956 MW. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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Pennwell Corporation - POWER-GEN International
EVENTS CALENDAR

2014


Webinar – It's a Wrap: A Look Back at Legislative, Regulatory, and Political Developments in 2014
December 9

Webinar – Energy Efficiency: Identifying Your Utility's Energy Efficiency Goals and Developing a Portfolio Strategy
December 11

Webinar – OSHA Subpart V: Minimum Approach Distance
December 16

2015

Joint Action Workshop

Key West, Florida
January 11-13

Webinar – Energy Efficiency: Measurement and Evaluation of Program Effectiveness
January 13

Winter Education Institute
Anaheim, California
February 2-6

Webinar – Energy Efficiency: Implementing an Energy Efficiency Portfolio
February 10


For a full APPA Events Calendar, visit Publicpower.org.


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Utilismart Corporation
CLASSIFIEDS
Safety and environmental compliance coordinator— The city of Redding, California, is seeking a highly qualified individual to direct and monitor the electric utility’s health, safety, and environmental compliance programs. Qualifications: A bachelor's degree, plus related experience is required. Apply: View a detailed job announcement and apply online at www.ci.redding.ca.us. Apply by Dec. 31. EOE/FAAE.

Communications and governmental relations manager— The Cowlitz Public Utility District in Longview, Washington, is recruiting for a communications and government relations manager. Compensation: Salary depends on qualifications. Apply: The deadline to apply is Jan. 5, 2015. Qualification requirements, guidelines on how to apply, and detailed information can be found at www.cowlitzpud.org.

Chief executive officer— Baldwin EMC is recruiting for a chief executive officer to report to a seven-member board of trustees. The position is responsible for managing Baldwin EMC, including its nearly 200 employees. In addition to the responsibilities of leading Baldwin EMC, the CEO serves on the PowerSouth Board of Directors and the Alabama Rural Electric Association Board of Directors (statewide organization). Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have expertise as a chief executive or possibly senior level officer of a larger, successful electric distribution utility. Additional experience serving on a governing board of a wholesale electric provider is highly desirable. Organized in 1937, Baldwin EMC is now the largest electric cooperative in Alabama, and one of the fastest growing in the United States. It provides electric service to nearly 70,000 meters between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida, and is the sole electric provider of the coastal area of Baldwin County, including the communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Baldwin EMC enjoys high satisfaction among its members due to its admirable reliability and being lowest-cost provider in the region. Meter density is an enviable 15 per mile. Baldwin EMC is governed by a self-regulating board of trustees, consisting of seven members who are elected by the district to three-year terms. It has approximately 45 years remaining on its all requirements power contract with PowerSouth. Baldwin EMC owns and operates approximately 3,500 miles of overhead and 930 miles of underground distribution. Baldwin EMC generates approximately $150 million in annual revenue. Its 2013 total utility plant revenue was nearly $251 million, and its long-term debt totaled approximately $131 million. The majority of the long-term debt is financed through RUS. CFC and CoBank carry less than $4 million of that total. The cooperative paid $2.2 million in capital credits last year. Apply: Please submit credentials by Dec. 12 to Pat Prouse of MyCoff, Fry and Prouse, LLC, via email to: pprouse@mfpllc.us. For questions, call 800/525-9082 or 303/607-5372.

Auditor III— Santee Cooper in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is recruiting for an auditor III. The successful candidate will be responsible for planning and performing financial, operational, and compliance audits across multiple disciplines and in accordance with the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. The individual provides an independent control and appraisal function to examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls. The individual will also provide analysis, appraisals, recommendations, professional counsel, and other pertinent information to assist management in the discharge of their duties. Qualifications: A bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or a related field and a minimum of five years of directly related experience is required. Public accounting or utility experience, a professional certification (CPA, CIA), and/or an advanced degree is preferred. The individual must be highly skilled in the use of personal computers and Microsoft Office applications. The individual must possess strong verbal and written communications skills, and the ability to communicate with all levels within the organization. Santee Cooper will consider an Auditor II position with these qualifications: a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or a related field, and a minimum of two years of directly related experience.A CPA, CIA, or related professional certification is preferred. Apply: Visit the Santee Cooper website.

Electrical engineer— The Electrical District No. Two in Casa Grande, Arizona, has an immediate opening for a senior-level electrical engineer. Electrical District No. Two is a growing electric system, serving 6,500 customers in central Arizona, close to the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. The position responsibilities include: design of the overhead and underground distribution system, load current and voltage calculations, system planning, metering, overhead and underground construction standards, transmission and substation maintenance, system protection studies, SCADA, distribution automation, AMR, AutoCAD, and ESRI GIS. The position reports to the general manager. Qualifications: A Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in power systems is preferred. Excellent computer and communication skills, and at least five years’ experience in electric system design and operation is required. The ideal candidate must have a high level of initiative and excellent oral and written communications skills. Compensation: The starting salary will be dependent upon experience and education. Compensation includes excellent benefits: NRECA pension, 401(k), and medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Apply: For a detailed position profile, please contact Fran Seitz by email: fran@hireseitz.com; or phone: 303/730-1424. You can also contact Steve Dowdy by email: sdowdy@dowdyrecuriting.com; or phone: 303/816-0047.


Check out APPA's career services on the Web

Visit the Career Center at PublicPower.org. Our career center allows job seekers to upload resumes, and recruiters to obtain resumes from job seekers. Classified ads in Public Power Daily and Public Power Weekly cost 70 cents per word for APPA members, and 80 cents per word for nonmembers, for a one-week run. Job posting subscriptions are available in packages of five, 10, or unlimited for a full year. The weekly deadline for placing a classified ad is every Thursday at 12 p.m. (Eastern time). If you have questions about classified ads, please write to jobs@publicpower.org, or call 202/467-2958.

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Naylor Association Solutions
Hometown Connections International, LLC
Naylor, LLC
Naylor Association Solutions
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