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The American Public Power Association and other utility groups on Aug. 4 asked a federal appeals court to reject a petition by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking the court to review its May ruling vacating FERC Order No. 745 on demand-response compensation to consumers.

FERC "has not cited any meaningful conflict between the panel's decision and any decision of either the Supreme Court or this Court," APPA and the other groups told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "Nor has it identified any principle of law articulated by the panel that deviates from precedent. It merely disagrees with the panel's application of settled legal principles to the undisputed facts of this particular case."

APPA, the Electric Power Supply Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, and the Edison Electric Institute had filed a joint brief in the case, Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC (Case Nos. 11-1486, et al.), arguing that the rule should be overturned.

Order 745, issued in March 2011, said that demand-response resources participating in an energy market run by a regional transmission organization must be compensated at the full locational marginal price (LMP), as long as the demand-response resource passes a net benefits test. In its May 23 ruling, the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the FERC order. A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit held, in a 2-1 decision, that the commission exceeded its authority under the Federal Power Act because Order 745 "entails direct regulation of the retail market—a matter exclusively within state control." (See the May 27 Public Power Daily.)

The court also said the FERC order was arbitrary and capricious. The three-judge panel said the commission majority failed to properly consider arguments by Commissioner Phil Moeller and by industry groups that paying the full locational marginal price would overcompensate demand-response providers.

As the court recognized, the Federal Power Act "imposes a bright-line division of authority between the Commission's exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale markets (i.e., wholesale rates and sales) and the States' exclusive jurisdiction over retail markets (i.e., retail rates and sales)," said APPA and the other electricity groups in their Aug. 4 joint brief. Order 745 "exceeds the Commission's jurisdiction because it directs that certain retail customers receive payment at a FERC-approved rate for reducing their retail purchases of electric energy. The rule is thus a direct attempt to regulate matters — retail rates and sales — that the statue unambiguously places beyond the Commission's jurisdictional reach."

"It bears emphasis that the Commission has not sought rehearing of the panel's conclusion that its compensation scheme is arbitrary and capricious," noted APPA, EPSA, NRECA, EEI and Old Dominion. "By improperly treating retail non-consumption the same as generating energy at wholesale, the Commission's rule overcompensates retail customers for not consuming energy and distorts the markets."

FERC announced on June 11 that it would ask for an en banc review of the case by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The same day, Commissioner Tony Clark issued a statement supporting the court's May 23 ruling.

Wholesale grid operators have struggled lately "to devise appropriate methodologies for measuring, verifying, and otherwise coping with the ever-increasing amount of demand response coming from aggregated retail loads," Clark wrote. "Calling a 'nega-watt' the equivalent of a 'mega-watt' has always been clever rhetoric, but it defies common sense," he said. "One supplies energy, the other is a retail/demand-side decision to consume or not consume the energy. The Commission should now acknowledge the problems created by its own muddled redefinition of 'demand' as 'supply.'"

In a post on her blog, Public Power Lines, APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly applauded the appeals court's May ruling. The court's opinion "pushes back on FERC's assertion of jurisdiction over subject areas that are 'out of bounds' under the Federal Power Act," she wrote. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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JEA is taking its 535-MW Northside Unit 3 generator offline and placing it into reserve storage in December 2015, approximately four years ahead of its retirement schedule, said the municipal utility for the Jacksonville, Florida, area. Northside Unit 3 (NS3) is one of three units at JEA’s Northside Generating Station, which are fired with petroleum coke blended with coal.

"Our customers have reduced their energy use, making it possible for JEA to reduce its fleet without impacting power quality or reliability," said JEA CEO and Managing Director Paul McElroy.

"JEA’s leadership recognized the opportunity to be proactive in removing a less efficient system that would require significant resources to satisfy ever-changing regulatory requirements and ongoing maintenance," explained Mike Hightower, JEA board chairman. "JEA has plenty of generating capacity to meet current and future customer needs for electricity."

JEA said it is making strategic decisions to adjust the business to the changing electric industry market conditions and has been planning for more environmentally friendly production capacity. "New environmental regulatory requirements make this a wise, long term decision for the future," the utility said.

NS3 has served the Jacksonville community well since 1977, producing more than 46,500,000 megawatt-hours to date, JEA said. Staffing reductions that result from retiring NS3 will be achieved through attrition. —ROBERT VARELA

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LiveWire Compliance, LLC

Registration is open for APPA’s Grid Security Summit, which will be held Nov. 12-13, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia.

The summit is designed to educate decision makers and utility leaders on important policy, legal, and economic issues surrounding cyber and physical security of the electric grid. The program will shed light on how electric utilities can comply with cybersecurity and reliability standards; continuously upgrade security measures to protect the grid against evolving threats; and help the grid recover quickly, should an attack occur.

Topics will include:
•    Emerging Threats and Vulnerabilities for the Electricity Sector
•    Framework and Tools to Help You Succeed in Cyber Preparedness
•    Developing a Cyber Awareness Program that Empowers Employees
•    Protective Measures for Physical Security
•    FEMA: The Importance of Local, State and Federal Partnerships
•    Ensuring that You Receive FEMA Funding
•    Your Utility’s Public Relations Posture
•    Industry/Government Coordination on Cybersecurity and Physical Preparedness

The cost to participate is $445 for individuals registering before Oct. 22. Attendees can earn continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs).

Visit the APPA website for complete program and registration information. —LEE KRINZMAN

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EVENTS CALENDAR
Webinar – Performance Monitoring and Accountability for Boards
August 12

Webinar – Electric Rate Designs: Rate Structures to Promote Financial Stability or Energy Conservation
August 19

DEED webinar – Customizable Weather Database Helps Utilities Handle Customers' High-Bill Complaints
August 20

Webinar – Line Extension Policies: Contributions in Aid of Construction
September 9

Webinar – Using Advanced AMI Technology to Move from AMR to AMI
September 10

Business and Financial Conference
Portland, Oregon
September 14-17

Webinar – Smart Grids Enable Smart Cities: Insights into the Benefits New Technologies Offer Public Power Communities
September 23

NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Version 5 Compliance Program Development Workshop
Scottsdale, Arizona
September 29-30

Fall Education Institute
Scottsdale, Arizona
September 29-October 3

Webinar – Achieving Excellence in Public Power Governance
September 30

Public Power Leadership Workshop
Scottsdale, Arizona
October 1-3


Webinar – Performing a Utility Financial Check-Up
October 16

Legal Seminar
San Antonio, Texas
October 19-22

DEED webinar – Measuring Energy Savings Using Non-Intrusive Devices Inside Residential Customer Homes
October 23

Customer Connections Conference
Jacksonville, Florida
October 26-29

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


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Naylor, LLC

CLASSIFIEDS
Director of member and public relations— Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a not-for-profit joint action agency serving 61 member communities in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. MRES has operating revenues of $178.4 million, assets worth $488.3 million, and a debt-to-equity ratio of 65 percent. The agency enjoys a strong financial position and is rated in the top tier of joint action agencies with an Aa3 rating from Moody’s Investor Service, and an AA– rating from Fitch Ratings. The director of member and public relations is responsible to plan, develop, implement, and direct the agency’s strategic plan and related member services and communications to enhance and promote the competitive position of MRES and its members. The director reports to the CEO and manages a staff of 30. Qualifications: The successful candidate will possess at least 10 years of progressively responsible experience that includes planning and directing communication programs, leading strategic planning processes, and managing state and federal legislative activities in the electric industry. Fully qualified candidates will also possess experience coordinating the delivery of member services like energy efficiency and demand-side management programs. Additional experience directing electric distribution maintenance programs is considered ideal. In addition, candidates must possess a strong customer service mentality, unquestionable ethics and integrity, and a value set aligned with that of MRES and its members. MRES is targeting candidates with a bachelor's degree in business, communications, public policy, or a related field, along with a masters’ degree. However, the agency will consider other educational credentials and professional experience. Compensation: MRES provides a competitive base salary and a full complement of fringe benefits. Apply: Please submit resumes by Aug. 15 to Lanie Prouse at Mycoff, Fry, & Prouse by emailing lprouse@mfpllc.us. For questions, call 800/525-9082.

Engineering and electric operations manager—Lebanon Utilities in Indiana currently has a job opening for an engineering and electric operations manager. The position, under the direction of the general manager, is responsible for the planning, engineering, designing, and managing of projects for electric transmission, distribution, and substation facilities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Qualifications: A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is preferred; civil engineering considered. Strong written and verbal communication skills are also necessary in order to deal with a wide range of personalities, both inside and outside of the organization. Apply: If interested, please call 765/482-8395 for a complete job description.


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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