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A federal judge on Oct. 6 dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Nebraska in January that challenged the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule on CO2 emissions from new fossil fuel-fired plants. The matter is not ripe for the courts because the EPA rule is not yet final, said U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning filed the suit on Jan. 15, 2014, in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, arguing that the EPA proposal violates Section 402(i) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The state argued that Section 402(i) prohibits the use of federally funded projects for the purpose of determining that a pollution control technology has been "adequately demonstrated," as required under the Clean Air Act (see Public Power Daily, Jan. 21, 2014).

Judge Gerrard threw the case out, saying, "The action complained of here is a component of a proposed rule. That rule is not a final action. It does not matter if the EPA has purportedly violated Section 402(i)."

The Administrative Procedure Act "expressly defers review of such violations until there has been a final action," he wrote in the court opinion.

The EPA "gets first crack at deciding whether the Proposed Rule should be withdrawn or adopted before anyone can demand that a federal court act on it," Judge Gerrard said.

Nebraska "has jumped the gun," he concluded. "If Congress had wished to allow immediate, interlocutory appeals of proposed rulemaking under the Clean Air Act, it could have done so. It did not, and for good reason: making environmental regulations is difficult and complicated enough without having federal judges weigh in at every step along the way. Instead, as dictated by basic and well-established principles of administrative law, the State must wait for a final agency action."

The court granted the EPA's motion to dismiss the case. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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Hometown Connections International, LLC


The PJM Interconnection has unveiled a plan that would allow demand response to continue to participate in its markets in the wake of a court decision earlier this year that vacated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order No. 745 on demand response compensation.

Since the May 2014 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, "PJM has considered alternative approaches that would permit demand response to continue to participate in our markets in a manner consistent with the division of jurisdictional responsibility between the states and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission described in the panel decision," the grid operator said.

"This paper presents PJM’s thoughts and rationale to support an approach that would meet these objectives and do so without exposing PJM and its members to unacceptable litigation risk and uncertainty as to settled market outcomes," PJM noted in the paper, which was released Oct. 7.

The regional transmission organization said that it is offering the plan "to illustrate a viable path forward to evolve demand response in light" of the court’s decision, "should the FERC decide, after considering its options under" the decision, including possible further appeal, "that such a path is needed." PJM pointed out that ultimately, "any path forward will be subject to stakeholder comment and critique and acceptance by the FERC and state regulators" and said PJM "is committed to working with state regulators to develop strategies to monetize the benefits of consumer demand response in the wholesale markets."

PJM is proposing an approach to have demand participate in PJM’s energy and capacity markets under the following broad terms:

•As demand response: PJM’s markets would not separately compensate demand as a supply-side resource. "The economics and incentives in having demand participate would result from avoided costs and obligations. State programs, of course, could offer added incentives to both wholesale and retail market participants," PJM said.

•Through load-serving entities: PJM would base planning and procurement decisions on commitments bid into PJM’s markets by wholesale market entities. "These entities, by definition, have control over, or an obligation to serve, specified retail load and can commit to reduce their wholesale load based on curtailment commitments or alternate supply (behind the meter) which they arrange with their end-use retail load. We envision that in many states third-party curtailment service providers will serve a continuing and important function by partnering with load-serving entities to provide their customer management expertise."

The paper goes on to provide details on demand response participation in specific markets going forward. For example, for the capacity market, PJM describes a modified approach to demand response participation and proposes a transition mechanism to address the question of cleared demand resource bids from past base and incremental capacity auctions.

In the energy market, PJM said that depending on FERC’s decisions for demand response compensation, demand reduction in the PJM energy markets may not receive direct compensation from the wholesale market.

With respect to ancillary service markets, PJM said that ancillary services are well-defined wholesale products and services closely tied to FERC’s federal authority over interstate transmission service, noting that they were defined as required elements of open access transmission service in FERC Orders Nos. 888 and 889.

"Ancillary services are not directly bought or sold at retail by, or from, end users. As such, they are not matters historically under state purview. While ancillary services support the consumption and delivery of electric energy, they are discretely recognized and not, by PJM’s way of thinking, so closely linked as capacity might be to energy," PJM said.

PJM is proposing to pay demand that is eligible to provide frequency regulation and synchronized reserve as a resource in the markets that PJM operates for those services. Under PJM’s construct, demand resource offers in the frequency regulation and synchronized reserve markets could continue to be submitted by both load-serving and non-load-serving entities.

Meanwhile, PJM in the paper asserts that the reach of the court’s decision is subject to debate. "Technically, the decision vacated FERC Order No. 745, which was confined only to the payment of demand resources in the wholesale energy market. However, the jurisdictional analysis applied by the majority to reach the vacatur suggests a precedent that could apply, when litigated, to PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model capacity market," the RTO said.

FERC "will need to confront this question; indeed, it has been put in play by FirstEnergy’s May 23, 2014, filing of a complaint with the FERC seeking to remove demand resources from the 2014 RPM Base Residual Auction," PJM went on to say. PJM said that it will answer the complaint on or about October 22, 2014 and that in that filing, PJM will oppose FirstEnergy’s complaint and its requested relief.

In the conclusion section of the paper, PJM said that it believes "it appropriate at this critical time to lay out this ‘road map’ for continued participation by demand in wholesale markets – one that fits within reasonable interpretation" of the court’s decision. "We do so with the hope that it advances our stakeholder" and regulatory "consideration of options to restore confidence and certainty in the PJM markets."

PJM "respects and seeks to understand other views and suggested options. Given the day-to-day continuing operation of our markets and our reliance on these markets to fulfill important aspects of PJM’s larger mission (notably, ensuring adequate resources in the face of a changing fuel mix of generation resources), we admittedly will place a premium on policy approaches that can be quickly implemented and that bring certainty, with a minimum risk of protracted litigation or threat of judicial disruption," the paper went on to say.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in September turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating FERC Order No. 745.

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling on Sept. 17, FERC and a group that includes the American Forest & Paper Association, demand-response companies and steel producers separately asked the appeals court to delay finalizing the decision that vacated Order No. 745.

FERC and the group said they needed more time as they considered whether to appeal the court’s decision to the Supreme Court. But the American Public Power Association and several other parties told the appeals court that there was no reason to delay finalizing the order.—PAUL CIAMPOLI

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SEDC, Inc.

The municipal electric utility in Pasadena, California, has produced an 18-minute film that asks its customers to help Pasadena Water and Power craft its 2014 integrated resource plan (IRP).

The "Energy Roadmap" video explains why Pasadena needs an IRP, and talks about where the city’s electricity comes from and how it is delivered to customers. It outlines the pros and cons of conventional and renewable energy, including distributed generation; describes how Pasadena sets its energy-use goals; and discusses how customers can help by adopting energy-efficiency measures and taking advantage of rebates offered by the city-owned utility.

"Our priority is you, our customers," the narrator tells Pasadena residents. "Which is most important to you: reliability, affordability, or sustainability?" she asks. "How much are you willing to pay for future renewable electricity? When should PWP stop using coal as a resource?" And "How much of our future needs should be met by conservation or distributed generation?"

The narrator of Pasadena's new video, Energy Roadmap, covers a lot of ground, including the history of the city-owned utility, the difference between conventional and renewable resources, and what the various charges are for on a typical customer's bill (above).

The narrator explains why the city leaders decided to create their own utility in the early 20th century. She notes that 1904, the price of electricity was 15 cents per kilowatt-hour in 1904 — quite a high price at the time — and explains why Pasadena's mayor, in 1905, refused to pay the electricity bill from Edison for the month of November. Dissatisfaction with Edison's service led the city to form a municipal utility, she says.

At the end of the film, the narrator encourages Pasadena residents to visit the utility's website, send an email, visit PWP's social media pages, take a survey, or attend a public meeting. "We would be  happy to hear from you," she concludes with a smile.

The municipal utility said nearly 150 residents showed up for free screenings of "Energy Roadmap" at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 Theaters in Pasadena on Aug. 27 and Aug. 30. The screenings marked the start of a three-part series of events designed to engage customers in updating the city’s 20-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP was crafted in 2009, revised in 2012, and will be updated again this year. The city described the plan as "the city’s blueprint for providing reliable, environmentally responsible power at competitive rates for the next two decades."

At the film screenings, residents were treated to free popcorn, soda and other giveaways. They also were given an IRP survey soliciting their feedback. The utility is encouraging all of its customers to complete the five-minute questionnaire, available online at PWPweb.com/IRP.

Customers who missed the screenings can watch "Energy Roadmap" online via the utility's website, or on YouTube. The film also will air on the city’s cable channel, KPAS, this fall.

PWP’s next IRP community event is planned for Thursday, Oct. 16. More information about the IRP and the next community event is posted at PWPweb.com/IRP. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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The American Public Power Association is challenging arguments put forward by Public Service Company of Colorado at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission related to the City of Boulder, Colorado’s bid to acquire portions of the utility's electric system through condemnation.

Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy subsidiary, in August asked FERC to rule that Boulder’s effort to acquire portions of the company's electric system through condemnation requires prior approval from FERC. Boulder in July filed a condemnation petition in Boulder District Court seeking to acquire portions of the electric system owned by Xcel Energy that are necessary to create a municipal electric utility (see Public Power Daily, July 22, 2014).

Public Service Company of Colorado’s petition "seeks broad and unprecedented declarations whose implications would extend far beyond the instant dispute," APPA said in an Oct. 1 filing at FERC. "These requested declarations would adversely affect the interests of members" of APPA throughout the nation, APPA added.

APPA said that in at least two respects, the utility’s petition "would do exactly the opposite of its legitimate purpose—to ‘terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty.’"

First, APPA noted that the petition asks FERC to declare that Boulder’s filing and prosecution of an action for condemnation of certain of the company’s facilities requires that Boulder first apply for and obtain the commission's approval under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act.

"But this request is contrary to the plain language of the statute, which regulates the company, not Boulder," APPA said. And the petition "seeks no declaration as to the company’s statutory obligations or clarification of how and when" the Xcel unit "may comply with those obligations in this situation."

Second, Public Service Company of Colorado is asking FERC to declare that it would apply its established criteria to evaluate a Section 203 application related to the utility’s disposition of the disputed facilities to Boulder. But Public Service Company of Colorado’s filing "reveals no present controversy or uncertainty over whether the Commission would adhere to its own policies and precedent, and a Commission declaration that it would do so is unnecessary."

APPA said that an issue of particular concern to it is the utility’s argument that Boulder’s acquisition of company transmission facilities would have an adverse effect on regulation because reciprocal transmission service by Boulder to the company would not be subject to plenary rate regulation by FERC, might not be adequately enforceable, and would extend only to Public Service Company of Colorado and not to other potential transmission customers.

APPA pointed out in its filing that FERC required reciprocal transmission service as a condition of taking open-access transmission service in Order No. 888 and continued that policy in Order No. 890 and Order No. 1000. "Eleven days before the company filed the instant petition, the court of appeals upheld as reasonable the Commission’s reliance on the reciprocity condition in Order No. 1000," APPA told FERC.

The court "recited the Commission’s finding—based on actual experience—that the reciprocity condition has proven effective, and the court rejected arguments that the Commission should have abandoned the reciprocity condition in favor of direct regulation of non-public utilities," APPA added.

FERC "should not, based on the speculations in the instant petition, cast doubt on its established and judicially sanctioned transmission policy by issuing the declaratory relief implied by the company’s arguments," APPA said. Public Service Company of Colorado’s request for a declaratory ruling regarding reciprocal transmission service should be denied, the association said. "APPA cannot overstate the importance of this issue to its members." — LAURA D'ALESSANDRO

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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 – eReliability Tracker: User Training and Tips
November 19

DEED webinar – Public Power Experiences from the U.S. DOE's Smart Grid Investment Grants
November 20

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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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.

Request for proposal: renewable energy procurement in California— The Western Area Power Administration’s Desert Southwest Region is soliciting proposals for up to 150 megawatts per project of new California renewable energy products on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Navy to supply various loads located within the state of California. Bid: Responses are due by Oct. 17. Interested bidders are invited to visit our website for more information.

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.

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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