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Government estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) should not be used except in assessing the costs and benefits of federal regulations in required regulatory impact analyses, APPA said in Feb. 26 comments to the Office of Management and Budget on an updated—and much higher—estimate by an interagency working group. The working group’s report and related materials should make it clear that the social cost of carbon estimate, "which is a speculative assessment of the future costs of damages that might occur as a result of [greenhouse gas] emissions, is not an estimate of the current costs of reducing emissions," APPA said. "It is not a price on carbon."

Inappropriate uses of SCC estimates might drive policies that lead to substantial costs for electric utility customers, APPA said. The rate increases from inappropriate use of SCC estimates in regulatory proceedings could range from 7.3 percent to 66.6 percent for a utility with a generation portfolio of 20 percent gas, 40 percent coal and 40 percent non-fossil, APPA said. For a utility with 80 percent coal and 20 percent non-fossil generation, the increases could range from 12 to 108.4 percent.

The potential rate increases could be even greater if a utility decides to shutter a plant (or plants) in response to regulations based on inappropriate uses of the social cost of carbon estimate, APPA noted.

The estimate of the social cost of carbon involves "profound uncertainties," stemming from the enormity of the undertaking, APPA said. "Discerning how CO2 emissions will affect climate and weather for decades to come and then translating those projected changes into monetized economic impacts are daunting tasks that truly challenge our current capabilities," the association said. "This approach presumes that complicated, interrelated processes spanning the fields of chemistry, biology, meteorology, climatology, agricultural science, geography, physics, medicine, sociology and economics, can be accurately modeled."

"Using the SCC estimate in state-level policy decisions, federal regulatory proceedings or environmental impact statements is inappropriate and raises serious concerns of false precision and inappropriate weighting of global and long-term benefits against local and near-term costs," APPA said. The interagency working group derived its estimates of the social cost of carbon solely to facilitate uniform assessment of the value of greenhouse emissions reductions across federal agencies, APPA said. —ROBERT VARELA

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The American Public Gas Association has asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to investigate spikes in natural gas futures prices that occurred during the final hours of trading on Jan. 29. The CFTC should review the trading activities "to ensure that natural market forces, and not excessive speculation or other market abuses, were the causes for the 10 percent price spike in the February 2014 NYMEX Henry Hub contract that occurred in the final hours of trading," APGA President and CEO Bert Kalisch said in a Feb. 20 letter to CFTC acting Chairman Mark Wetjen.

"While the weather may have been particularly cold at that time, APGA questions whether cold weather can fully account for the 10 percent price spike," Kalisch said. Natural gas for February delivery jumped 52.4 cents to $5.557/MMBtu on Jan. 29, posting the highest closing price since Jan. 25, 2010, and the largest one-day percentage gain since June 14, 2012, he noted.

APGA said it has no evidence of manipulation and the price volatility may have been due to natural market forces. "However, this incident does drive home the pervasive pricing impact of NYMEX and the need to ensure that the market is liquid and operating correctly." —ROBERT VARELA

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Austin Energy in Texas has issued a request for proposals to contract with a solar company to develop a local community solar project so residents will be able to purchase solar energy without installing panels on their homes.

The RFP seeks up to 4 megawatts of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels installed on a 26-acre site owned by Austin Energy that includes an existing distribution substation. The deadline to submit proposals is April 29.

Austin Energy said it plans to enter into a long-term agreement with the selected developer to purchase all of the electricity produced by the solar project. The project would be operational by the second quarter of 2015 and would feed all of its solar power into the electric grid.

While details of a subscription-based community solar program are still to be determined, residential customers will see the first program offerings, the utility said. The amount of solar power purchased would offset the same amount of conventional electricity used by the home on a customer’s bill.

"This allows all residential customers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy regardless if they live in an apartment, a high-rise condominium or a house that is covered with shade," says Debbie Kimberly, vice president of customer energy solutions. "This allows all residents to contribute to a cleaner, greener and healthier community while helping to grow the clean energy economy in the Austin area."

The project is a response to a recent Austin City Council resolution requesting that 100 megawatts of the 200-MW solar goal that Austin Energy has been asked to achieve by 2020 be derived from local solar resources.

Austin Energy has about 50 MW of local solar, including solar units at homes, businesses, nonprofit organizations, public buildings and the utility's Webberville solar project.

"Promoting local solar creates green collar jobs that diversify our economy and helps position Austin to be a leader in attracting clean energy industries," Kimberly said.

The project would include a visitor center to educate the community about the benefits of solar generation. A kiosk at the center would provide real-time data about the project's solar energy output. The kiosk also would display the names of the participants who have chosen to be a part of the community solar project "as a statement about their commitment to creating a cleaner and greener community," Austin Energy said.

The RFP is available at www.austinenergy.com.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period until May 9 for both its proposed New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants and its notice of data availability asking for comments on its stance that the proposed rule does not violate the Energy Policy Act of 2005. (See yesterday's Public Power Daily.)

In its Feb. 26 notice of data availability asking for comments on its interpretation of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the agency said the deadline for comments was March 10. An extension notice issued the same day, which will be published in the Federal Register, extends the comment period for 60 days, until May 9. —J.A.

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EVENTS CALENDAR

Webinar – Rating Agency Outlook for Public Power
March 6

2014 Legislative Rally
Washington, D.C.
March 10-12

DEED webinar – Helping Your Key Accounts Achieve Energy Savings from Retrofitted Industrial Fume Hoods
March 13

Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Transmission
March 19

CEO Roundtable
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 23-25

Webinar – Managing the Impacts of Distributed Generation
March 26

DEED webinar – Developing a Cost-effective Conservation Voltage Reduction Program
March 27


Webinar – Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues for Boards
March 31

Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 4-5

2014 Engineering and Operations Technical Conference
Oklahoma City, Okla.
April 6-9

Webinar – The Management of Successful Customer Service Operations
April 8

Webinar – Investing in Intellectual Capital: How to Capture, Mentor and Retain Critical Knowledge and Skillsets
April 10

2014 Public Communications Committee Spring Issues Roundtable
Washington, D.C.
April 11

Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Distribution
April 16

Webinar – Cybersecurity Awareness Training Part III
April 17

DEED webinar – New Program Options to Engage High School Students on Energy Usage
April 23

Webinar – Determining Revenue Requirements for Your Utility
April 24

General Accounting, Finance & Audit Spring Meeting
Washington, D.C.
April 24-25

Webinar – Industry Issues and Challenges Facing Public Power Governing Bodies
April 30

Spring Education Institute
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
May 5-9

Webinar – Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members
May 13

Webinar – The Leadership Development Process
May 15

Webinar – Development of Cash Reserve Policies
May 20

Webinar – Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems
June 3

DEED webinar – Energy and the Environment, a High School Curriculum for Public Power
June 11

Webinar – Accounting Standards and Reporting Framework Update
June 12

National Conference & Public Power Expo
Denver, Colo.
June 13-18


Webinar – Introduction to Legislative Issues and Grassroots Advocacy
June 25

Webinar – Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils
June 30


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


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CLASSIFIEDS

Strategic planning manager—The City of Anaheim, Calif., is recruiting for a strategic planning manager. The position directs, manages, supervises and coordinates the activities and operations of the Financial & Administrative Division within the Public Utilities Department, including rate development, utility strategic planning, financial forecasting and financial modeling. The position also coordinates assigned activities with other divisions, departments and outside agencies. Qualifications: Six years of increasingly responsible administrative services, financial reporting, financial planning, forecasting, operations analysis, strategic planning, technology and communications experience, including two years of administrative and supervisory responsibility supplemented by a bachelor's degree, is required. Apply: City of Anaheim, Calif., applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. The first review of applications on this position will be Feb. 28. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Recruitment may close at any time without notice after the first review date. To apply, visit http://agency.governmentjobs.com/anaheim/default.cfm. EOE.

Electric utility engineer—The City of Redding Electric Utility (REU) in California is seeking an electric utility engineer. Compensation: The salary for the position is $5,539 to $8,790 per month. The position performs a variety of technical support functions related to development, implementation, integration and automation of technology systems used by the Electric Department. Qualifications: Typical education includes a bachelor’s degree in an engineering, computer science or information technology discipline from an accredited college, university or equivalent. Typical experience includes five years relevant experience. Experience within the electric utility industry is preferred. Apply: Apply online at www.ci.redding.ca.us by 11:59 p.m. on March 13. EOE/FAAE.

Senior electrical engineer—Burbank Water and Power (BWP) in California is seeking candidates for senior electrical engineer within the T&D Engineering Section of its Electrical Services Division. The senior engineer reports to the principal electrical engineer of the Substation, Protection & Automation Group. The senior engineer will be responsible for directing the design of electrical distribution system substations and their auxiliary electrical systems, including protective relay and substation automation equipment and underground conduit and cable systems for transmission and distribution. He/she may guide system planning studies, oversee system protection calculations and settings, direct the design of new electrical systems for buildings, make/direct preparation of cost estimates for electrical installations; supervise the preparation and review finished work drawings for electrical construction; prepare and direct development of specifications and requests for electrical equipment; review drafting and engineering calculations; serve in a technical advisory capacity for the site plan review process; supervise the maintenance of records relating to system operations; and make recommendations regarding hiring, promotions and transfers. The position performs other duties and responsibilities as directed. Qualifications: The minimum qualifications for this position are any combination of education and/or experience that has provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for acceptable job performance as determined by the city. An example combination includes, but is not limited to, a bachelor of science degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in engineering (preferably electrical), and four years of professional electrical engineering experience, including two years at the level of electrical engineering associate. A professional engineer's license is a plus. Knowledge of electrical engineering, design and operating practices related to electrical transmission and distribution and related auxiliary equipment is required. For additional information and a detailed profile, contact Steve Dowdy by office phone: 303/816-0047; cellphone: 303/601-3915; or email: sdowdy@dowdyrecruiting.com. Dowdy Recruiting, LLC.

Engineering assistants—The City of Redding Electric Utility (REU) in California is seeking two full-time engineering assistants to perform a variety of engineering assignments, including design, economic analysis, resource planning, study preparation and production, cost modeling, technical research and contract administration. Qualifications: The typical education would include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or other technical degree, including economics. Limited part-time or no experience is required. Apply: Apply online by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 at www.ci.redding.ca.us. EOE/FAAE.

Lineworker—Advance your line career in Foley, Ala., with a progressive utility committed to providing exceptional value to our customers, employees and community. Riviera Utilities is just a short drive from Alabama’s beautiful beaches, and we are searching for an extraordinary candidate to fill a job vacancy for lineworker. Check out our website at www.rivierautilities.com for more information, or call 251/943-5001 today!

Director of electrical systems—Hibbing Public Utilities in Minnesota is recruiting for director of electrical systems. Description: The position is responsible for directing the business of the utility; establishing current and long-range objectives, plans and policies that are subject to the approval of the public utility commission; and representing the utility with customers, the financial community, the public, the bargaining unit and regulatory agencies. The position is responsible for providing efficient, economic and uninterrupted electric, gas, water and steam heat service to all customers. The position plans and directs all engineering activities of the utility. Compensation: The position's salary depends on qualifications, and provides a competitive benefits package. Requirements: Candidates with a degree in engineering, accounting, business administration, finance or equivalent are preferred. Candidates should have two or more years of increasingly responsible management-level experience. Apply: Applicants must submit a resume and an HPU job application form that is available online at www.hpuc.com. Applications should be sent by mail to: Jane Garrity, Human Resources, Hibbing Public Utilities, 1902 E. 6th Ave., P.O. Box 249, Hibbing, MN 55746; or by fax to: 218/262-7756; or by email to: janeg@hpuc.com. The application deadline is March 10.

Vice president, corporate services—Lincoln Electric System (LES) in Nebraska is recruiting for Vice President, Corporate Services. This position reports to the chief operating officer and oversees the Employee Resources Department, Transportation Department, Safety Department and Facilities Department. Requirements: The position requires proficient knowledge of human resources- and safety-related information systems, such as SAP and IndustrySafe, along with the ability to build and maintain internal relationships. The VP regularly interacts with LES’s administrative board and business consultants. Qualifications: Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree and a successful track record of increasingly responsible utility management assignments directing an organization similar to LES. Ten years of experience with facilities, safety, human resources and related information systems is preferred. A graduate degree in business is desirable. Lincoln Electric System is a municipally owned electric utility providing service to approximately 130,000 customers in Lincoln, Neb. LES employs a staff of approximately 475 non-union and union personnel. LES is governed by a nine-member administrative board. Apply: To apply, go to www.LES.com. LES is an EEO employer.

Electrical engineer (distribution)—The Middleborough Gas and Electric Department in Massachusetts is recruiting for an electrical engineer.The candidate will plan and coordinate system design, construction, operations and maintenance of an electrical distribution system; prepare specifications and cost estimates for installation, maintenance, repair and expansion of distribution system; provide technical staff assistance; coordinate compliance with state, local and federal regulations; assist with expansion of renewable and peak-shaving resources; and work with a management team and field personnel to perform related projects as assigned. Minimum requirements:
  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in electrical engineering;
  • a minimum of three years of experience in electrical engineering, preferably within the electric utility industry;
  • a familiarity with the National Electric Safety Code, industry standards, electrical loading and analysis programs;
  • a proven ability to lead and direct teams, interact with colleagues and clients and work in a fast-paced environment; and
  • strong oral and written communication skills.
Preferred qualifications:
  • professional engineer’s license, or progress towards this credential;
  • experience with underground and overhead radial and network distribution systems (4.8 kV through 13.8 kV); and
  • electrical engineering experience related to utility distribution systems.
Founded in 1893, Middleborough Gas and Electric Department serves approximately 15,000 electric customers and 5,000 natural gas customers in the Massachusetts towns of Middleborough and Lakeville. It is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Apply: Interested applicants should contact Human Resources, Middleborough Gas & Electric Department., 32 S. Main St., Middleborough, MA 02346, or by email at HR@middleboroge.com.


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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