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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should not pursue the idea of modifying a proposed physical security reliability standard in order to allow FERC and other governmental authorities to add or subtract facilities from a list of critical facilities developed by power industry entities, the American Public Power Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Large Public Power Council said in a Sept. 8 filing at FERC.

Among other things, APPA, NRECA and LPPC said that the proposed standard correctly relies on the "front-line responsibility" of utilities to ensure reliability standard compliance.

The comments were submitted in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) issued by FERC in July. FERC proposed to approve reliability standard CIP-014-1, which was filed at FERC by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The purpose of the proposed reliability standard is to enhance physical security measures for the most critical bulk power system facilities, which would in turn reduce the overall vulnerability of the electric system against physical attack.

In the NOPR, FERC proposes to direct NERC to modify the reliability standard to include a procedure that would allow applicable governmental authorities to add or subtract facilities from an entity’s list of critical facilities.

But APPA and the other two groups pointed out that CIP-014-1, as proposed, requires registered entities themselves to evaluate the unique risks they face, the assets that may be vulnerable, and any systemic ramifications that may follow from a physical attack. "This is a critical feature of the proposed standard and the trade associations applaud the commission for understanding the essential role that registered entities perform in this process," APPA, NRECA and LPPC said.

The standards drafting team "was well aware that regional enforcement entities, NERC and FERC have important roles in overseeing registered entity performance in connection with risk evaluation and the designation of critical assets. But the proposed standard relies on the transmission owners' front-line responsibility, reflecting the long-standing compliance, monitoring, and enforcement structure developed and approved by the commission, NERC, the regional entities and the industry," the associations went on to say.

FERC's proposal to designate critical assets following its own evaluation "finds no support" in the Federal Power Act "and is fundamentally inconsistent with the Commission's role as an administrative oversight agency," APPA, NRECA and LPPC argued.

Overall, APPA, NRECA and LPPC said that they "appreciate the commission’s efforts," together with those of NERC and the electric industry at large, to enhance physical security measures for the most critical bulk electric system facilities, and to  take steps to reduce grid vulnerabilities against physical attacks.

Noting they support NERC’s filing of the proposed reliability standard, APPA, NRECA and LPPC said that they "were actively engaged in that standards development effort and, through our members, were represented in the CIP-014-1 standards drafting process. We believe the proposed standard establishes a framework that enables registered entities to assess system risks, identify critical facilities, evaluate potential threats and vulnerabilities to physical attack, and develop an approach to protect and mitigate risk while affording entities the flexibility needed to evaluate entity-specific challenges."

Meanwhile, the groups also said FERC should clarify that steps entities take to protect sensitive or confidential information from disclosure in order to comply with the proposed physical security reliability standard will pre-empt any conflicting state and local requirements.

The proceeding stems from a March 7, 2014 order issued by FERC. In that order, FERC determined that physical attacks on the bulk-power system could adversely impact the reliable operation of the system, resulting in instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading failures.

In that order, the commission also observed that the current reliability standards do not specifically require entities to take steps to reasonably protect against physical security attacks on the system. FERC therefore directed NERC to develop and file for approval proposed reliability standards that address threats and vulnerabilities to the physical security of critical facilities on the bulk-power system. —PAUL CIAMPOLI

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In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts of new utility-scale generating capacity came online, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Electric Power Monthly. Natural gas-fired plants, almost all of which were combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of those additions, said the EIA, a branch of the Energy Department. Solar plants contributed more than a quarter of the new capacity and wind plants contributed about one-sixth, the agency said Sept. 9 in its daily publication, Today in Energy.

The amount of utility-scale capacity additions in the first half of this year was about 40 percent lower than the amount added during the same period last year, the EIA said. Utility-scale solar additions were up by nearly 70 percent, with about three-quarters of this being in California. (The EIA data, however, do not include solar capacity additions of less than 1 MW.)

Florida was the state that added the most capacity: 1,210 MW. California was next, adding nearly 1,100 MW. Virtually all of the new capacity in California was from renewable resources, mostly solar (77 percent), with a large amount of wind (21 percent).

Additions of combined-cycle plants were up by 60 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Overall, new wind capacity (675 MW) was more than double the amount added during the first half of 2013. Wind power additions were concentrated in California, Nebraska, Michigan, and Minnesota, the EIA said.

In Washington state, a large turbine (122 MW) came online at the Wanapum Dam to replace the 104-MW turbine that was retired last year. The dam is in the middle of a decades-long process of replacing all of its hydroelectric turbines, the EIA noted.

No new coal capacity came on line in the first half of 2014; and the only coal plants anticipated to come into service this year are the Kemper integrated gasification combined-cycle plant in Mississippi, and a small steam coal plant in North Dakota, the agency said. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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LiveWire Compliance, LLC

The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) on Wednesday announced that it plans to participate in the SeaLink project being built by New Hampshire Transmission, LLC. MMWEC said the SeaLink project is its preferred transmission alternative "to address the urgent electric reliability issues facing northeastern Massachusetts."

The joint action agency’s first priority "is the reliable delivery of electricity at a reasonable cost to our customers across Massachusetts,"  including roughly 100,000 of its customers who live in the greater Boston area, said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio. "We have been and remain very concerned about the regional transmission and resource challenges that leave the greater Boston electric system at risk and believe SeaLink is the best overall transmission solution for our customers."

New Hampshire Transmission's proposed project is to construct, own and operate a 520-MW, submarine and underground electric transmission line – 50 miles of which will be under the ocean bed – between Seabrook, New Hampshire and Everett, Massachusetts. The  68-mile line "will use the latest in offshore and onshore electric transmission technology, consistent with efforts to make the power grid more resilient and responsive to customer demands," MMWEC said.

"With most of the project offshore, it could be permitted and constructed with fewer community and electric system impacts than the alternative land-based project, making SeaLink the faster solution for our customers," DeCurzio said. In addition, as an underground project, SeaLink would be hardened against extreme weather, thereby providing a higher level of energy security to the area, MMWEC said.

Matt Valle, president of New Hampshire Transmission, said his company "welcomes the opportunity to partner with a non-profit, consumer-focused agency like MMWEC on this project."

ISO New England is expected to make a decision in late 2014 on which transmission alternative will be developed. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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Our publishing partner, Naylor Association Solutions, sends Public Power Daily to you every morning from their office in Winnipeg, Canada. As part of improvements to its system, Naylor will begin sending all APPA newsletters from a new email address, starting on Monday, Sept. 15.

To ensure you continue receiving the newsletter, please add newsletter@naylorcampaign11.com to your contact list, or ask your IT department to whitelist this Naylor address for all employees in your company. Thank you very much.

If you have questions about this, please call Fallon Forbush, APPA, at 202/467-2958, or email him at FForbush@PublicPower.org.

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EVENTS CALENDAR



Webinar – Rural Broadband Funding Opportunity for Public Power Utilities
September 11

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

Grid Security Summit
Arlington, Virginia
November 12-13

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

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


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CLASSIFIEDS

Director of human resources and administration— The American Public Power Association seeks a director of human resources and administration to manage the development and implementation of the association’s policies and procedures that govern human resources and office administration. The director will manage the administration of employee benefit programs in conjunction with finance and legal staff members, including APPA’s defined benefit pension plan, 401(k) plan, health insurance plans, and voluntary benefit plans. The position is responsible for ensuring a positive employee-employer environment through oversight of employee recruitment, training and development, evaluation, and retention. The position also supervises support services staff and equipment (aside from I.T.), and will act as a liaison with the landlord and office service vendors and insurance brokers to ensure a quality work environment. Required education and experience:

• degree from a four-year college or university with major coursework in human resource management, business • • administration, or related field; master’s degree preferred;
• ten or more years work experience in human resources, with substantial prior experience in a management-level capacity;
• SPHR certification or demonstrated coursework toward achieving the SPHR certification preferred;
• strong interpersonal and communications skills, both oral and written;
• excellent conflict resolution and mediation skills;
• ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment;
• thorough knowledge of all aspects of HR administration;
• current knowledge of trends, practices, regulations, and developments in the HR area;
• ability to foster trust throughout the organization in the impartiality and integrity of the HR function, including the • ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and ensure fair treatment;
• knowledge of federal and local labor laws and their application;
• knowledge of budgeting, personnel, and administrative techniques;
• knowledge of lease administration and building services practices;
• ability to pay attention to detail and maintain accurate recordkeeping;
• history of excellent customer service delivery; and
• proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.

Apply: For more information, visit PublicPower.org. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to HumanResources@PublicPower.org with "HR Director" in the subject line. APPA is an equal opportunity employer.

Electrical engineer II or senior engineer I— The Benton Public Utility District in Kennewick, Washington, is seeking an electrical engineer II or senior engineer I with strong competency in the fundamentals of electrical power system engineering, coupled with experience and/or a desire to apply state-of-the-art electric utility technologies. We are deploying a number of exciting technologies and systems. Our engineers work to support many of the traditional elements of the electric utility business, including 115-kV transmission lines and high-voltage substations and distribution systems, while also having the opportunity to apply advanced technologies. The work is diverse and challenging, and our company is small and personal. Compensation: We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package. Apply: For further position details, minimum requirements, and application information, visit our website at www.bentonpud.org/careers. Benton PUD is an equal opportunity employer: minorities/women/veterans/disabled.

Senior substation design engineer— MEAG Power in Alpharetta, Georgia, is accepting applications for a senior substation design engineer. Qualifications: The position requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, eight to 10 years related experience in the electric utility industry, and a professional engineering license (Georgia preferred), or the ability to obtain one within a year. Apply: Apply at www.meagpower.org.

Manager of electric operations— The City of Geneva Public Works Department in Illinois is accepting applications for a full-time manager of electric operations. The position manages the operation and maintenance of the utility's generation, substations, SCADA, metering, fiber, outages, and related customer complaints in order to provide safe, reliable, and efficient electric and data service to the customers of the city of Geneva. This position reports to the superintendent of Electric Services, and is responsible for crew management, capacity and reliability planning, project management, and other duties as assigned. Qualifications: Minimum qualifications for the position include a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minimum of five years related experience, including management and direct supervision of non-exempt employees. A candidate with power generation experience or any combination of education, training, and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the position is desirable. The successful applicant must reside within a 12-mile radius of the city of Geneva within one year of employment, and possess an Illinois driver’s license. Compensation: The city of Geneva offers an excellent fringe benefit package and starting annual hiring range of $78,283 to $94,872. Apply: Please send a completed job application to Lisa Jepson by mail: Human Resources Office, City of Geneva, 22 S. First St., Geneva, Illinois 60134; or by email: ljepson@geneva.il.us; by 5 p.m. on Sept. 24. Resumes will not be accepted without a completed job application. For more information, please visit our website. The city of Geneva is an equal opportunity employer.

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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