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A large group of federal lawmakers from the New England region is urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to work with electricity stakeholders in the region "to engage in a fundamental re-examination of capacity market rules and to consider alternatives that are less costly to ratepayers, drive investment, and produce competitive price outcomes."

At the same time, the lawmakers used their Oct. 14 letter to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur to urge FERC to "rehear and further evaluate" the results of ISO New England’s eighth forward capacity auction held earlier this year "in order to definitively determine whether the auction complied with the just and reasonable standards as regulated by the commission."

The letter was signed by four senators from the region – Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island  -- as well as 12 members of the House of Representatives from Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. All of those who signed the letter are Democrats.

On Feb. 3, ISO-NE conducted the eighth forward capacity auction to procure capacity for the June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018 capacity commitment period. The ISO filed the results of the auction with FERC on Feb. 28.
 
In a Sept. 16 order, FERC said that ISO New England must revise its transmission, markets and services tariff to provide for an independent market monitor review of import offers prior to each annual forward capacity auction held by the ISO "or show cause why it should not be required to do so" (see Public Power Daily, Sept. 18, 2014). In the order, FERC voiced concerns about the potential for the exercise of market power by importers. The order came on the same day that the results of the ISO’s eighth forward capacity auction went into effect by operation of law, as opposed to either being accepted or rejected by FERC.

In their letter, the federal lawmakers said that according to the Energy Information Administration, in 2013, New England consumers and businesses paid the highest average retail electricity prices in the continental U.S. at 14.48 cents/kWh, 1.58 cents/kWh higher than the next most expensive region.

"Utility companies in New England are already planning substantial additional rate increases heading into the 2014-2015 winter," the lawmakers said. The results of the eighth forward capacity auction "will further compound the pain for New England ratepayers three years from now," they added. With the auction price "clearing $3.05 billion, the starting price for operating year 2017-2018 is well above the previous high of $1.77 billion in 2009," the lawmakers said.

The senators and congressmen said that the results of the eighth forward capacity auction "are even more troubling when put into the context of the previous capacity auctions."

They noted that for the first seven forward capacity auctions, the closing price was the auction floor price. But in the eighth forward capacity auction, "there were fewer megawatts participating in the auction than the level needed to meet the region’s anticipated need, an uncompetitive situation in which the clearing price in the auction had to be set administratively."

The forward capacity market "was designed to incentivize investment and healthy competition in the market, yet after eight years of capacity market auctions, there has not been" a forward capacity auction "in which a free, competitive market established the forward capacity price," the lawmakers said.

In addition, they said that the $3.05 billion in capacity payments set to be awarded through the eighth forward capacity auction "will mostly go to existing generators. It remains entirely unclear whether these huge capacity payments are the appropriate mechanism to provide the stable, predictable revenue streams necessary to encourage suppliers to build new capacity," the senators and congressmen went on to say.

"Lack of FERC action provides no certainty regarding the process leading up to and results of" the eighth forward capacity auction "or the efficacy of the forward capacity market moving forward. For the sake of good governance, adequate transparency, implications on New England ratepayers, and clarity in the energy industry, we believe FERC must conclusively rule on the results of" the eighth forward capacity auction "and strongly encourage FERC to hold a rehearing as soon as practical with five sitting commissioners," the letter states.

President Obama recently sent the nomination of Colette Honorable to the Senate to be a member of FERC. Honorable is currently chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. She would take the seat at FERC vacated as a result of the departure of John Norris from the commission.

The American Public Power Association on Oct. 14 issued a report on mandatory capacity markets that said, among other things, that at most, only 2.4 percent of generation capacity constructed in 2013 was developed solely for sale into organized electricity markets. That includes new facilities for which no contract-related information could be found (see Public Power Daily, Oct. 15, 2014).
 
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who was not a signatory of the Oct. 14 letter to LaFleur, in late September urged FERC to "remain vigilant and ensure that energy markets are functioning properly" (see Public Power Daily, Oct. 7, 2014).—PAUL CIAMPOLI


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Hometown Connections International, LLC

TESSCO

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it has recently received approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget regarding the commission's data collection on special access services. Special access lines "are dedicated high-capacity connections used by businesses and institutions to transmit their voice and data traffic" and that do not use local switches. Noting that the commission has an obligation to ensure that these connections are provided "at reasonable rates and on reasonable terms and conditions," the FCC said it is seeking data from providers of special access lines so it can evaluate whether its rules regarding special access for large incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) need to be updated.

The data from providers is due by Dec. 15, 2014.

"All providers and purchasers of special access services and certain entities that provide ‘best efforts’ business broadband Internet access services in areas where the ILEC is subject to price cap regulation must respond to this data collection unless specifically excluded," the commission said.

To help special access providers determine whether they must respond to the data request, the FCC has included a map on its website that shows where ILECs are subject to price cap regulation. Specific information on the types of providers and purchasers that must submit data by the Dec.15 deadline is available from the FCC at its special access data collection overview webpage.

Public power utilities providing business broadband services are subject to this data reporting requirement unless they qualify as an excluded party. A utility that is required to file the FCC's 477 Form (broadband reporting), also must comply with the Dec. 15, 2014, data reporting request, as long as it provides broadband connections to end users in price cap areas. A utility also will have to comply if it is a provider or purchaser of special access or provides "best efforts broadband."

The FCC said it will look at revising its rules "to provide relief from regulations in those geographic areas where a robust and competitive special access market exists."

As the FCC explains in a Sept. 15 order setting the Dec. 15 deadline, the commission has delegated authority to the Wireless Competition Bureau to carry out the data collection. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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SEDC, Inc.

The APPA Academy is offering a new four-part Energy Efficiency Webinar Series—designed for utility personnel interested in starting or enhancing an energy efficiency program—based on the APPA Energy Efficiency Management Certificate Program curriculum. The webinars are tailored to public power utilities and provide specific information and strategies that participants can use in their jobs.
 
The first session, "Overview of Energy Efficiency Programs," is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time. This webinar will provide an introduction to energy efficiency and demand reduction programs, from the traditional weatherization and water-saving devices to more advanced smart grid technologies. Participants will learn how to help customers use their energy more efficiently and effectively. The speaker will also discuss how to position your utility to provide a high level of customer service and reliability; the pros and cons of industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency applications; low/no-cost efficiency options; and energy efficiency vs. conservation.

The series also includes the following webinars (all held from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time):
  
•  Identifying Your Utility’s Energy Efficiency Goals and Developing a Portfolio Strategy, Dec. 11
•  Measurement and Evaluation of Program Effectiveness, Jan. 13
•   Implementing an Energy Efficiency Portfolio, Feb. 10

All events will be led by Wallace Barron, president of Barron & Associates Corporate Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Webinars can be taken individually or as a series, for a discounted rate. Each session is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. For more information and to register, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under "webinars" or contact Meghan Riley at MRiley@PublicPower.org; 202/467-2919. —HEIDI LAMBERT     

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Illustration by Sharon Winfield

Next week during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (#NCSAM), the American Public Power Association (APPA) will host a Twitter chat (#PublicPowerChat) to discuss how both power providers and customers can protect their data online. The live chat will occur on Thursday, Oct. 23, from 1-2 p.m. Eastern. APPA members are encouraged to participate and involve their customers.

This discussion of cybersecurity and shared responsibility will take place just days after comments close for the draft Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC). This voluntary set of principles for the treatment of consumer data relating to energy services, facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force, is supported by APPA.

APPA has been involved with the VCC process since its inception in December 2012, the association said in a letter to DOE.

The draft VCC ensures that utilities maintain a level of flexibility in developing smart grid data privacy guidelines, said Paul Zummo, APPA’s manager of policy research and analysis. "At the same time, these principles emphasize core privacy principles that have been established by other entities such as the North American Energy Standards Board and state regulatory bodies such as the California Public Utilities Commission," he said.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. —FALLON FORBUSH

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Pennwell Corporation - POWER-GEN International

EVENTS CALENDAR

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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Naylor, LLC

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.

Field service superintendent— The city of Hamilton, Ohio, is recruiting for a field service superintendent. The position entails difficult technical and responsible administrative work, servicing the city’s commercial, industrial and residential customers. Supervision is exercised over supervisory, technical, clerical, and skilled personnel. Qualifications: Possession of an associate degree from a college of recognized standing in electrical engineering or a closely related area is preferred, coupled with extensive experience in electric systems and standards, electrical inspections, energy efficiency and energy conservation programs and principles, or thorough understanding of utility rates and cost of service studies. Apply: Visit our website employment quick link at www.hamilton-city.org for more details about this job posting. Current detailed resumes must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, in person: Civil Service Department, Hamilton Municipal Building, 345 High St., First Floor, Hamilton, OH 45011; by fax: 513/785-7037; or by email: cspersonnel@ci.hamilton.oh.us. Submit resumes in Microsoft Word document or PDF file formats only. Specify interest in "FIELD SVC SUPT." The City of Hamilton is an EEO and AAE. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Financial and rates analyst— Join the Finance and Accounting team at NMPP Energy, a joint action agency located in Lincoln, Nebraska, to prepare annual budgets and projected results for our wholesale power supply agency, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN). Responsibilities also include analyzing monthly variances from budget, compiling and monitoring financial ratios and metrics, and developing MEAN’s annual and projected rate structure. Apply: For complete details and to apply, visit www.nmppenergy.org/careers/nmpp_energy. EOE.

Manager of financial accounting— Lincoln Electric System (LES), in Nebraska, is hiring a manager of financial accounting. The positions is responsible for financial accounting, reporting, communicating, and analysis for LES, District Energy Corporation (DEC) and Nebraska Utility Corporation (NUCorp) in accordance with GASB and FERC guidelines. Specific responsibilities also include annual financial report development, external audit support and coordination, asset management, Southwest Power Pool support, managing and mentoring staff, strategic planning, and assisting with overall policy and procedure development. Qualifications: Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree and seven years of progressively responsible utilities experience in area of assignment, including some supervisory experience. A Master of Business Administration degree and professional certification, such as CPM, CPA, or CMA, is preferred. LES is a municipally owned electric utility providing service to approximately 130,000 customers in Lincoln. LES employs a staff of approximately 476 non-union and union personnel. LES is governed by a nine-member administrative board. To apply, go to www.les.com/careers. EEO: Minorities/Women/Disabled/Veterans.

Director of agency and government relations— The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, is recruiting for a director of agency and government relations. SMMPA is a joint action agency that provides wholesale electric energy to 18 member municipal utilities, serving more than 111,000 retail customers. The position directs and manages SMMPA’s efforts to build and enhance agency relationships with member utilities and external entities. The director assists the executive director and CEO in the development and implementation of policies, procedures, products, and strategic initiatives to fulfill the agency’s goals and objectives. In addition to developing and managing relationships with members, legislators, legislative leadership, regulators, and governmental agency staff, he or she also oversees communications, human resource functions, demand side management initiatives, and non-operations center computer systems. Qualifications: Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or the equivalent combination of education and experience. An advanced degree in a related field is preferred. The successful candidate must possess 10 or more years of utility experience with a comprehension of the "big picture" of public utility operations. The selected individual will also offer measurable accomplishments in public, legislative, and regulatory relations arenas. He or she will be expected to become the "face" of SMMPA and a trusted advisor in a variety of political, regulatory, and industry forums (i.e., Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Division of Energy Resources, American Public Power Association, peer utilities, member utilities, city government, and other industry associations). In addition, candidates must be able to present to and educate the board and members on legislative and regulatory activities. Compensation: SMMPA provides a competitive base salary and a full complement of fringe benefits, including reasonable, customary costs associated with relocation. Apply: Please email resumes by Nov. 3 to Kip Moore at Mycoff, Fry & Prouse: kmoore@mfpllc.us. For questions, call 800/525-9082.

Electrical engineer— The Electrical District No. Two in Casa Grande, Arizona, has an immediate opening for a senior-level electrical engineer. Electrical District No. Two is a growing electric system, serving 6,500 customers in central Arizona, close to the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. The position responsibilities include: design of the overhead and underground distribution system, load current and voltage calculations, system planning, metering, overhead and underground construction standards, transmission and substation maintenance, system protection studies, SCADA, distribution automation, AMR, AutoCAD, and ESRI GIS. The position reports to the general manager. Qualifications: A Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in power systems is preferred. Excellent computer and communication skills, and at least five years’ experience in electric system design and operation is required. The ideal candidate must have a high level of initiative and excellent oral and written communications skills. Compensation: The starting salary will be dependent upon experience and education. Compensation includes excellent benefits: NRECA pension, 401(k), and medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Apply: For a detailed position profile, please contact Fran Seitz by email: fran@hireseitz.com; or phone: 303/730-1424. You can also contact Steve Dowdy by email: sdowdy@dowdyrecuriting.com; or phone: 303/816-0047.

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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Naylor, LLC


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Pennwell Corporation - POWER-GEN International

Naylor, LLC

Naylor, LLC

Naylor, LLC

APPA Academy


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