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A number of regional entities are being asked by staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to respond to a detailed set of questions related to the polar vortex and winter storm that took place in January. The letter also includes questions tied to power outages that occurred in the Southwest in February 2011.

The regional entities work with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to improve the reliability of the bulk power system.The members of the regional entities come from all segments of the electric industry: investor-owned utilities; federal power agencies; rural electric cooperatives; state, municipal and provincial utilities; independent power producers; power marketers; and end-use customers.

The Sept. 26 letter from Michael Bardee, director of FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability, was sent to the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, ReliabilityFirst Corporation, SERC Reliability Corporation, SPP Regional Entity, Texas Reliability Entity and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.

In the letter, Bardee notes that on August 16, 2011, FERC and NERC released a staff report following a six-month inquiry in which a joint task force found a majority of the electric outages and gas shortages in the Southwest on February 1-5, 2011, were due to weather-related causes.  Specifically, the task force found that most of the electric outages were caused by weather-related mechanical problems such as frozen sensing lines, equipment, water lines and valves.  "The report presented recommendations that, if implemented, could contribute significantly to preventing a recurrence of the rolling blackouts experienced in the Southwest during the February 2011 cold weather event," wrote Bardee.

In addition, he noted that during this past winter extreme cold weather, known as a "polar vortex," impacted power system generators, operators and consumers.  "January 2014 was a challenging month for the electric utility industry," the letter said. For example, eight of the 10 highest PJM Interconnection winter peak system demands occurred during January 2014. During PJM’s highest peak demand hour on January 7, 2014, 22 percent of PJM’s generating capacity was out of service for various reasons, according to the letter. 

"The January 6-8, 2014 polar vortex and January 17-29, 2014 winter storm events reinforced the importance of being prepared for extreme cold weather for the upcoming 2014-2015 winter," Bardee went on to say.

FERC is therefore asking the affected regional entities to respond to the request for data and documents within 60 days of Sept. 26.

"The requested information will assist commission staff in better understanding the underlying circumstances of the weather-related outages and support the Commission in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities," Bardee said in the letter.

With respect to plant issues, each regional entity has to respond to a number of questions. For example, the letter asks what policy and procedural changes, "if any, have been made by system operators in your region to ensure that they are aware of generators’ ability to run at extreme ambient temperatures?"

The letter notes that during the January 6-8 polar vortex and January 17-29 winter storm events, numerous generating units tripped, were derated, or failed to start due to frozen equipment. "For each time period, identify the specific cause related to frozen equipment by number of units and total MW," the letter states. "Of the units with frozen equipment, identify the number of units and MW of generation that were exposed to ambient temperatures below the design basis of the plant."

With respect to operating issues, the letter asks the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, ReliabilityFirst Corporation, SERC Reliability Corporation and Texas Reliability Entity to address how the potential unavailability of coal delivered by rail and natural gas is being incorporated into the seasonal planning studies/assessments within the respective regions for winter 2014-2015.—PAUL CIAMPOLI


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The Energy Authority (TEA), a public power energy services supplier based in Jacksonville, Florida, said Sept. 25 that it is expanding its presence in the California Independent System Operator by providing services to the University of California system.

Earlier this year, University of California became a registered electric service provider with the California Public Utilities Commission, enabling it to purchase electricity directly from the wholesale market.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, TEA will be the university’s scheduling coordinator in the CAISO market and will provide comprehensive portfolio management services that include load forecasting, commercial modeling, supply management, renewable energy credit support, and both real-time and forward trading. The university plans to supply electricity to its participating direct-access campuses, which include UC Irvine and its medical center, UC Merced, UC San Diego and its medical center, UC San Francisco and its medical center, and UC Santa Cruz, among others.

The energy partnership will help the University of California meet its goal of becoming the first major research university system to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, TEA said. The university also plans to invest in alternative energy sources, expand existing renewable energy sources on its campuses, use biogas to address campus emissions from natural gas consumption, and develop a program to finance on-campus carbon reduction initiatives under California’s cap-and-trade program.

TEA offers portfolio management services to public power utilities, including ISO/RTO trading, bilateral power trading, power supply management, and natural gas trading services. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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LiveWire Compliance, LLC

Public power utilities interested in earning recognition for their reliability practices have until Sept. 30 to submit their 2014 applications for the American Public Power Association's Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program. The RP3 program recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in four critical areas—reliability, safety, work force development and system improvement.

As a reminder, please submit all RP3 applications to the association’s new mailing address:
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000
Arlington, VA 22202

If you previously mailed your application, and it is returned back to you, please contact RP3 staff at rp3@publicpower.org to let us know that your application is on its way.

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EVENTS CALENDAR


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

Webinar – OSHA Subpart V: Fall Protection
October 30

Webinar – OSHA Subpart V: Arc Protection and Flame-Resistant Clothing
November 10

Grid Security Summit
Arlington, Virginia
November 12-13

Webinar – Energy Efficiency: Overview of Energy Efficiency Programs
November 18

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

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.

Manager of energy operations—
A joint action agency located in Jackson, Mississippi. is currently searching for qualified applicants to fill the position of manager of energy operations, who will be responsible for managing the electric and natural gas requirements of its member municipal utilities in Mississippi. This individual would be primarily responsible for planning, analyzing, scheduling, hedging, and purchasing natural gas to meet member requirements, as well as managing related storage, contractual, and transmission natural gas assets. In addition, this position may assist in dispatch, administration, and planning for wholesale electric requirements. Qualifications: Experience in natural gas scheduling, use of pipeline bulletin boards, pipeline transmission and storage management, and negotiation and purchasing of natural gas is required. Experience in electric dispatch or rate transmission organization (RTO)-related skill sets is not required, but would be positive criteria. Applicants should have good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as technical capabilities, and be both number and people oriented. They should be highly motivated, intellectually inquisitive team-players, and able to self-direct and operate in an open work environment without excessive oversight. This is an excellent position for the right applicant to grow and expand their energy industry skill sets, while being exposed to a wide range of front-line responsibilities, tasks, and challenges in the energy industry. Compensation: Compensation packages are negotiable, depending on experience, and employees are eligible for Public Employee Retirement System benefits. Apply: Please email Jobs@MSJointAction.com.

General manager— The board of directors of Richmond Power and Light (RP&L) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of general manager. RP&L is a municipally owned electric utility serving approximately 21,000 customers, and has annual revenues of $80 million. RP&L, a total requirements member of the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, has a rich 100-year tradition of serving its customers with low electric rates and high reliability. The general manager will report to the nine-member board of directors, who are also members of the Richmond City Council. Qualifications: Candidates must have a minimum of 10 years electric utility experience, preferably within public power, and at least five years of management experience. Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in business administration or engineering is also required. A masters of business or engineering is a plus. The board will consider candidates with broad electric utility management experience, including such areas as electric distribution, finance, operations, planning, member communications, and board relations. The successful candidate will have excellent people and communications skills, proven leadership ability, and a strong commitment to public power principles. Compensation: RP&L offers excellent benefits and a very competitive salary. Apply: The job description is posted on our company website at www.rp-l.com. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 15. Please send a résumé, cover letter, salary history, and a minimum of three references by email to: GMSEARCH@RP-L.COM. RP&L is committed to equal employment opportunity, and employs all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, handicap, veteran status, or any other classification protected by the federal, state, or local laws.

High voltage lineworkers— The city of Redding, California, is establishing an eligibility list to fill current and future vacancies for high voltage lineworkers. High voltage lineworkers perform all classes of electrical power transmission and distribution system construction, maintenance, and operation work. Apply: Interested individuals must submit a city of Redding online employment application at www.ci.redding.ca.us in order to be considered. This recruitment may close at any time with minimal or no notice, therefore, prompt application is encouraged. The positions are open until filled. EOE/FAAE.

Electric utility system operator-power (real-time/day-ahead energy trader)— The city of Redding, California, is recruiting for an electric utility system operator-power (real-time/day-ahead energy trader). The candidate will schedule real-time and day-ahead delivery of power to assure a balanced load to the resource energy portfolio; develop, implement, evaluate, economically optimize, coordinate, and arrange day-ahead and real-time power trades and schedules with other municipal utilities, marketers, and power companies; and ensure the safe, reliable, and economical operation of the Redding Electric Utility’s generation assets. Compensation: Salary is $41.71 to $50.70 per hour ($43.38 to $55.27 per hour, effective Jan. 18, 2015). Apply: To review a complete job announcement and to apply online, visit www.ci.redding.ca.us. Apply by Oct. 2. EOE/FAAE.


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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Solar Power International 2014

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Naylor, LLC

Naylor, LLC

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APPA Academy


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NEWS TEAM
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