Public Power Daily http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/ Newsletter RSS Feed. en-us Copyright 2017 12/10/2017 11:40:36 PM 20 This newsletter is taking a break for the holidays, and will have a fresh new design in the new year http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296879&issueID=44401 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44401>Wednesday, December 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span> is taking the week off for the holidays, and we will have a new look in January. Our next issue &mdash; the first issue using our new design &mdash; will come to you on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Happy Holidays to you!<br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/21/2014 3:24:54 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296879&amp;issueID=44401 Lincoln Electric System finalizes power purchase agreements for wind, solar energy http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=301057&issueID=44401 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44401>Wednesday, December 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Lincoln Electric System (LES) on Dec.19 said that it has finalized power purchase agreements to add 173 megawatts of wind energy and five megawatts of solar energy to its power supply resource portfolio by 2016. <br /> <br /> These projects will increase the utility&rsquo;s equivalent renewable generation portfolio to 48 percent of LES&rsquo; retail energy.<br /> <br /> Chris Beutler, mayor of Lincoln, Neb., and Kevin Wailes, administrator and CEO of Lincoln Electric System, offered details on what LES said was one of the most aggressive renewable energy portfolios.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The projects will save customers money. "When viewed as a package, our wind and solar contracts are expected to save LES customer-owners approximately $429 million over the next 25 years," said Wailes.<br /> <br /> The wind additions are spread across two wind contracts secured with the same developer, Invenergy, and involve the 73 MW Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center, located in northeastern Nebraska, and 100 MW Buckeye Wind Energy Center, located in north-central Kansas.<br /> <br /> In August, LES issued a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of wind energy. LES received 15 responses encompassing 105 proposals. The selected projects will bring LES&rsquo; total wind portfolio to 304 MW.<br /> <br /> "This is a very opportune time for LES to invest in more wind energy due to future uncertainties of federal production tax credits for wind developers, potential additional regulations on power plant emissions, and the volatility of fossil fuel prices." said Wailes.<br /> <br /> LES implemented <a href="http://www.les.com/savings-energy/solar-net-metering/learn-more">SunShares</a>, a new program in partnership with customers, to bring a community solar project to the Lincoln area. LES noted that the solar contract was in response to an LES survey which indicated customers were willing to support more local solar energy.<br /> <br /> LES said that it will leverage savings achieved through its wind agreements to help supplement customer participation in the LES SunShares program, which LES said allowed it to obtain optimal pricing for the solar project.<br /> <br /> The project will provide LES with valuable solar operating experience and will be the largest solar installation in the state, LES said.<br /> <br /> LES also added 50 kilowatts of solar energy through a rooftop solar array commissioned in early December on an LES service center.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/22/2014 4:27:53 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=301057&amp;issueID=44401 EIA: Load shape evolves in California as more wind, solar come online http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=301007&issueID=44401 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44401>Wednesday, December 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />As wind and solar generation has grown, the California Independent System Operator&rsquo;s net load shape has changed, said the Energy Information Administration in a December brief.<br /> <br /> EIA defines net load as the demand that California ISO must meet with generation other than wind and solar, such as natural gas, hydropower or imported electricity from outside the system.<br /> <br /> Utility-scale solar experienced significant growth in 2014, more than 10 percent of the system&rsquo;s 2014 year-to-date hourly peak demand, EIA said. The capacity increase does not include smaller-scale distributed photovoltaic installation, such as residential roof-top panels, that do not participate in the California ISO market. But EIA said that capacity still impacts the load and net load shape.<br /> <br /> Wind and solar are among the first resources that grid operators use because they do not incur any fuel costs. Solar generation tends to coincide with electricity demand &mdash; when it&rsquo;s sunny and hot, solar generation achieves maximum output while electricity demand peaks due to cooling needs. As a result, EIA said, solar decreases the need for generation from dispatchable sources, which is changing the net load shape. EIA noted that electricity demand in nonsummer months does tend to have a different load shape with a much steeper ramp in net load in the evenings.<br /> <br /> The California ISO predicted a shift in net load would occur and that the trend would become more pronounced as more solar and wind generation came online to meet California&rsquo;s renewable portfolio standard, EIA said. <br /> <br /> As a result, California legislators and regulators have taken steps toward mitigating load curve challenges such as increasing the focus on flexible resources, mandating energy storage, creating an energy imbalance market and performing a demand response assessment.&mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> </p> 12/22/2014 1:17:14 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=301007&amp;issueID=44401 NESC Summit in April, proposals open for comment http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299383&issueID=44401 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44401>Wednesday, December 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><a href="http://www.cvent.com/events/nesc-summit/event-summary-2a15a98eb79345c0b288404aec7ae2fb.aspx">Registration is open </a>for the first-ever National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) Summit: Past Present, and Future from April 28&ndash;29, 2015 in Alexandria, VA. <br /> <br /> Mike Hyland, chair of the NESC and senior vice president, engineering &amp; operations at the American Public Power Association, said that it is important to have public power representation at the event. The NESC is 100 years old, and the last summit was held in 1915 in New York City.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The 2015 NESC Summit will set the stage for users in the field to convene and offer input on how to maintain the NESC as a vital and relevant industry safety code that protects workers and the public. The summit will examine issues that impact the electricity industry, including resiliency, safety, reliability, installation and construction.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> On a related note, in preparation for the publication of the 2017 Edition of NESC on 1 August 2016, the IEEE Standards Association has released the 2017 NESC preprint of proposals, with an eight-month commentary period, 1 September 2014-1 May 2015, to allow interested parties to review, affirm or suggest additional changes to the code proposals, revising the NESC 2012 edition.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Published exclusively by IEEE, the NESC sets the ground rules for practical safeguarding of persons during the installation, operation, or maintenance of electric supply communication lines and associated equipment. It contains the basic provisions that are considered necessary for the safety of employees and the public under the specified conditions. Copies of the 2017 NESC Preprint Proposals Edition are available to buy at the <a href="http://www.techstreet.com/ieee/products/1880648?utm_source=techstreet&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=NESC&amp;utm_content=std&amp;utm_campaign=2014_12_NESC_summit_eblast2">IEEE Standards Store</a>.&mdash;<a href="mailto:mdayak@publicpower.org">MEENA DAYAK</a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> </p> 12/11/2014 3:04:21 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299383&amp;issueID=44401 Registration deadlines approaching for APPA Winter Education Institute courses http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300884&issueID=44401 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44401>Wednesday, December 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Jan. 12 is the last day for early bird registrations for courses at the APPA <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Winter Education Institute</a>, which will be held Feb. 2-6 in Anaheim, California. Early registrants can save $50 on fees. There is an additional $100 discount for those who attend more than one course or who attend with a colleague. All classes will be held at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort. A discounted hotel room rate is also available until Jan. 12.<br /> <br /> The Winter Institute features 18 in-depth training courses on the following topics:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp; Public utility accounting<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Work order and asset management<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Cost of service and retail rate design<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Performing a utility financial check-up<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Underground distribution systems<br /> &bull;&nbsp; New OSHA regulations for public power utilities<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Customer service management<br /> &bull;&nbsp; Supervisory leadership<br /> <br /> The institute includes two week-long certificate programs on customer service management and public power management. The <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38918&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Customer Service Management Certificate Program</a> consists of five classes and is designed for utility customer service representatives, managers and supervisors. The <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38922&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Public Power Manager Certificate Program</a>, made up of three classes, is designed for mid- and upper-level public power managers and senior supervisors interested in improving their management, communications, and leadership knowledge and skills. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> For more information, visit <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> and click on "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/19/2014 9:16:33 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300884&amp;issueID=44401 Electricity groups ask FERC to review NextEra penalty, raise due process issues http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300900&issueID=44400 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44400>Tuesday, December 23, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />In Dec. 18 comments, the American Public Power Association joined with three other electricity industry groups to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review a notice of penalty imposed on NextEra Energy Resources, LLC for violations of certain reliability standards established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The electricity groups&nbsp; &mdash; APPA, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) &mdash; support an application filed by NextEra asking FERC to review the notice of penalty.<br /> <br /> NextEra admits it did not follow certain dispatch requests made by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), but denies that this failure constitutes a violation of reliability standards.<br /> <br /> The FERC proceeding, instituted by an order issued by the commission on Nov. 28, 2014, is Docket No. NP15-1-000.<br /> <br /> APPA, EEI, NRECA and EPSA said the NextEra proceeding has raised a number of due process issues, and they asked to intervene in it. They noted that many of their members are users, owners, and operators of the bulk electric system, subject to the reliability standards set by NERC, and will be subject to the enforcement mechanisms that are involved in the NextEra case.<br /> <br /> In their comments to FERC, the electricity groups objected to a number of the procedures used by ERCOT and the NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee (BOTCC) in the matter. They asked FERC to reverse the decision of the BOTCC, and said they also "strongly encourage the Commission to address the due process issues raised by NextEra."<br /> <br /> "While the NextEra Application brings to the Commission a relatively narrow issue of a technical nature, as a general matter the Associations for several years have argued that the NERC Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP) has become an administrative and bureaucratic burden that far exceeds the benefits produced for bulk electric system reliability," said APPA, EEI, NRECA, and EPSA. <br /> <br /> "The Associations understand that many Registered Entities with process issues similar to those described in the NextEra Application have agreed to negotiated settlements rather than pursue a lengthy and expensive appeal process, where the financial and time-related costs of such appeals far exceed the benefits in support of bulk power system reliability."<br /> <br /> As set forth in the NextEra application, the case "offers the Commission an important opportunity" to explore some of the process issues &mdash; and due process issues &mdash; involved in NERC's Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program, the associations said.<br /> <br /> APPA, EEI, NRECA and EPSA added that they "also understand that while NERC and the Regional Entities continue to report various changes to CMEP implementation under the Reliability Assurance Initiative (RAI)," but do not believe that the tools under development as part of RAI would resolve the issues raised by NextEra.<br /> <br /> "The issues raised by the NextEra Application, especially the process and due process issues involving formal enforcement actions, will continue to have relevance under RAI," they said. "Reversal of the NERC BOTCC decision will also help focus discussion on RAI processes and procedures that will ensure consistent implementation of the CMEP." &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/19/2014 10:06:29 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300900&amp;issueID=44400 OPPD board approves economic rate rider and rate increase http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300966&issueID=44400 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44400>Tuesday, December 23, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Omaha Public Power District in Nebraska hopes to help attract new large commercial and industrial customers to its territory with a recently approved rate rider that will take effect in 2015.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The rider was pitched at the utility's board meeting in November. Among the reasons the rider was pitched is the stipulation that it could mitigate future rate increases by expanding the customer base and allowing increased fixed cost recovery, according to the presentation made in November. <br /> <br /> OPPD's board also approved a general rate increase of 1.6 percent for 2015, according to a news release regarding the board&rsquo;s most recent meeting. Factors cited for the rate adjustment include increases in Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station operating costs, rising health and benefit costs for employees and retirees, and increased capital expenditures to maintain reliability and future load growth. <br /> <br /> Projected revenue requirements for 2015 total about $929 million and without the rate increase, revenue was estimated to fall $15 million below what was needed, the utility said. OPPD said average residential bills are expected to increase by about $1.63 a month, but the utility's retail rates remain about 10 percent below the regional average and 20 percent below national average. <br /> <br /> The approved rate rider should not adversely impact other customers, OPPD said, and is only offered to customers who would not otherwise locate in the utility's service territory. Participation is only open to new customers with at least a 2,500-kilowatt load and at least a 60 percent load factor. All other OPPD rates, terms and conditions apply to participants. The proposal was designed to be in compliance with the state&rsquo;s economic development statutes.<br /> <br /> A mechanism utilized by many other utilities, the rider is designed to support the community&rsquo;s economy by creating jobs, facilitating an economic multiplier and increase in-lieu of tax receipts for the utility&rsquo;s counties. OPPD plans to shop the program to manufacturing and bio sciences companies and data centers.<br /> &mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/21/2014 10:38:24 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300966&amp;issueID=44400 Lawmakers voice concerns about solar leasing marketing strategies in letter to FTC chairwoman http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300951&issueID=44400 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44400>Tuesday, December 23, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Voicing concerns about the possibility of third party leasing companies utilizing deceptive marketing tactics, a group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives is asking the head of the Federal Trade Commission to answer a number of questions related to solar leasing activity.<br /> <br /> "Given the rapid expansion of the rooftop solar industry, we wish to call your attention to the emergence of third-party leases for rooftop solar systems," the lawmakers wrote in their Dec. 12 letter to Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the FTC.<br /> <br /> "Some of these companies that market leased solar systems to consumers as a way to leverage promoting solar leasing products are actually acting as sellers of financial products, leveraging the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and applicable state renewable subsidies to obtain tax equity investment for the purposes of turning a profit," they wrote. <br /> <br /> "Under increasing pressure from Wall Street to sign up more leasing customers before the ITC expires, these companies are reported to be using potentially deceptive sales tactics &mdash; practices that, if true, merit investigation," the lawmakers told Ramirez.<br /> <br /> "As a very new industry with a limited track record and little regulatory oversight, the solar leasing market may pose a considerable risk to the increasingly large numbers of American consumers" who commit to the leasing product "without all of the relevant information," they wrote.<br /> <br /> "Of particular concern, is the possibility that these third party leasing companies may be utilizing deceptive marketing strategies that overstate the savings the homeowner will receive, while understating the risks associated with agreeing to a decades-long lease that is often secured by a second deed of trust to the house &mdash; a financial commitment that will likely exceed both the life of the roof and duration of the lessor&rsquo;s home ownership," the lawmakers said.<br /> <br /> They asked Ramirez to respond to several questions. Among other things, the lawmakers want to know what options exist "to ensure consumers are fully apprised of the costs and benefits of solar leasing arrangements, including potential financial risks." They also want to know if the FTC has received any complaints related to solar lease contracts.<br /> <br /> The letter was signed by Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.). &nbsp;<br /> <br /> In related news, four members of the House of Representatives recently asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate whether consumers might be harmed by misleading sales practices from solar leasing companies as the market for rooftop solar power expands. The four members of Congress, all Democrats from Arizona, said they support the expansion of rooftop solar, but are worried that companies leasing the systems may be using unfair or misleading business practices.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI&nbsp; </a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/19/2014 4:10:46 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300951&amp;issueID=44400 Utility official encourages FERC's 'continued attention' to railroad coal delivery issues http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300912&issueID=44399 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44399>Monday, December 22, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />While the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is responsible for overseeing service provided by the nation&rsquo;s railroads, the potential impacts on electric reliability require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission&rsquo;s "continued attention," an executive with a Minnesota-based electric utility said at a meeting where FERC commissioners examined coal delivery issues for electric generation. <p>David McMillan, senior vice president at Allete and executive vice president at Minnesota Power, which is Allete&rsquo;s largest division, made his comments at FERC&rsquo;s monthly meeting. He was one of several panelists who spoke on the topic. </p> <p>McMillan said that FERC "demonstrated its willingness to act last year" when it exercised its authority under the Interstate Commerce Act to direct priority treatment for propane. "While the commission cannot specifically order railroads to provide service to utility coal shippers, there are steps that this commission can take consistent with your responsibility to ensure economical and reliable wholesale electric service.</p> <p>"Staff has committed to monitoring coal stockpiles and working with the STB. This is a good and necessary first step. We encourage you to continue to coordinate and collaborate closely with the STB" and with the Department of Energy.</p> <p>"Just as the commission identified the need for greater attention to gas-electric interdependency issues, we believe there&rsquo;s a need for the commission to closely follow electric-rail interdependency and coordination issues, building upon today&rsquo;s panel discussion," he said.</p> <p>He noted that coal is Minnesota Power&rsquo;s primary fuel for electric generation. The company currently operates three coal-fired power plants that consume a little over five million tons of coal each year. The coal originates in the Powder River Basin and is transported to the company in single or joint carrier service by railroad company BNSF.</p> <p>"During the winter of 2013-14, we experienced severe disruptions in BNSF service to all of our coal-fired facilities and for extended periods of time we were forced to either curtail or limit coal fired generation," he said. McMillan noted that the utility&rsquo;s largest generating station, the Boswell Energy Center, was forced to run at minimum capacity on some of the highest load days of winter. "At one point, we were down to four days of coal supply." </p> <p>He said that while "our service woes temporarily subsided this spring," they came back "once again in the late summer and fall and in August of this year, we took the unprecedented step of temporarily shuttering four coal-fired units at other locations in an attempt to rebuild coal inventories at Boswell by diverting coal bound for those units to Boswell."</p> <p>Currently, "our coal inventories at Boswell are at acceptable levels. While that is good news, the inconsistency we have experienced" with BNSF service "and the lack of an enforceable service recovery plan does not give us complete confidence that current inventories will continue," the utility executive noted.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">FERC staff member details challenges</span><br /> </p> <p>"The extreme cold weather of last winter brought attention to the issue of replacing the drawdown of coal inventory in the central United States," a FERC staff member said at the meeting.</p> <p>The staff member noted in the presentation that there are 166 power plants throughout the U.S. that use Powder River Basin coal, representing 172 GW of capacity. The majority of these plants are in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool and Electric Reliability Council of Texas regions.</p> <p>"Rail operations in the Midwest are going through a period of adjustment and multi-faceted challenges," he said. "Coal is just one of several commodities vying for space on the rail system." Because of these developments and their implications for electric reliability and markets, "staff has paid particular attention to the coal delivery picture."</p> <p>He said that FERC staff "analyzed the fundamentals involved, monitored regulatory developments, and had discussions with a number of stakeholders. The utilities and RTOs that we spoke with relayed various levels of concern about their ability to maintain and build their stockpiles prior to the winter."</p> <p>While much of what FERC staff heard was specific to individual entities, "we heard a number of common themes. For instance, one theme was that generators who relied on BNSF for delivery of PRB coal claim to have consistently received less coal than they had requested. Generators asserted that their deliveries were being rationed, along with other commodities, on a rail system that was over-taxed and hampered by disruptions caused by construction intended to improve future capacity."</p> <p>The FERC staff member went on to say that PRB coal deliveries in the Central U.S. have been below previous levels all year, as well as for the second half of 2013. The inventories for all types of coal in the central states lag well behind the inventories of a year ago, he said, adding that coal stockpiles at U.S. power plants are below the five-year average. </p> <p>"At the state level, the greatest impact is on plants in MISO and SPP that rely on PRB coal, with stockpiles in Iowa and Oklahoma more than 40% below last year&rsquo;s level. Other heavily affected states are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Texas, where stockpiles are between 25 and 40% below" last year. </p> <p>"It is likely that below-average stockpiles will persist through 2015 as railroads struggle to keep up with overall demand before system upgrades are complete. This is raising concerns among some generators that low stockpiles coming out of the winter could create challenges in the summer of 2015," the FERC staff member added.</p> <p>In late October, the heads of the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Western Coal Traffic League and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners said in a letter to commissioners at FERC that the agency should hold a public workshop that would focus on railroad coal delivery challenges and the impact of continued coal delivery disruptions on electric reliability.</p> <p>"We write to call your attention to, and to seek your help in addressing, a problem that we believe poses a serious challenge to the overall reliability of the interstate power grid in the portions of the country that depend heavily on Western coal for generation," wrote Sue Kelly, president and CEO of APPA, Thomas Kuhn, president of EEI, Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA, Charles Gray, executive director of NARUC, and Bette Whalen, president of the Western Coal Traffic League. </p> <p>In a separate letter sent to members of the STB, Kelly, Kuhn, Emerson and Gray voiced their "strong support" for a petition filed by the Western Coal Traffic League on Oct. 22. The petition asked the board to require BNSF to file a coal service recovery plan. </p> <p>Officials with BNSF, the STB and MISO also participated in the Dec. 18 panel discussion at FERC.</p> <p>FERC Commissioner Tony Clark asked panelists to focus on the 2015/2016 timeframe, which he said has "pegged as really a tight" timeframe, "especially for MISO." </p> <p>"Have there been communication channels set up &ndash; either between utilities and the railroad or the utilities, railroad and somehow bringing in the regional grid operators" &ndash; on the issue of coordination "that&rsquo;s going to need to take place in the" 2015/2016 timeframe? he asked. "The system&rsquo;s just going to be operating much more tightly and in a different way than it has in the past," Clark said.</p> <p>MISO&rsquo;s Todd Ramey said that to date, "at MISO, our conversations on this issue have been with our generation owners." </p> <p>"We&rsquo;ll continue to work with our coal-fired generation owners to help them understand our view, MISO&rsquo;s view, of potential reliability impacts of specific units or plants that may be at risk of coal pile depletion," he said.</p> <p>"We&rsquo;ve already done a number of those studies at the request of members this year," Ramey said, examining "what would happen to the network" if the coal pile at a particular plant "goes to zero" and the facility goes offline. Such studies help "provide information for our members to use as they consider levels of criticality and helps support them in their discussions with their rail service providers." </p> <p>Michael Higgins, deputy director in the office of public assistance, governmental affairs and compliance at STB, said, "as most people are aware of, there have been certain issues with transportation by rail over the last twelve to eighteen months in the United States affecting the freight rail system across the country and it&rsquo;s been particularly pronounced in certain regions."</p> <p>From STB&rsquo;s standpoint, "there have been a couple of factors that have contributed to the dislocation that we&rsquo;ve seen in the freight rail system over this period," Higgins said, one of which is the "significant rebound in the nation&rsquo;s economy." He also cited the "severe winter that we had in 2013 and stretching into 2014." </p> <p>FERC Commissioner Norman Bay asked BNSF&rsquo;s Steve Bobb if the railroad company has a plan to deal with a situation where "we hit some really extreme winter weather" and "coal piles go down" at different generators in the Upper Midwest.</p> <p>"We have plans for winter preparedness and we learned a few things last year and have added to those plans," said Bobb.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI </a></p></p> 12/19/2014 12:16:29 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300912&amp;issueID=44399 FERC rules it must play a role in transfer of assets for Boulder municipalization http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300946&issueID=44399 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44399>Monday, December 22, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Boulder, Colorado, cannot acquire ownership of the transmission assets necessary for its municipalization without Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, according to a declaratory order issued by the commission on Dec. 18.<br /> <br /> Xcel Energy subsidiary Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) filed a petition to dispute the city&rsquo;s transition to a municipal utility in August when it asked FERC to rule that Boulder&rsquo;s effort to acquire the assets requires the commission&rsquo;s approval.<br /> <br /> Boulder in July <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41892">filed </a>a condemnation petition in Boulder District Court to acquire portions of PSCo&rsquo;s distribution system that are necessary for the municipality to begin operating a utility.<br /> <br /> The American Public Power Association <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42386">challenged</a> PSCo&rsquo;s arguments for "seeking broad and unprecedented declarations whose implications would extend far beyond the instant dispute," in an Oct. 1 filing with FERC. APPA also said PSCo&rsquo;s filing would go against its intended purpose to terminate controversy or remove uncertainty by suggesting that Boulder, not PSCo, had to obtain FERC approval, and by prematurely arguing PSCo's case against the municipalization.<br /> <br /> But FERC said its Dec. 18 issuance of a declaratory order was done so to terminate controversy and remove uncertainty. FERC concluded that Boulder&rsquo;s efforts to acquire the transmission facilities constitutes a disposal by PSCo of jurisdictional facilities with a value greater than $10 million under the Federal Power Act&rsquo;s Section 203, an action PSCo would not be able to take without FERC approval. <br /> <br /> "A transfer by condemnation of facilities subject to the commission&rsquo;s jurisdiction under the FPA cannot be effectuated unless the commission has authorized the transfer under Section 203 of the [Federal Power Act]," FERC said.<br /> <br /> FERC also agreed with PSCo that the commission's existing policies under the Federal Power Act Section 203 would guide its consideration of a facility transfer to Boulder, but it did not address PSCo's arguments as to how the policies would apply in this case.<br /> <br /> FERC said it would evaluate whether the transfer of assets from PSCo to Boulder was in the public interest and said the review must occur before the transfer can happen.<br /> <br /> Boulder issued a news release that said the order affirmed the city&rsquo;s right to move forward with condemnation while defining the commission&rsquo;s role in the city&rsquo;s plan.<br /> <br /> "What this ruling does not do is as important as what it does," said Tom Carr, Boulder&rsquo;s city attorney. "FERC has stated what the city has known for some time &mdash; that federal regulators have a valuable oversight role with regard to ensuring the smooth and equitable transmission of electricity. Today&rsquo;s order spells out a clear process for what this review should include. We look forward to participating fully in that process."<br /> <br /> Boulder has been exploring municipalization since 2010 and decided to seek ownership of the investor-owned utility&rsquo;s transmission assets to enhance reliability, resilience and redundancy on the local grid. Voters in Boulder supported the effort in two separate referendums. <br /> <br /> "Xcel Energy has indicated that it is not interested in selling its system to Boulder and has told shareholders it will seek to delay or block the city&rsquo;s efforts," the city said in the news release.&mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/19/2014 2:43:57 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300946&amp;issueID=44399 Middle East scholar Vali Nasr to address APPA CEO Roundtable in March http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300008&issueID=44399 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=44399>Monday, December 22, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> <table width="" align="left" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 255px; height: 196px; margin-right: 8px; margin-bottom: 4px; border: medium none;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><img align="left" style="margin-bottom: 4px; margin-right: 6px;" alt="" title="" src="http://appanet.files.cms-plus.com/Media/images/Nasr V CEO Roundtable 2015 250 pixels.jpg " /><br /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-weight: bold;">Nasr will discuss developments in the Middle East that have implications for U.S. foreign policy and the economy.</span><br /> <br /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>Middle East scholar Dr. Vali Nasr will discuss new developments in the Middle East that will have major implications for U.S. foreign policy and the economy, and offer insights into global economic markets and geopolitical trends, at the 2015 CEO Roundtable in Phoenix, Arizona. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> The CEO Roundtable will also feature Graham Weale, chief economist for one of the two largest German power companies, on lessons from Germany&rsquo;s energy transition; and Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute, on global energy trends. <br /> <br /> The 2015 CEO Roundtable will be held March 1-3 at the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix. The meeting is open exclusively to officials from APPA member utilities, joint action agencies, and state and regional associations. Registration, hotel information and the complete program are available at <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/CEORoundtable">www.publicpower.org/CEORoundtable</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:lnienhuis@publicpower.org">LEANNE NIENHUIS</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/16/2014 8:56:01 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300008&amp;issueID=44399 FERC staff report alleges trader, funds engaged in fraudulent 'Up to Congestion' transactions in PJM energy markets http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300595&issueID=35011 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35011>Friday, December 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 17 issued an order alleging that an individual, Houlian "Alan" Chen, and three funds engaged in fraudulent "Up To Congestion" (UTC) transactions in the PJM Interconnection&rsquo;s markets. Along with Chen, the order involves HEEP Fund Inc., CU Fund Inc. and Powhatan Energy Fund LLC.<br /> <br /> The case presents allegations by the FERC Office of Enforcement (OE) staff of a violation of the commission&rsquo;s prohibition of energy market manipulation by Chen, HEEP Fund, CU Fund and Powhatan Energy Fund, FERC said in the order.<br /> <br /> FERC said that an OE staff report alleges that Chen, trading on behalf of HEEP Fund and Powhatan Energy Fund, "conceived of a fraudulent scheme in connection with the UTC markets operated by PJM; that he communicated the details of that fraudulent scheme to the principals of Powhatan Energy Fund, who knowingly encouraged him to implement it; and that he did implement it on behalf of Powhatan Energy Fund, HEEP Fund, and, later, CU Fund."<br /> <br /> FERC noted that "issuance of this order does not indicate Commission adoption or endorsement of the OE staff report."<br /> <br /> "This is a matter in which a successful and experienced trader &mdash; a man who had profitably traded in the PJM Interconnection (PJM) market for years, consistently pursuing legitimate arbitrage opportunities &mdash; decided to cheat," FERC OE staff alleged in the report, which was attached to the FERC order.<br /> <br /> "Through his meticulous study of the market, Chen discovered a method to make money &lsquo;almost risk-free&rsquo; by, in the words of Kevin Gates, the fund manager who partnered with Chen in this enterprise through Powhatan, &lsquo;moving electricity around in a circle,&rsquo;" the report alleged.<br /> <br /> The report said that Chen&rsquo;s "manipulation involved a product in PJM called &lsquo;Up-to Congestion&rsquo; (UTC), which functions as a swap of the difference or &lsquo;spread&rsquo; between the price of electricity at two locations in the day-ahead market and the same two points in the real-time market. Arbitrageurs of UTC can profit when the price spread between those locations moves favorably from the day-ahead to the real-time market, and lose money when the price movement is unfavorable."<br /> <br /> According to the report, in late 2009, Chen learned that PJM "had begun to distribute pro rata shares of a pool of funds called the marginal loss surplus allocation (MLSA, sometimes called &lsquo;transmission loss credits&rsquo; or &lsquo;TLC&rsquo;) to UTC trades."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The MLSA is a pool of surplus money arising from the fact that PJM charges buyers more for transmission losses than it distributes to sellers. Previously, PJM had distributed MLSA only to market participants trading physical power. <br /> <br /> "Soon after he began receiving MLSA, Chen figured out that the amount of MLSA was relatively predictable and that it could, during periods of high load, be greater than the transaction costs of scheduling UTC trades &mdash; costs that were themselves predictable," the report alleges.<br /> <br /> Chen "then figured out that he could do enormous volumes of wash-like trades and thereby qualify to receive payments of the MLSA, intended for bona fide transactions. In essence, Chen realized he could be paid simply for placing trades &mdash; and in particular, trades that cancelled one another out. Instead of contacting PJM, Chen shared this insight with Kevin Gates and the other investors in Powhatan, who, though they knew this opportunity was &lsquo;something that nature shouldn&rsquo;t allow&rsquo; and would be shut down as soon as it was discovered, eagerly endorsed a strategy of gaming the PJM settlement system with a series of non-bona fide wash-type trades designed to collect large amounts of MLSA from sheer trading volume without taking a position in the market," the OE staff report alleged.<br /> <br /> The report at a later point alleged that "Chen&rsquo;s scheme was to execute pairs of large volume UTC trades in identical volumes and hours and in opposite directions on the same paths &mdash; paths where Chen had every expectation that the UTC trades would clear."<br /> <br /> Like wash trades, "these transactions left Chen with no net position in the market, but created the illusion of bona fide market activity. PJM&rsquo;s automated settlement software, however, was not programmed to detect this particular scheme, so it awarded these trades MLSA. The scheme was highly profitable, because PJM&rsquo;s predictable allocations of MLSA were substantially greater than the predictable transaction costs associated with the same transactions," the report said.<br /> <br /> "In sum, Chen went into PJM&rsquo;s UTC marketplace, where market participants are assumed either to be hedging physical transactions or promoting market efficiency by speculating on congestion price movements between the day-ahead and real-time markets, but he did neither of those things. He hedged nothing, provided no good, no service, nor any other benefit to the market, took no meaningful risk and yet came away with over $10 million that should have gone to bona fide market participants, and, ultimately, in large part to ratepayers in PJM," the report alleged.<br /> <br /> The report said that Chen is a native of the Zhejing Province in the People&rsquo;s Republic of China and holds a doctorate in power engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. <br /> <br /> He came to the United States in 1995 to perform postgraduate work at Drexel University, OE staff said in the report. According to the report, he subsequently worked as an analyst at a succession of companies, including Entergy, Enron and UBS. Chen&rsquo;s responsibilities included creating and using models to forecast power prices.<br /> <br /> "In 2005, Chen left UBS to join Merrill Lynch Commodities, where he gained his first exposure to UTC transactions. After Merrill Lynch decided not to pursue UTC trading, Chen left to create his own firm, HEEP Fund, Inc. He subsequently founded CU Fund in June 2010," the report said.<br /> <br /> The FERC order directs Chen, HEEP Fund, CU Fund and Powhatan Energy Fund "to show cause why they should not be found to have violated" a section of the Commission&rsquo;s regulations and Section 222 of the Federal Power Act "by engaging in fraudulent" UTC transactions in PJM&rsquo;s energy markets. <br /> <br /> They must also show cause why they should not be assessed civil penalties as follows: Powhatan Energy Fund: $16,800,000; CU Fund: $10,080,000; HEEP Fund: $1,920,000; and Chen: $500,000 for trades executed through and on behalf of HEEP Fund and Powhatan and an additional $500,000 for trades executed through and on behalf of CU Fund.<br /> <br /> Commissioner Philip Moeller at the agency's monthly meeting on Dec. 18 read from a statement related to the case. <br /> <br /> In the statement posted on FERC's website, Moller said "I believe there is a common misperception about one element of our enforcement process. And my statement today is an attempt to clarify that misperception." <br /> <br /> In the show-cause order, "the Commission noted that issuance of the staff report does not indicate Commission adoption or endorsement of staff&rsquo;s findings. This statement reflects the Commission&rsquo;s long-standing practice not to pre-judge the findings made in staff reports. Instead, the Commission will consider the entire record in this proceeding to determine whether the assessment of civil penalties is appropriate," Moeller said in the statement.<br /> <br /> When FERC began its investigation, brothers Kevin and Richard Gates, two of the principal owners of Powhatan, decided to engage in a public fight with FERC over the investigation, including the establishment of a website on which they posted many of the documents from the non-public phase of the investigation, as well as statements of support from economists.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/18/2014 8:56:59 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300595&amp;issueID=35011 FERC says California ISO is first to fully satisfy Order No. 1000 regional requirements; takes up inter-regional filings http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300694&issueID=35011 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35011>Friday, December 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> In a Dec. 18 order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said that the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) has fully complied with the regional requirements of the commission's Order No. 1000. At the same time, FERC issued its first orders addressing the inter-regional transmission coordination and cost allocation requirements of Order No. 1000.<br /> <br /> Order No. 1000, which was issued in 2011, requires neighboring transmission planning regions to identify and jointly evaluate inter-regional transmission facilities&nbsp;&mdash; facilities located in two or more neighboring transmission planning regions. Such facilities may be more efficient or cost-effective solutions to the transmission needs of individual regions, the commission said, but noted that the order does not require an inter-regional transmission plan or interconnection-wide planning.<br /> <br /> In the first of two inter-regional orders it issued on Dec. 18, FERC conditionally accepted compliance filings by PJM Interconnection and its transmission-owning members and by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and its transmission owners. All are subject to further compliance filings. <br /> <br /> FERC said the grid operators&rsquo; proposed revisions to their existing joint operating agreement partially comply with Order No. 1000, but the commission rejected MISO&rsquo;s proposal to remove from the joint operating agreement the cost allocation method for cross-border baseline reliability projects. Compliance filings are due within 60 days.<br /> <br /> The second inter-regional order conditionally accepts, subject to further compliance, filings by CAISO and members of the ColumbiaGrid, Northern Tier Transmission Group and WestConnect transmission planning regions. Among the issues to be addressed in the compliance filings, due in 60 days, is common tariff language to revise and incorporate CAISO&rsquo;s method for determining the regional benefits of a proposed inter-regional transmission facility. (Docket No. ER13-1447-000)<br /> <br /> The order also grants in part, subject to modifications also due in 60 days, the Bonneville Power Administration&rsquo;s petition for a declaratory order seeking a determination that revisions to its open-access transmission tariff (OATT) substantially conform to, or are superior to, the pro forma OATT as modified by Order No. 1000.<br /> <br /> "With today&rsquo;s order on its regional compliance plan, CAISO becomes the first region to fully comply with the regional requirements of Order No. 1000," the commission said. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/18/2014 10:58:33 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300694&amp;issueID=35011 FERC directed to report to Congress about status, financial effect of New York capacity zone http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300783&issueID=35011 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35011>Friday, December 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Congressional appropriators have directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to regularly report to Congress about the status and financial effect of a capacity zone in New York. <br /> <br /> The move was made in a report accompanying the $1.1 trillion spending bill that recently passed the Senate at the request of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.). &nbsp;<br /> <br /> At issue is the New York Independent System Operator&rsquo;s Lower Hudson Valley capacity zone. <br /> <br /> A press release posted on Maloney&rsquo;s website said that FERC will be required to report quarterly on actions and costs to consumers related to the new capacity zone. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Schumer has raised questions about the zone for more than a year. Schumer first voiced concerns about the zone in November 2013 when he called on FERC to delay an order implementing the new zone. <br /> <br /> In September, he was joined by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), along with Gibson, Maloney, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), in asking FERC to reverse its decision supporting creation of the zone. <br /> <br /> The Sept. 15, 2014 letter was sent to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. In their letter to LaFleur, Schumer and the other lawmakers from New York said that the zone has resulted in a "significant and unwarranted price increase" for Lower Hudson Valley electric consumers. "Estimates indicate that the annual increase in electric prices associated with the" zone will reach approximately $280 million, the lawmakers told LaFleur.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/18/2014 3:29:20 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300783&amp;issueID=35011 Senate adjourns for the year, leaves terrorism risk bill, Public Power Risk Management Act, for the new Congress http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300403&issueID=35010 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35010>Thursday, December 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Senate left a variety of issues of importance to public power unresolved when it adjourned for the year on Dec. 16.<br /> <br /> In the lame duck session that followed the November election, Congress cleared 11 of 12 annual spending bills, and extended through the end of the year a package of 55 business and individual income tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013. The Senate also approved Colette Honorable's <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42841">nomination</a> to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.<br /> <br /> The expiring tax provisions included a production tax credit for wind and other renewable power projects. The extension applies to projects that were under construction by Dec. 31, 2014. President Barack Obama intends to sign the bill into law. When the new Congress gets under way on Jan. 6, these provisions will have already expired again, and it is unclear how quickly Congress will return to this issue. <br /> <br /> The Senate's departure for the year leaves unresolved several matters that are of interest to public power utilities: <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;A permanent funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which is being funded temporarily through February;<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Legislation to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which is set to expire at the end of this year; and <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Various proposals to improve the Dodd-Frank Act, including the provisions of the Public Power Risk Management Act, a bill supported by the American Public Power Association (APPA). <br /> <br /> Congressional leaders already have said they will revisit the terrorism risk insurance program in January. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, requires insurers to provide terrorism risk insurance but also provides a federal "backstop" to such coverage through re-insurance. APPA supports the legislation.<br /> <br /> Efforts to reach unanimous consent to clear a number of proposals to improve the Dodd&ndash;Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act failed due to objections from a handful of Senate Democrats. This includes H.R. 1038, the Public Power Risk Management Act, which passed the House unanimously in June 2013 and had bipartisan support in the Senate. The bill would allow public power utilities to enter swaps used to hedge commercial operations risks with non-financial entities (regional utilities, natural gas distributors, and independent power generators) and not just big banks, large energy dealers, and other "swap dealers." It would codify recent changes adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42244"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Sept. 18, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> In a <a href="http://publicpower.org/Resources/ReleasesDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42836">news release</a> earlier this week, APPA had urged the Senate to pass the bill.<br /> <br /> "It&rsquo;s essential that public power utilities maintain access to swaps in order to keep power affordable," said&nbsp;APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly. <br /> <br /> "The breadth of the support for this legislation helped guide the CFTC&rsquo;s actions" earlier this year, Kelly added. "Enacted legislation confirms Congress&rsquo;s intent and ensures those changes are permanent." <br /> <br /> Among the stakeholders supporting the legislation are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Public Citizen, the Consumer Federation of America, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Commodities Markets Oversight Coalition. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/17/2014 12:09:15 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300403&amp;issueID=35010 Federal court grants FERC motion, keeps Order 745 in force through mid-January http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300446&issueID=35010 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35010>Thursday, December 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> A federal appeals court on Dec. 15 granted a motion from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that will allow a controversial FERC directive on demand response to remain in force until mid-January, while the Obama administration seeks a review of the matter by the Supreme Court.<br /> <br /> The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted FERC's motion for a stay while the federal government prepares its case asking for a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court. <br /> <br /> Earlier this month, the U.S. solicitor general asked for additional time to file the writ of certiorari (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42786"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Dec. 9, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> "The Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate through January 15, 2015," the appeals court said in its Dec. 15 order. "If within the period of stay, respondent [FERC] notifies the Clerk in writing that a petition for writ of certiorari has been filed, the Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate pending the Supreme Court's final disposition." <br /> <br /> Order No. 745, issued in March 2011, said that any demand-response resource 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. <br /> <br /> Earlier this year, the District of Columbia Circuit vacated that order.&nbsp; In a 2-1 decision in <span style="font-style: italic;">Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC</span>, a panel of judges for the D.C. Circuit held that the commission had exceeded its statutory authority in Order No. 745 because the rule "entails direct regulation of the retail market&mdash;a matter exclusively within state control."<br /> <br /> The American Public Power Association, the Electric Power Supply Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Edison Electric Institute had filed a joint brief in the case arguing that the rule should be overturned (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41416"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, May 27, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> In September, the federal appeals court turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating Order No. 745 (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42246"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Sept. 18, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> In October, the appeals court granted FERC's request to delay finalizing its order vacating the FERC demand-response compensation order (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42485"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Oct. 22, 2014</a>). APPA and several other parties had urged the court to turn aside that request. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/17/2014 1:23:02 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300446&amp;issueID=35010 Senate confirms nomination of Colette Honorable to join FERC as a commissioner http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300289&issueID=35010 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35010>Thursday, December 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The U.S. Senate on Dec. 16 confirmed the nomination of Colette Honorable to join the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a commissioner.<br /> <br /> Honorable will serve the remainder of former Commissioner John Norris&rsquo;s term, which ends June 30, 2017. Norris resigned on Aug. 20, 2014, to become Minister-Counselor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Rome, Italy. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Honorable has served as chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission since 2011 and is the former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.<br /> <br /> "Colette brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the important issues we are facing," said FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur in a news release.&nbsp; "She and I worked together closely during her time as the President of NARUC, and I very much look forward to continuing that strong relationship when she joins the Commission."<br /> <br /> In early December, Honorable said that electric reliability would be a top priority for her as a FERC commissioner. She made her remarks at a Dec. 4 hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee related to her nomination (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42771">Dec. 5, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Also confirmed Dec. 16 was Chris Smith to be Assistant Secretary for Fossil Fuels with the Department of Energy and Estevan Lopez to be Commissioner at the Bureau of Reclamation.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/17/2014 9:39:08 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300289&amp;issueID=35010 Registration is open for 2015 CEO Roundtable http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300007&issueID=35010 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35010>Thursday, December 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Registration is now open for the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=30203&amp;navItemNumber=38476">2015 CEO Roundtable</a>. The CEO Roundtable is the American Public Power Association&rsquo;s premier meeting for public power executives to meet and exchange ideas and information with their peers.<br /> <br /> This high-level program brings together strategy and policy experts to help utility executives understand complex, long-term issues that impact the public power industry. <br /> <br /> Topics for the 2015 CEO Roundtable include:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Why Is the Middle East in Crisis and Why Does it Matter to the U.S. and Global Economy?<br /> Hear insights on geopolitical trends and how new developments in the Middle East will impact U.S. foreign policy and the economy.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Lessons from Germany&rsquo;s Energy Transition: Objectives, Difficulties and Reforms<br /> Learn about Germany&rsquo;s transition to an energy portfolio based on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the implications for the U.S. electric industry, and what public power utilities can learn.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Global Energy Trends<br /> Get a big-picture view of global energy trends, from dramatic shifts in energy demand, end-uses and sources, to the convergence of the energy and information sectors.<br /> <br /> The CEO Roundtable will be held March 1-3, 2015, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona. The CEO Roundtable is open only to officials from public power utilities, joint action agencies, and state and regional associations. Registration is limited to facilitate productive dialogue at the meeting. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Go to <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/CEORoundtable">www.publicpower.org/CEORoundtable</a> for complete program information or to register. &mdash;<a href="mailto:lnienhuis@publicpower.org">LEANNE NIENHUIS</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/16/2014 8:52:35 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300007&amp;issueID=35010 DOE says smart grid projects have helped utilities reduce the impact of outages after storms http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300138&issueID=35009 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35009>Wednesday, December 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Smart grid technologies used at the Electric Power Board&nbsp;&mdash; the municipal utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee &mdash; and at two other East Coast utilities have helped the utilities recover faster from outages caused by storms, according to a report by the Department of Energy.<br /> <br /> Storms are the biggest cause of power outages in the United States, and&nbsp; "improved capabilities for outage detection and response benefit both utilities and customers," DOE noted. <br /> <br /> Results from the three smart grid projects, which were sponsored by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, "show improvements in outage management following major storms from the application of distribution automation technologies and systems," DOE said in the November report, <a href="https://www.smartgrid.gov/sites/default/files/doc/files/B2-Master-File-with-edits_120114.pdf"><span style="font-style: italic;">Smart Grid Investments Improve Grid Reliability, Resilience, and Storm Responses</span></a>. <br /> <br /> Smart grid outage management systems "accelerated service restoration and limited the number of affected customers during major recent storms," the report found. "Utilities required fewer truck rolls during restoration and used repair crews more efficiently," reducing outage time and reducing the cost of restoring power. In addition, business and residential customers also experienced fewer financial losses, the report said.<br /> <br /> The Energy Department's Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG) program has awarded grants to 99 U.S. utilities. Of those, 32 are public power utilities. DOE's November report focused on smart grid projects by the EPB in Chattanooga, and by two investor-owned utilities: Florida Power and Light, and Philadelphia-based PECO. <br /> <br /> Smart grid technologies "are helping utilities to speed outage restoration following major storm events, reduce the total number of affected customers, and improve overall service reliability to reduce customer losses from power disruptions," DOE said.<br /> <br /> The utilities used two smart grid approaches, DOE said: <br /> 1)&nbsp; distribution automation, including automated feeder switching (AFS) and fault location, isolation, and service restoration (FLISR), and<br /> 2)&nbsp; integrating advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) capabilities with outage<br /> management systems.<br /> <br /> The utilities "typically focused on upgrading the feeders and substations that were most vulnerable to outages or had customers whose outage costs are highest," DOE noted. "This practice generally involves starting out with relatively small-scale deployments and emphasizes testing and evaluation before making commitments to larger-scale investments."<br /> <br /> EPB, the municipal utility in Chattanooga, has 172,000 customers, 117 substations, 3,582 circuit miles of distribution lines, and a summer peak demand of about 1,300 megawatts. Its SGIG project has a budget of about $228 million, including about $112 million of DOE funding under the Recovery Act. The project involved system-wide deployment of smart meters to 170,000 customers, installation of more than 1,400 automated feeder switches, and deployment of communications and information management systems for AMI and distributed automation operations. Smart switching communications use the utility&rsquo;s fiber optic network and are centrally controlled by the utility&rsquo;s upgraded Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. <br /> <br /> The project includes AFS and FLISR operations for all of EPB's 46-kV and 12-kV circuits, but not the utility&rsquo;s underground circuits, the DOE report explained. "Automation of the 46-kV circuits affects the entire service territory and the automated 12-kV circuits affect about 90% of customers. Because all of the utility&rsquo;s other, lower voltage circuits (4-kV), are fed by the 46-kV systems, all customers have access to distribution automation (DA)-related benefits." <br /> <br /> The SCADA upgrade "involved the utility&rsquo;s fiber optic network and supports an expanded number of control points and equipment installations to provide improved data and situational awareness for distribution system operators," the report said. "These technologies and systems have been tested by several severe weather events."<br /> <br /> In February 2014, for example, a severe snow storm affected 53 feeders and almost 33,000 customers. And in April 2011 Chattanooga was struck by a series of nine tornadoes that affected the entire service territory. <br /> <br /> During the storm that hit last February, "EPB kept all of its smart switches active and did not deactivate FLISR capabilities," DOE said. "EPB reports that without the fault isolating capabilities of the smart switches, about 70,000 customers would have experienced sustained outages." The city-owned utility estimated that it was able to restore power about 36 hours earlier than would have been possible without smart grid deployments, the report said. EPB estimates that it saved about $1.4 million in overtime costs for field crews, thanks to the smart grid technologies.<br /> <br /> The July 2012 derecho that caused widespread damage in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic also struck Chattanooga, affecting about half of EPB&rsquo;s customers, DOE pointed out. "Because of EPB investments in smart switches and smart meters, the outage duration for all affected customers decreased by about half. This resulted in about 36 million fewer customer minutes of interruption (CMI) than would have occurred without the new technologies."<br /> <br /> The Chattanooga utility's response to the 2012 derecho "was up to 17 hours faster due to the automated feeder switches, which restored power to 40,000 customers instantly and allowed crews to focus on a more limited number of issues," DOE said. "Smart meter data also helped operators to verify outages, enabling EPB field crews to locate and fix downed lines faster and more efficiently."<br /> <br /> All three utilities cited in the report &mdash; EPB, FPL and PECO &mdash; "are in the process of learning how to better apply AFS and FLISR and how to use AMI to support service restoration and improve storm responses," DOE said. "Many of the devices being used for these purposes are new or are being applied in novel ways."<br /> <br /> "There is no one way to achieve the goals of faster service restoration, better reliability, or building a more resilient grid," DOE added. Utilities "are applying different technologies in ways that make sense for their specific system configuration." &mdash;<a href="mailto:jasnderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/16/2014 12:14:29 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=300138&amp;issueID=35009 Court says it does not have jurisdiction under FPA to review FERC order on QF transactions http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299997&issueID=35009 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35009>Wednesday, December 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />In a ruling that sheds some light on what Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) judicial review paths are open and closed to the power sector, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently said that it does not have jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act to review a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order involving a rural electric cooperative and purchases and sales from a qualifying facility (QF).<br /> <br /> The FERC order determined that a rural electric cooperative&rsquo;s discontinuance of purchases and sales from a QF was not allowed under Section 210 of PURPA or FERC regulations and ordered the cooperative to reconnect to the QF for purposes of purchases and sales. The case is <span style="font-style: italic;">Midland Power Cooperative v. FERC</span>. <br /> <br /> The court of appeals in its Dec. 2 opinion found that the case arises under Section 210 of PURPA, which is not part of the FPA, despite being codified in the same chapter of the U.S. Code. Therefore, judicial review under the FPA was not available. Judicial review under Section 210 of PURPA is available in the first instance in federal district court. <br /> <br /> The court acknowledged that it had previously reviewed FERC orders issued under PURPA Section 210, but it said that its jurisdiction was not litigated or decided in those cases, and they were not precedent on that point. <br /> <br /> The court, which noted that FERC counsel admitted that the commission's order was not mandatory and enforceable, left unresolved the question of whether a truly mandatory order would be reviewable.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/16/2014 8:36:58 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299997&amp;issueID=35009 APPA offers Customer Service Management Certificate Program in February http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299692&issueID=35009 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35009>Wednesday, December 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />APPA will hold its <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38918&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Customer Service Management Certificate Program</a> during the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913#courses">Winter Education Institute</a>, Feb. 2-6, 2015, in Anaheim, California. <br /> <br /> This five-day certificate program is designed for public power customer service representatives, managers and supervisors. The curriculum is consists of the following five, one-day classes: <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39360&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Electric Utility Industry Overview</a> <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35903&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Management of Successful Customer Service Operations</a><br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35904&amp;navItemNumber=38913">The Leadership Development Process</a> <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35905&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35906&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Utility Collections: The Complete Process</a>&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The curriculum content is tailored to public power utilities and provides specific information and strategies that participants can use in their jobs. The classes can be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. Courses are offered only once a year although, as an alternative, they can be offered as in-house classes. <br /> <br /> To earn a Customer Service Management Certificate, participants must complete the required course work and, within two years of taking the courses, pass an online exam and develop a service department assessment and business plan that shows how their utility can use technology, labor and new processes to improve customer service. <br /> <br /> The Winter Education Institute also features courses on accounting, performing a utility financial check-up, cost of service and rate design, underground distribution systems, new OSHA regulations for public power and a five-day Public Power Manager Certificate Program. <br /> <br /> For more information, visit <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> and click on "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley (202/467-2919; <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>).&nbsp; &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/15/2014 9:31:12 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299692&amp;issueID=35009 Approved plan for Austin Energy ramps up renewables, makes room for natural gas http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299932&issueID=35008 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35008>Tuesday, December 16, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Austin, Texas, City Council authorized Austin Energy to build a new 500-MW natural gas plant through an energy plan approved on Dec. 12.<br /> <br /> The plan is the third iteration of one recommended to the council by a generation planning task force in August. The council adopted the task force&rsquo;s plan but the utility in September <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42309">presented</a> its own plan saying that what the task force recommended was not financially feasible. The version approved by the council on Dec. 12 combines pieces of the two that came before it as well as input from the local Sierra Club, said Austin Energy spokesman Robert Cullick.<br /> <br /> "We&rsquo;re pleased, after working with the Sierra Club and other stakeholders, that an affordable plan has emerged to enhance Austin&rsquo;s national leadership in green power," said Khalil Shalabi, vice president of energy market operations and resource planning for Austin Energy.<br /> <br /> The city&rsquo;s plan initially would have required Austin Energy to be carbon neutral by 2030, invest in 600 MW of solar power and reach a renewable capacity of 50% by 2020, all without exceeding a rate increase of 2 percent per year. The new plan requires the utility to produce 55 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025, keeps the solar requirement the same and adds 450 MW of wind power.<br /> <br /> The council&rsquo;s directive also requires the utility to shut down its coal and natural gas plants. But the plan initially did not provide for any additional natural gas generation, a requirement that was at odds with the utility&rsquo;s need to <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42175">replace</a> its 927-MW single-cycle Decker natural gas plant. Cullick said the Decker plant, like all single-cycle plants in Texas, would have ultimately been phased out anyway, though the initial plan left the utility no dispatchable generation to replace it with.<br /> <br /> "I think we pressed the case that you have to be able to create electricity on a dispatchable basis," Cullick said. "Having a utility that&rsquo;s solely dependent on the weather wasn&rsquo;t viable."<br /> <br /> Under the plan approved on Dec. 12, Austin Energy can develop a new 500-MW natural gas plant to facilitate the end of its use of the Decker plant as well as the shut-down of the coal-fired Fayette Power Project. The Fayette coal plant will be ramped down beginning in 2020. Cullick said the phase-out of the Decker plant is dependent upon the construction of the new plant.<br /> <br /> The new energy plan also calls for a second opinion &mdash; a full review by consultants to test the feasibility of what is required. Cullick said that is step one in implementing the plan and will dictate much of the timing and path for moving forward.<br /> <br /> "We certainly want someone to take a look at the plan and do another reality test, basically like getting a second opinion before a major surgery," Cullick said.<br /> <br /> If everything moves forward smoothly, Austin Energy expects to have the results of the consultant review by mid-2015.&mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/15/2014 2:51:27 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299932&amp;issueID=35008 Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. subsidiaries must respond to FERC order tied to market-based rates http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299956&issueID=35008 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35008>Tuesday, December 16, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Various subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. have within 60 days from the date of a Dec. 9 order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to address their failing wholesale market share screens in several balancing authority areas. Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. was formerly known as MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. <br /> <br /> In July, a number of Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries submitted a supplement to a Jan. 2, 2014 notification of a change in status. The change in status to FERC was tied to the merger of NV Energy and an indirect subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.<br /> <br /> In its order, FERC said that the change in status included an updated market power analysis. The Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries said that they failed the wholesale market share screen in the following balancing authority areas: PacifiCorp-East, PacifiCorp-West, Idaho Power Company and NorthWestern Corporation. "Such failures establish a rebuttable presumption of horizontal market power," FERC said.<br /> <br /> FERC noted that the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries have submitted delivered price test analyses to rebut the presumption of market power. <br /> <br /> But their failure of wholesale market share indicative screens in the four balancing authority areas in their initial filing -- and their decision not to submit revised indicative screens and to proceed straight to delivered price tests for these balancing authority areas in their amended filing -- provides the basis for FERC to launch a proceeding pursuant to Section 206 of the Federal Power Act, the commission said.<br /> <br /> Within 60 days of the date of FERC&rsquo;s order, the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries must: <br /> <br /> &bull;Show cause as to why FERC should not revoke their market-based rate authority in the four relevant balancing authority areas;<br /> <br /> &bull;File a mitigation proposal tailored to their particular circumstances that would eliminate their ability to exercise market power; or <br /> <br /> &bull;Inform FERC that they will adopt the default mitigation set forth in the commission&rsquo;s regulations or propose other cost-based rates and submit cost support for such rates.<br /> <br /> FERC also said that "due to insufficient data and potentially flawed studies, we are unable to properly analyze the results of or rely on the delivered price tests" submitted by the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries or revised horizontal market power indicative screens for several other balancing authority areas and the California Independent System Operator market. <br /> <br /> FERC therefore also directed the Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiaries to provide all supporting information and documentation for these studies as specified in the order. The deadline for submission of this information is also within 60 days of the date of the issuance of FERC&rsquo;s order.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/15/2014 3:32:00 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299956&amp;issueID=35008 MISO board approves $2.5 billion transmission expansion plan http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299672&issueID=35008 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35008>Tuesday, December 16, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The board of directors at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator on Dec. 11 unanimously approved a transmission expansion plan that includes 369 newly approved projects totaling $2.5 billion in transmission projects. <p>The approved expansion plan also marks the first MISO transmission planning cycle to include the full participation of the MISO South region. The Southern region accounts for $359.2 million in new projects. </p> <p>The MISO South region includes the following transmission owners and local balancing authorities: Entergy, Cleco, Lafayette Utilities System, Louisiana Energy and Power Authority, Louisiana Generating, South Mississippi Electric Power Association and East Texas Electric Cooperative.</p> <p>Since 2003, $7.4 billion of MISO transmission expansion plan projects have been constructed across the MISO footprint, MISO said. </p> <p>Developing the expansion plan is an 18-month process that involves more than 60 meetings with member companies, regulators and neighboring systems. </p> <p>Additionally, the expansion plan approved on Dec. 11 includes a review of MISO&rsquo;s "multi-value project" portfolios from the transmission expansion plan for 2011, which MISO says shows that the benefits of constructing these projects were higher than the 2011 estimates.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI <br /> </a></p> <p><a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org"><br /> </a></p></p> 12/15/2014 8:25:34 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299672&amp;issueID=35008 ELCON's Anderson cautions FERC about 'unintended consequences' tied to market actions http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299449&issueID=35007 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35007>Monday, December 15, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 9 took a closer look at operator actions in energy and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators. <br /> <br /> This was the third and final workshop held by FERC staff since early September related to existing market rules and operational practices affecting price formation issues in energy and ancillary services markets operated by RTOs and ISOs.<br /> <br /> One of the panel discussions at the Dec. 9 workshop looked at the experience that market participants have had with out-of-market operator actions. <br /> <br /> "I think that everybody agrees that prices should be right," said John Anderson, president and CEO of the Electricity Consumers Resource Council. "The real problem is what&rsquo;s right and we all have different opinions on what is right." <br /> <br /> "I can only say that consumers are very, very concerned about unnecessary wealth transfers and raising prices to all generators," Anderson said.<br /> <br /> "We strongly urge you to take real caution and do no harm," he went on to say. "That, I think, would be the overriding thing &ndash; do no harm, especially to consumers." Anderson said that "in almost every case, what you do is going to have unintended consequences. It&rsquo;s going to, and this may be especially true as the electric industry goes through what I think are going to be some wrenching changes."<br /> <br /> For example, "if we go from economic dispatch to environmental dispatch, who knows what that&rsquo;s going to do to the rules that are set up in the ISOs and the RTOs."<br /> <br /> Transparency was a key topic of discussion during this panel. "I think my message really is one of transparency," said Michael Evans, who is general manager of regulatory affairs at Shell Energy North America (U.S.). "We really need a market that reflects fundamentals and then when it deviates from fundamentals, we need to understand what the ISO has done" and why it deviates.<br /> <br /> "What&rsquo;s the goal of transparency? That&rsquo;s a really, really big question so let&rsquo;s try to narrow it down to what&rsquo;s the goal of transparency on out of market actions by the operator," said Calpine&rsquo;s Mark Smith.<br /> <br /> He thinks there are "probably at least two goals," he said. "The first goal is to fix whatever caused the operator to take action." <br /> <br /> "We can&rsquo;t fix that which we cannot see, so if we don&rsquo;t understand the drivers behind actions taken by the operators, we can&rsquo;t design products, we can&rsquo;t modify protocols, we can&rsquo;t modify models or tools....in ways that would lower or eliminate the need for those," the Calpine official said. <br /> <br /> The second goal, "probably the more controversial," is to provide a counterbalance to "overly conservative actions," Smith said at the workshop.<br /> <br /> A separate panel addressed the nature of operator-initiated out-of-market resource commitments and operator adjustments to market inputs. Officials from several grid operators participated in that discussion. Another panel focused on options to reduce the market impacts of operator actions.<br /> <br /> At one point during the workshop, Matthew White of ISO New England emphasized that uplift is only one percent of costs and that RTOs have therefore incorporated most costs into the prices and that the last one percent may be difficult to price. He also reflected on the need for caution about unintended consequences.<br /> <br /> Prior to the workshop, FERC staff released a paper that was intended to spur discussion and lead to a more comprehensive understanding of operator-initiated actions and price formation.<br /> <br /> "This paper describes the processes RTOs and ISOs use to commit and dispatch resources in day-ahead and real-time, with a focus on how RTOs and ISOs address the market design challenges associated with difficult-to-model physical and operational constraints," FERC staff noted.<br /> <br /> A component of the discussion is how the market design decisions influence price formation, the paper said. "The extent of the price formation issues is somewhat dependent on the actual amount of capacity RTOs and ISOs are committing that is not reflected in energy and ancillary services prices. If RTOs and ISOs only commit a limited number of resources outside of the day-ahead or real-time market processes, then the price formation issues discussed would be largely theoretical."<br /> <br /> The paper reached a number of preliminary observations including, among other things, that all RTOs and ISOs have identified a class of reliability and operational issues that are incorporated into the day-ahead and real-time market processes but that are not reflected in day-ahead and real-time energy and ancillary services prices.<br /> <br /> In June, FERC directed its staff to convene workshops in order to start a discussion with industry on existing market rules and operational practices affecting price formation issues in energy and ancillary services markets operated by RTOs and ISOs. The first workshop, held on Sept. 8, addressed uplift payments and the second workshop in late October addressed offer price mitigation and offer price caps, and scarcity and shortage pricing.<br /> <br /> At the end of the Dec. 9 meeting, FERC staff said that they will issue a targeted request for comment in early January related to issues addressed during the workshops.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/11/2014 5:38:36 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299449&amp;issueID=35007 Platte River Power Authority's Board of Directors OKs purchase of up to 30 megawatts of solar energy resources http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299490&issueID=35007 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35007>Monday, December 15, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Platte River Power Authority&rsquo;s Board of Directors on Dec. 11 unanimously authorized the acquisition of up to 30 megawatts of solar energy resources from a facility to be built at the Rawhide Energy Station north of Wellington, Colorado.<br /> <br /> The facility would occupy about 185 acres and include roughly 100,000 photovoltaic panels, Platte River Power Authority said.<br /> <br /> Construction could start as early as spring 2015 and take about twelve months to complete. Once in operation, the facility would produce electric energy equivalent to the average use of nearly 8,000 homes in Platte River's owner communities &ndash; Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland, Colorado. <br /> <br /> The Larimer County Board of Commissioners approved a Platte River land use permit application for the facility on Dec. 8.<br /> <br /> "The addition of solar into our renewable mix is well aligned with our strategic initiative to diversify our generation resource portfolio," said Jackie Sargent, Platte River General Manager and CEO.<br /> <br /> "The new facility will be a great complement to our existing non-carbon emitting wind and hydro resources. As we plan for the future, expanding our pool of resources will help us to reduce carbon emissions and better manage risk."<br /> <br /> In November, Platte River Power Authority announced the addition of 32.5 megawatts of wind power to its portfolio with the commercial start of the Spring Canyon II Energy Center (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42628">Public Power Daily, Nov. 10, 2014</a>). &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli!publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI<br /> </a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/12/2014 9:19:37 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299490&amp;issueID=35007 APPA Academy to offer three pre-Legislative Rally seminars in 2015 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298827&issueID=35007 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35007>Monday, December 15, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The APPA Academy will hold three seminars on March 9, 2015, prior to the American Public Power Association's annual Legislative Rally. The seminars are:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp; <span style="font-weight: bold;">Federal and State Perspectives on Distributed Generation Issues</span><br /> This half-day seminar will explore the long-term implications of greater distributed generation (DG) to electric utilities.&nbsp; Participants will hear how these issues are being examined at the state and federal levels and what they mean for public power utilities.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp; <span style="font-weight: bold;">Energy-Water Nexus &ndash; Issues Facing Public Power in the Future</span><br /> This half-day pre-Rally seminar will focus on electric utilities&rsquo; water needs, the effects of drought on operations, and how federal regulations will impact utilities&rsquo; water use in the future.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: bold;"> Governance Workshop: Sustaining Public Power&rsquo;s Value through Effective Governance</span><br /> This full-day workshop will provide public power utility board and city council members with a comprehensive overview of the duties, responsibilities, and processes that must be met in order to be an effective member of a governance team. <br /> <br /> For more information and to register for the Rally and the pre-Rally seminars, please visit <a href="www.publicpower.org/LegislativeRally">www.publicpower.org/LegislativeRally</a>.&nbsp; &mdash;<a href="mailto:pcowen@publicpower.org">PAMELA COWEN</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/9/2014 4:01:08 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298827&amp;issueID=35007 FERC to convene coal delivery panel discussion at its Dec. 18 commission meeting http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299447&issueID=35006 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35006>Friday, December 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has announced that, at its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 18, the commission will convene a panel discussion on coal delivery issues and their effects on electric reliability.<br /> <br /> In its Dec. 11 news release announcing the panel discussion, FERC said that officials in the Midwest have raised concerns about railroad congestion affecting coal stockpiles and the operation of power plants in Minnesota and other areas. The commission noted that it has been monitoring this issue, and added that in recent months FERC staff have been in communication with staff at the Surface Transportation Board, as well as with utilities, on this subject.<br /> <br /> Panelists at the discussion will include representatives of FERC staff, the STB, ALLETE/Minnesota Power, BNSF Railway and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the commission said. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/11/2014 5:08:44 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299447&amp;issueID=35006 Senate energy committee votes to approve Honorable's nomination to FERC http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299237&issueID=35006 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35006>Friday, December 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously on Dec. 11 to advance the nomination of Colette Honorable to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). <br /> <br /> The vote was originally scheduled for the day before, but the committee could not reach a quorum. Honorable is the current chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, and the immediate past president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. <br /> <br /> Next, her nomination will go to the full Senate. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/11/2014 11:17:21 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299237&amp;issueID=35006 Senate confirms Walter, Lodge to seats on TVA&rsquo;s board of directors http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299248&issueID=35006 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35006>Friday, December 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The U.S. Senate voted on Dec. 9 to confirm Ron Walter and Virginia Lodge to the Tennessee Valley Authority&rsquo;s board of directors. Their confirmations now go to President Obama for his signature.<br /> <br /> Walter is president and general manager of the CBS television affiliate WREG-TV in Memphis, Tennessee. &nbsp;Lodge is a Nashville business consultant who was previously commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services. &nbsp;The two won five-year terms on the nine-member TVA board. They will succeed Barbara Haskew and Bill Sansom, whose terms expired in May 2014. Walter's and Lodge's terms will expire on May 18, 2019. <br /> <br /> Prior to joining WREG-TV, Walter was vice president of customer relations for the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division in Memphis.&nbsp; He holds a bachelor's degree from Clark University and a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.<br /> <br /> In addition to Lodge&rsquo;s work as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services from 2003 to 2011, she worked on Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen&rsquo;s campaign and transition team from 2002 to 2003. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii, a master's degree from the University of San Francisco and a master of business administration from Vanderbilt University. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/11/2014 11:51:42 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299248&amp;issueID=35006 E&O Conference offers in-depth training on OSHA regulations, NESC practices, distribution theory, and disaster recovery http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298623&issueID=35006 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35006>Friday, December 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />In addition to the over 35 breakout sessions featured at the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=29261&amp;navItemNumber=38292">2015 Engineering &amp; Operations Technical Conference</a> next May, utility professionals will have an opportunity to attend several in-depth pre-conference seminars.<br /> <br /> The pre-conference seminars &ndash; which will be held on Sunday, May 17 &ndash; offer longer class times and smaller class sizes than traditional conference sessions, allowing participants to learn about complex topics of critical importance to the utility in greater depth, and with more interactive formats and personalized attention from experienced instructors. <br /> <br /> Pre-conference seminar topics will include:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;New OSHA Regulations for Public Power Utilities <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Electrical Distribution Theory and Applications<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Grounding &amp; Lighting Protection for Overhead and Underground Distribution<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;FEMA Basics for Public Power Utilities<br /> <br /> The Engineering &amp; Operations Technical Conference will be held May 17-20, 2015, at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California. Conference program and registration information, including detailed information on pre-conference seminars, is available at <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/EandO">www.publicpower.org/EandO</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:skrautbauer@publicpower.org">SARA KRAUTBAUER</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/8/2014 2:00:33 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298623&amp;issueID=35006 FERC commissioner says agency is 'uniquely situated' to vet issues raised by EPA proposed plan for existing plants http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298949&issueID=35005 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35005>Thursday, December 11, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission&rsquo;s Dec. 9 announcement that it will hold a series of technical conferences examining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s proposed plan to reduce emissions from existing power plants drew praise from FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.<br /> <br /> "FERC has an important responsibility to ensure reliable electricity through just and reasonable rates," Clark said in a Dec. 9 statement.&nbsp; "A key part of this work is to fully understand how changes in the marketplace, technology, and other agencies&rsquo; regulations will affect the duties with which FERC has been entrusted by Congress."<br /> <br /> FERC said that it will hold a series of technical conferences "to discuss implications of compliance approaches" to the EPA&rsquo;s proposed plan. "In particular, the technical conferences will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure," FERC said (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42797">Dec. 10, 2014</a>).&nbsp; The EPA plan is referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP).<br /> <br /> "Should the CPP survive legal challenge, states, regions, and the EPA itself will begin the complex task of creating federally enforceable implementation plans," Clark said in his statement. "It is not difficult to envision scenarios in which a patchwork-quilt of implementation plans, if improperly crafted, either conflict with one another or with the Federal Power Act itself in ways that harm electric reliability and distort prices."<br /> <br /> He said that FERC "is uniquely situated to vet these issues so that such scenarios are avoided. FERC is an independent regulatory agency with expertise in electric reliability and the nation&rsquo;s wholesale electricity markets. As such, it is well-suited to leverage its knowledge of the grid and its relationships with the states and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to facilitate a meaningful, transparent discussion."<br /> <br /> FERC will hold a national overview technical conference on Feb. 19, 2015 at its headquarters in Washington, DC. Following that technical conference, the commission will hold three regional technical conferences, on dates to be announced, in three cities: Washington, DC (Eastern Region), St. Louis, Missouri (Central Region) and Denver, Colorado (Western Region). <br /> <br /> Clark recently called for a "much more transparent process" tied to the EPA&rsquo;s plan "in relationship to how we&rsquo;re modeling reliability and how reliability is being taken into consideration" (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42607">Nov. 6, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., in November asked that FERC convene a technical conference and invite the Department of Energy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, "affected asset owners and other relevant stakeholders to go on the record with respect to the reliability challenges posed" to the bulk power system "by this proposal and other pending and forthcoming major federal environmental regulations" (see Public Power Daily,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42717"> Nov. 26, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> "We are pleased to see that FERC is taking prompt action in response to our request and is moving forward with technical conferences to discuss the reliability, infrastructure, and market concerns inherent in EPA&rsquo;s rule," Upton and Whitfield said in a Dec. 10 news release.<br /> <br /> "Communication and coordination among the agencies and stakeholders is key to ensuring we can maintain access to affordable and reliable electricity as we confront new regulatory challenges and pressures on our electric grid. This is the right move as more public input and transparency is always better," they added.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/10/2014 10:27:43 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298949&amp;issueID=35005 FERC gives green light to Duke's plan to purchase NCEMPA assets http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298954&issueID=35005 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35005>Thursday, December 11, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Duke Energy Progress has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to go ahead with its plan to purchase the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency&rsquo;s generating assets.<br /> <br /> The FERC ruling, issued late in the day on Dec. 9, was based on a filing made by Duke Energy Progress in early October, and is an important step in the transaction with NCEMPA, valued at approximately $1.2 billion.<br /> <br /> The deal is expected to lower wholesale electric rates for NCEMPA&rsquo;s member communities across eastern North Carolina, if it is carried out (see<a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41951"> <span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily,</span> July 29, 2014</a>).&nbsp; <br /> <br /> NCEMPA currently maintains partial ownership interest in several Duke Energy Progress plants, including Brunswick Nuclear Plant Units 1 and 2 (Brunswick County), Mayo Plant (Person County), Roxboro Plant Unit 4 (Person County) and the Harris Nuclear Plant (Wake County).<br /> <br /> The power agency&rsquo;s ownership interest in these plants represents approximately 700 megawatts of generating capacity. NCEMPA members&rsquo; distribution assets are not part of the agreement, and will continue to be owned and maintained by those members.<br /> <br /> NCEMPA consists of 32 cities and towns in the eastern part of the state, including some of the largest cities in the region. The agency was formed in 1978 and is managed by ElectriCities of North Carolina, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.<br /> <br /> The approval by FERC "is a positive development for NCEMPA and is good news for eastern North Carolina," said ElectriCities CEO Graham Edwards. "We still face additional regulatory approvals before the transaction can be closed. We continue to be optimistic that we will finalize the agreement and secure a long-term, reliable and competitively-priced power supply for NCEMPA members."<br /> <br /> FERC approval of the asset purchase agreement is necessary for Duke Energy Progress to acquire the power agency&rsquo;s ownership interest in the utility&rsquo;s plants, as well as associated fuel inventories and spare parts. In addition, FERC approval is required for Duke Energy Progress to enter into a 30-year wholesale power supply agreement with NCEMPA to continue meeting the needs of NCEMPA customers currently served by the North Carolina power agency&rsquo;s interest in Duke Energy Progress&rsquo;s plants. FERC also approved inclusion of the transaction in power supply contracts for certain other wholesale customers.<br /> <br /> "We are pleased to receive these approvals toward our goal of completing this purchase," said Paul Newton, Duke Energy president &ndash; North Carolina. "We will now turn our attention to securing the state approvals necessary to close the transaction."<br /> <br /> The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also must approve the deal before it can be closed. Duke and NCEMPA said they hope to close the sale by the end of 2015. Under the terms of the agreement between the two, approvals must be received and the transaction completed by the end of 2016. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/10/2014 10:50:48 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298954&amp;issueID=35005 Vote on Colette Honorable for seat on FERC is delayed in Senate energy committee http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299031&issueID=35005 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35005>Thursday, December 11, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />On Dec. 10, because it did not have a quorum, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee delayed holding a vote on the confirmation of Colette Honorable to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. <br /> <br /> Committee rules require at least 12 members to be present for committee business, and the panel was short by at least three senators. Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) waited for members of the panel to show up, but was unsuccessful at getting a quorum. <br /> <br /> Sen. Landrieu ended the business meeting by saying that she would attempt to reconvene the panel later in the day. <br /> <br /> However, with the Senate&rsquo;s attention currently focused on passing legislation to keep the federal government open, such a vote may be delayed until later this month, or could even be postponed until the 114th Congress convenes in January. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org"></a><br /> </p> 12/10/2014 2:57:15 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=299031&amp;issueID=35005 APPA offers online and in-person training opportunities on new OSHA regulations http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298595&issueID=35005 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35005>Thursday, December 11, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />On Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, the American Public Power Association will conclude its <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=170327">OSHA Subpart V Webinar Series</a> with a session on Minimum Approach Distance (MAD).&nbsp; This is the last in a series of four webinars designed to provide an overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration&rsquo;s revised rules for electric generation, transmission and distribution<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> David Marne, president and senior electric engineer at Marne and Associates, Inc. in Missoula, Montana, will present a comparison of the old and new MAD values to demonstrate how these distances have changed for various voltage levels. He will also address when and how to calculate Minimum Approach Distances and will review the personal protective equipment that OSHA requires for employees working within the MAD. <br /> <br /> This webinar is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. All webinars are recorded, and recordings of previous events in the series can be purchased from the APPA Product Store. <br /> <br /> Additionally, APPA will offer a new, full-day course, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35914&amp;navItemNumber=38913">New OSHA Regulations for Public Power Utilities</a>, on Feb. 2 in conjunction with the association's <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Winter Education Institute</a> in Anaheim, California. Participants will be given an overview of the changes outlined in the final rule and will discuss topics such as fall protection, arc protection, flame-resistant clothing, minimum approach distance, host employer/contractor provisions, job briefings, and personal protective equipment. Attendees will earn 0.7 continuing education units, 6 professional development hours and 7.5 continuing professional education credits for this course.<br /> <br /> The Winter Institute also features classes on overhead distribution systems, accounting, cost of service and rate design, and performing a utility financial check-up. Those who attend more than one course or attend with a college will receive a $100 discount on their registration. The institute offers the opportunity to participate in the Public Power Manager or Customer Service Management Certificate programs. <br /> <br /> For more information, visit&nbsp; <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> or contact Heidi Lambert at 202/467-2921 or <a href="mailto:HLambert@publicpower.org">HLambert@publicpower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:skrautbauer@publicpower.org">SARA KRAUTBAUER</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/8/2014 12:28:03 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298595&amp;issueID=35005 FERC says that it will hold national, regional technical conferences related to EPA plan for existing plants http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298853&issueID=35004 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35004>Wednesday, December 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 9 said that it will hold a series of technical conferences "to discuss implications of compliance approaches" to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s proposed plan for curbing emissions from existing power plants.<br /> <br /> "In particular, the technical conferences will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure," FERC said in the notice. The EPA plan is referred to as the Clean Power Plan.<br /> <br /> FERC will hold a national overview technical conference on Feb. 19, 2015 at its headquarters in Washington, DC. <br /> <br /> Following that technical conference, the commission will hold three regional technical conferences, on dates to be announced, in three cities: Washington, DC (Eastern Region), St. Louis, Missouri (Central Region) and Denver, Colorado (Western Region).<br /> <br /> The national overview technical conference will be commission-led, while the regional technical conferences will be staff-led. Commission members may participate in the regional technical conferences.<br /> <br /> "State, regional and/or federal plans for compliance with the proposed Clean Power Plan may impact FERC-jurisdictional markets, grid operations, and infrastructure," FERC said in the notice.<br /> <br /> The technical conferences "will provide a forum for interested persons to discuss how to address any issues concerning the reliability of the power grid and the efficient operation of wholesale electric markets that may arise in the context of potential state and regional compliance approaches to EPA&rsquo;s Clean Power Plan."<br /> <br /> Also, the technical conferences "will provide an opportunity to discuss how compliance scenarios may impact existing infrastructure and drive the need for additional infrastructure, especially new electric transmission and natural gas pipeline facilities, and whether there are regulatory barriers that need to be addressed, and by whom, to ensure the timely development of those facilities," the notice said. <br /> <br /> FERC said that the national overview technical conference will include discussion of the following overarching topics: (1) whether industry participants (state utility and environmental regulators, regulated entities, etc.) have the appropriate tools to identify reliability and/or market issues that may arise; (2) potential strategies for compliance with the EPA regulations and coordination with FERC-jurisdictional wholesale and interstate markets; and (3) how relevant planning entities, industry, and states coordinate reliability and infrastructure planning processes with state and/or regional environmental compliance efforts to ensure the adequate development of new infrastructure and to manage any potential reliability and operational impacts of proposed compliance plans.<br /> <br /> Each of the three regional conferences will include discussion of the following topics: (1) potential reliability impacts in each region under various compliance approaches; (2) potential impacts on power system operations and generator dispatch in each region under various compliance approaches; and (3) potential impact on each region&rsquo;s current or expected infrastructure (electric transmission, natural gas pipelines, generation, etc.) to address compliance with the proposed rule, and additional infrastructure that may be required. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> FERC said that subsequent notices will be issued detailing the specific agenda and topics for discussion at the national overview technical conference, and the date, time, venue and specific agenda and topics for discussion at each regional technical conference.<br /> <br /> In recent related news, several lawmakers asked FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur in November to detail the "extent and nature of meetings, communications and consultations of any kind" between FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency over the last 18 months related to the EPA&rsquo;s proposed plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants "or any other major EPA regulations that bear on the reliability" of the bulk power system.<br /> <br /> At the same time, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., asked in their Nov. 24 letter that FERC convene a technical conference and invite the Department of Energy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, "affected asset owners and other relevant stakeholders to go on the record with respect to the reliability challenges posed" to the bulk power system "by this proposal and other pending and forthcoming major federal environmental regulations."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/9/2014 5:53:26 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298853&amp;issueID=35004 APPA, other groups seek greater transparency as NERC shifts to new approach http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298698&issueID=35004 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35004>Wednesday, December 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />While the American Public Power Association and several other power industry groups support an effort by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to move away from a zero tolerance approach to compliance and enforcement of NERC standards, the groups also want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require greater NERC transparency over a two-year transitional period.<br /> <br /> At issue is a Nov. 5 filing made by NERC at FERC. In the filing, NERC offered a description of the various processes and programs developed and deployed through a reliability assurance initiative (RAI) by NERC and eight regional entities that work with NERC to improve the reliability of the bulk power system. <br /> <br /> NERC said the initiative was a collaborative effort among NERC, the regional entities and industry to identify and implement changes to enhance the effectiveness of compliance monitoring and enforcement. "Essentially, the initiative resulted in the adoption of a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring and enforcement," NERC said.<br /> <br /> NERC went on to say that it and the regional entities are prepared to implement the new processes described in the filing fully in January 2015. By the end of 2015, NERC and the regional entities expect to measure the success of the initiative in a number of ways, including through measures related to staff competencies, robustness of outreach, program transparency, and sharing of best practices.<br /> <br /> APPA was joined by the Electricity Consumers Resource Council, the Large Public Power Council, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Transmission Access Policy Study Group in commenting on the NERC filing.<br /> <br /> "Joint commenters support RAI as a needed, if not overdue, reform," the power industry groups said in their Dec. 3 comments to FERC. "The time is right for NERC to move away from a zero tolerance approach to compliance and enforcement of NERC standards, and better focus" NERC and regional entity compliance and enforcement efforts on the basis of risk, thereby enhancing reliability, they said.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> APPA and the other groups said that they support NERC&rsquo;s effort, through RAI, to employ a risk-based approach to compliance monitoring. "It makes sense for NERC to develop its annual compliance monitoring and enforcement implementation plan based on an assessment of risk (both continent-wide and regional), and for regional entities to scope their compliance monitoring efforts for individual registered entities based on their assessment (shared with the registered entity) of the entity&rsquo;s &lsquo;inherent risk.&rsquo;"<br /> <br /> At the same time, the groups told FERC that successful and effective implementation of RAI requires greater transparency for at least two years.<br /> <br /> "As NERC itself acknowledges, RAI is a fundamental transformation in its approach to compliance and enforcement," the groups said. "Joint commenters recognize the steps NERC has taken and is taking to work closely with regional entities in developing and piloting RAI, and training the regional entity personnel who will be charged with implementing RAI. We also appreciate that RAI relies on the sound exercise of discretion." <br /> <br /> But they also said that "consistency in both process and, within a reasonable range, outcomes is essential to the integrity and validity of NERC&rsquo;s reliability standard compliance and enforcement program, consistent" with Federal Power Act Section 215.<br /> <br /> "At this early stage of RAI implementation, there is no assurance that NERC and the regional entities will perform risk assessment of registered entities on a consistent basis," APPA, LPPC, NRECA and the others added.<br /> <br /> "Despite the transformation to be effected by RAI, NERC&rsquo;s RAI filing contemplates reduced visibility to the industry," they said. NERC does not intend to make individual compliance exceptions publicly available, APPA and the others noted. <br /> <br /> "Instead, NERC expects to issue annual reports on its program, which will include observed trends by region, standard and category, and some examples. NERC views greater transparency as an inappropriate disclosure of its exercise of enforcement discretion, an invasion of the privacy of the registered entities involved, and a diversion of attention from higher-risk non-compliance," the groups told FERC.<br /> <br /> But APPA and the other groups "strongly disagree" with this line of thinking. "Greater transparency, particularly in the first two transitional years" as NERC and the regional entities gain experience with implementation of RAI, "is essential to educating industry to avoid and mitigate noncompliance with reliability standards, and to maintain the credibility of NERC&rsquo;s compliance and enforcement regime."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/9/2014 8:50:36 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298698&amp;issueID=35004 BPA, public power utilities have saved at least 560 average megawatts since 2010 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298643&issueID=35004 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35004>Wednesday, December 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Since 2010, publicly-owned electric utilities in the Northwest and the Bonneville Power Administration have saved at least 560 average megawatts of electricity, greatly surpassing the five-year goal of 504 average megawatts set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council&rsquo;s Sixth Power Plan, BPA said on Nov. 24.<br /> <br /> Although energy savings are still being reported, BPA and Northwest publicly-owned electric utilities are projecting that they will have saved more than 560 average megawatts of electricity between 2010 and 2014, BPA said.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> BPA said that the five years of savings is enough to meet the power needs of more than 400,000 Northwest homes and adds up to at least $360 million in lower electric bills for Northwest ratepayers. The final savings achieved will be more precisely known in early 2015.<br /> <br /> "Public power&rsquo;s investment in energy efficiency has produced impressive savings in the past five years," said Scott Corwin, executive director of the Public Power Council, which represents the interests of publicly owned utilities in the Northwest. "This would not be possible without the commitment at the local level by utilities who know the needs of their retail customers."<br /> <br /> The region&rsquo;s energy-saving goals are set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which includes two members from each of the four Northwest states (Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington). BPA and Northwest publicly-owned utilities administer programs that pursue cost-effective energy savings in all sectors of the economy in support of public power&rsquo;s share of the region&rsquo;s energy efficiency target, BPA noted.<br /> <br /> Public power utilities are responsible for roughly 42 percent of the total regional target. This includes providing incentives for energy-saving upgrades, developing and implementing cutting-edge programs and advancing new energy-efficient technologies, codes and standards, BPA said.<br /> <br /> The region has exceeded the Northwest Power and Conservation Council&rsquo;s annual targets every year since 2005. Early reporting shows that BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities saved 55 average megawatts of energy in fiscal year 2014, exceeding the target range of 48 to 56 average megawatts. BPA noted that the fiscal year 2014 savings figure is preliminary and likely to be adjusted after all reporting from utilities is submitted and verified.<br /> <br /> BPA said that since Congress passed the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act in 1980, over half of the region&rsquo;s new demand for electricity has been met through energy savings. In those 34 years, the Northwest has saved 5,600 average megawatts of electricity, it added.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/8/2014 3:45:06 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298643&amp;issueID=35004 Regional entities detail responses to polar vortex, Southwest 2011 power outages http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298514&issueID=35004 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35004>Wednesday, December 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />A number of regional reliability entities have responded to a detailed set of questions staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent to them in late September about the polar vortex and winter storm that took place in January. <br /> <br /> The Sept. 26 letter from Michael Bardee, director of FERC&rsquo;s Office of Electric Reliability, also included questions tied to power outages that occurred in the Southwest in February 2011 (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42316">Sept. 29, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> The letter 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.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In its Nov. 20 filing at FERC, WECC noted that it limited its responses to include only the registered entities affected by the February 2011 Southwest cold weather event, El Paso Electric (EPE) and Salt River Project (SRP), where applicable.<br /> <br /> Among other things, WECC detailed actions taken by EPE and SRP to resolve generator unavailability issues. For example, WECC noted that EPE and SRP reported to WECC that they have completed all of the recommendations from a joint FERC-North American Electric Reliability Corporation staff report on the 2011 Southwest cold weather event. <br /> <br /> In addition, EPE and SRP conducted a WECC event analysis for the February 2011 Southwest cold weather event and completed all recommendations from those WECC event analysis reports. <br /> <br /> ReliabilityFirst noted in its Nov. 25 response to FERC&rsquo;s questions that it has confirmed that the PJM Interconnection and Midcontinent Independent System Operator have taken several actions to ensure that they are aware of generators&rsquo; ability to run at extreme ambient temperatures.<br /> <br /> ReliabilityFirst also said that it has been working closely with MISO, PJM and NERC "to ensure that proper outreach activities related to generator winterization and entity preparedness for winter 2014-2015 are taking place."<br /> <br /> For its part, the SPP Regional Entity told FERC in its Nov. 12 letter that it believes that the three registered entities that were impacted during the 2011 winter weather event, the 10 registered entities impacted by the two 2014 winter events and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional transmission organization "have taken appropriate preventative measures."<br /> <br /> SPP&rsquo;s winter reserve margins, the overall performance of the registered entities during past winter weather events "and improved winter preparations and procedures lead me to believe that the region will be well-prepared for the 2014-2015 winter," wrote Ron Ciesiel, general manager of the SPP Regional Entity.<br /> <br /> One of the questions posed by Bardee in his letter related to generating unit site visits. Texas Reliability Entity in its Nov. 20 response noted that in order to address availability problems due to frozen instrumentation and other equipment problems, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Texas Reliability Entity held a number of meetings with generator operators on weatherization and associated "lessons learned," and will also visit generators this fall that had availability issues during last winter&rsquo;s cold weather or had weather readiness issues identified during site visits last year.<br /> <br /> The site visit schedule for winter 2014-2015 was being finalized as of the date of the Texas Reliability Entity&rsquo;s response.<br /> <br /> "Currently, the plan is to conduct site visits for 65 generation units at 47 different facilities. Thirty of the 47 facilities (64%) have previously experienced a cold weather-related trip during February 2011 or winter 2013-2014. Six of the facilities are new resources within ERCOT that have not previously been through a winter season. Texas RE understands that FERC and NERC staff are planning to attend several of these site visits in December 2014," Texas Reliability Entity said.<br /> <br /> The Northeast Power Coordinating Council said in its Nov. 25 filing that on an ongoing basis, it coordinates normal and emergency awareness within all NPCC reliability coordinator areas. The reliability coordinators of NPCC "are notified of significant bulk power system events that have occurred in one reliability coordinator area which have the potential to impact reliability in other NPCC reliability coordinator areas or regions external to NPCC."<br /> <br /> These events can include significant contingencies on the bulk power system, potential shortfalls of operating reserve, major operating problems and potential security threats, either physical or cyber in nature, NPCC said.<br /> <br /> "In addition to NPCC&rsquo;s ongoing coordination, NPCC took several recent actions to determine to what extent issues that caused specific generators to be unavailable have been resolved and to learn about ongoing activities being undertaken to address these issues," it told FERC.<br /> <br /> One of the questions posed to a sub-group of the regional entities asked for details on how extreme cold weather scenarios are being incorporated into seasonal planning studies/assessments within regions for winter 2014-2015.<br /> <br /> The SERC Reliability Corporation said in its Nov. 25 filing that it performed an area reliability study under projected 2014-2015 winter peak operating conditions. The SERC Reliability Corporation created the base case for this study from the 2013 Eastern Interconnection Reliability Assessment Group &ndash; Multi-regional Modeling Working Group series 2014 winter model. <br /> <br /> The SERC Reliability Corporation member utilities incorporated the following into the study: projected loads and base transfers, interconnected transmission network configuration, and generation facilities of SERC Reliability Corporation member systems currently identified for operation by the 2014 winter peak season. <br /> <br /> As part of the transfer analysis that the SERC Reliability Corporation performed in this study, it tested the projected surplus and deficiencies of local area generation under both steady state and emergency ratings. <br /> <br /> "Entities are performing individual winter assessments that include extreme cold weather conditions, such as extreme load forecast, planned transmission and generator outages, and scenarios simulating loss of natural gas supply due to freezing," the SERC Reliability Corporation noted.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/7/2014 9:18:54 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298514&amp;issueID=35004 Registration deadline approaching for 2015 Joint Action Workshop http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298725&issueID=35004 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35004>Wednesday, December 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Friday, December 19 is the early registration deadline for the 2015 Joint Action Workshop to be held by the American Public Power Association in early January. Participants who register before Dec. 19 can register for $445; after that, the registration fee will increase by $50. The workshop will be held Jan. 11-13, 2015, in Key West, Florida. <br /> <br /> The Joint Action Workshop is an annual event for joint action agencies and their members to meet informally and discuss emerging policy, regulatory, and power supply issues, and other topics related to the governance and management of joint action agencies. <br /> <br /> Topics to be covered at the 2015 workshop include the utility of the future; EPA&rsquo;s CO2 regulations; joint action agency services; how joint action agencies can help utilities with cybersecurity and workforce challenges; and more. <br /> <br /> Visit <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/JointActionWorkshop">www.publicpower.org/JointActionWorkshop</a> for complete program information and to register. <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/9/2014 10:11:49 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298725&amp;issueID=35004 Federal government to seek Supreme Court review of appeals court ruling on FERC DR compensation order http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298529&issueID=35003 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35003>Tuesday, December 9, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The U.S. solicitor general is seeking additional time to file a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court that would ask the high court to review a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision that vacated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order No. 745 and held that FERC does not have authority to regulate demand response in wholesale electricity markets.<br /> <br /> The Dec. 5 filing noted that the solicitor general has authorized the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of the appeals court&rsquo;s decision, saying, "This extension of time is needed to prepare and print the petition."<br /> <br /> The appeals court on Sept. 17 turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating Order No. 745. But more recently, the court on Oct. 20 approved a request by FERC to delay finalizing that ruling.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> FERC had asked the court "for a stay of issuance of the mandate in this case, pending the federal government&rsquo;s consideration of whether to file, and possible future filing of, a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court."&nbsp; A petition for a "writ of certiorari" would seek a Supreme Court review of the appeals court's ruling. <br /> <br /> The solicitor general, on behalf of FERC, "respectfully requests an extension of time, to and including January 15, 2015, within which to file a petition for a writ of certiorari," the solicitor general said in the Dec. 5 filing with the Supreme Court.<br /> <br /> "The FERC orders that the court of appeals set aside in this case address an integral feature of the nation&rsquo;s wholesale electric-power markets under FERC&rsquo;s jurisdiction -- the rules for participation by demand-response resources -- that is of substantial importance to the proper functioning of those markets and to assuring just and reasonable rates for wholesale power in those markets," the solicitor general said.<br /> <br /> In recent related news, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) on Nov. 20 introduced legislation that would amend the Federal Power Act in order to give FERC the legal authority to require regional transmission organizations to compensate demand response.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI </a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/8/2014 10:07:12 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298529&amp;issueID=35003 FERC gives OK to Cal-ISO tariff waiver tied to addressing high prices http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298512&issueID=35003 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35003>Tuesday, December 9, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 1 signed off on a tariff-related waiver request made by the California Independent System Operator that will allow the ISO to address what the grid operator says are circumstances that produced atypically high prices during the initial weeks of a recently launched energy imbalance market (EIM).<br /> <br /> The Cal-ISO on Oct. 1 launched the EIM in parallel operations with its partner, Portland-based PacifiCorp. The market, which covers six states, became fully operational and financially binding on Nov. 1.<br /> <br /> Under the EIM, entities with balancing authority areas outside of Cal-ISO may voluntarily take part in the imbalance energy portion of the ISO locational marginal price-based real-time market alongside participants from within the Cal-ISO balancing authority area (BAA). PacifiCorp&rsquo;s two BAAs&mdash;PacifiCorp East and PacifiCorp West&mdash;are the initial participants in the EIM.<br /> <br /> "According to CAISO, transitional conditions in the EIM have caused the transmission and system energy-balance constraints described in tariff sections 27.4.3.2 and 27.4.3.4 to bind more frequently than expected in the weeks since the EIM began operation on November 1, causing prices in these intervals to be set by the $1,000/MWh bid cap," FERC&rsquo;s Dec. 1 order said.<br /> <br /> The ISO believes that these high prices are not always indicative of actual physical conditions on the system, and reflect challenges in providing timely and complete data to ensure system visibility under the new procedures, exacerbated by limitations on the resources available to PacifiCorp for use in the EIM and several forced outages of large EIM participating resources, FERC went on to say.<br /> <br /> Cal-ISO asked that FERC approve a limited waiver of section 27.4.3.2 and the second sentence of section 27.4.3.4 of the ISO&rsquo;s tariff with respect to constraints within the PacifiCorp East and West BAAs and constraints affecting EIM transfers between those BAAs.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The ISO would retain the ability to relax the constraints described in those sections, but would use the same pricing mechanism that applies when there are sufficient economic bids&mdash;i.e., the last marginal economic bid would set the price&mdash; instead of setting the price at $1,000/MWh. Cal-ISO did not propose to apply the waiver to constraints within the CAISO BAA or constraints affecting EIM transfers between the Cal-ISO BAA and PacifiCorp BAA.<br /> <br /> FERC granted the Cal-ISO&rsquo;s 90-day waiver request, but the commission also directed the grid operator to file detailed informational reports in the relevant docket on the performance of the EIM at 30-day intervals during the 90-day waiver period. The first such report should be filed 30 days from the effective date of the tariff waiver, December 15, 2014, FERC said.<br /> <br /> FERC said the reports should provide detailed supporting data demonstrating progress towards identifying and eliminating the problems giving rise to the waiver petition.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/7/2014 9:00:24 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298512&amp;issueID=35003 APPA offers new economic development conference opportunity http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298493&issueID=35003 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35003>Tuesday, December 9, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association will partner with Area Development to host the first annual <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=42744">Public Power Consultants Forum</a>, March 30 &ndash; April 1, 2015, at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. <br /> <br /> Public power utilities have a long history of working with their communities to support businesses and economic development. <a href="http://www.areadevelopment.com/AnnualReports/">Area Development</a> has been a leader in site selection/relocation information and education since 1965. APPA and Area Development have partnered for decades to bring economic development education and resources to public power utilities. <br /> <br /> The consultants forum is designed to educate public power utility economic developers, CEOs and executive leadership&mdash;as well as the policymakers, community officials and state/regional economic developers they work with&mdash;on success strategies and best practices in economic development. This new annual event will bring presentations and roundtable discussions on the site selection process; business retention and attraction strategies; and guidance on how utilities can work with economic developers and businesses. <br /> <br /> The agenda is being developed by&nbsp;Area Development, in cooperation with APPA. Visit the <a href="http://www.areadevelopment.com/ConsultantsForum/public-power-2015-home.html">event website</a> for the latest program and registration information. There is a registration discount available for utilities that send more than one staff member to the event and a discounted fee for those who register by Dec. 31.<br /> <br /> In addition to the Public Power Consultants Forum, APPA also offers a track of concurrent sessions dedicated to economic development topics at its annual <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=30628&amp;navItemNumber=38295">Customer Connections Conference</a>; access to an economic development listserv that links over 250 public power professionals (<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">email APPA</a> to join); and an annual APPA/Area Development <a href="http://www.areadevelopment.com/AnnualReports/">magazine public power supplement</a>, which showcases the advantages of doing business in public power communities. <br /> <br /> For more information, contact Heidi Lambert, APPA&rsquo;s director of education at 202/467-2921 or <a href="mailto:HLambert@PublicPower.org">HLambert@PublicPower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:HLambert@PublicPower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/5/2014 2:48:16 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298493&amp;issueID=35003 Short takes. . . http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298624&issueID=35003 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35003>Tuesday, December 9, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) defeated incumbent Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) in a run-off this past weekend.</span> His victory means that, when the 114th Congress begins in January, the Senate will have 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats (including two Independents who caucus with the Democrats).&nbsp; Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) will likely take Landrieu&rsquo;s spot as the top Democrat on the influential Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced on Dec. 9 that it has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 10 to vote on the confirmation of Colette Honorable to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).</span> Honorable was nominated by President Obama to replace John Norris, who left the commission to join the Department of Agriculture. During her confirmation hearing last week, Honorable said that reliability will be a top priority for her, if she is confirmed for the seat on FERC (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42771"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Dec. 5, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/8/2014 2:03:03 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298624&amp;issueID=35003 Sens. Shaheen and Portman introduce a shorter version of their efficiency bill http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298401&issueID=35002 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35002>Monday, December 8, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> On Dec. 3, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced a shorter version of their bipartisan energy efficiency bill. The American Public Power Association (APPA) backs the measure. <br /> <br /> The bill, S. 2971, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, is identical in content and title to H.R. 2126, which passed the House on March 3, 2014, by a vote of 375-36. The bill stalled in the Senate last May when it failed to get enough votes (60) to avoid a filibuster.<br /> <br /> Title I of the bill encourages commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption through the Tenant Star Program, a voluntary certification and recognition program. <br /> <br /> Title II exempts from regulation certain thermal storage water heaters under new Department of Energy efficiency standards that go into effect in April 2015, a provision that was previously supported by APPA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and others as a stand-alone bill (H.R. 4066). <br /> <br /> Title III requires federal agencies to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, and DOE to establish guidelines for implementing energy-saving information technologies. <br /> <br /> Title IV requires that federally leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical. <br /> <br /> Earlier this year, APPA, the Alliance to Save Energy and a broad coalition of over 80 companies, organizations, and trade associations wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, asking them to bring the Shaheen-Portman bill to the floor for a vote. The measure "would help meet America's goals of increasing energy productivity, enhancing energy security, reducing harmful emissions, and promoting economic growth in a financially responsible manner," the coalition said (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41269"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, May 2, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Whether the Senate will take up the bill in the remaining days of the 113th Congress is an open question, but by re-introducing a bill that is identical to one that has already passed the House, Sens. Shaheen and Portman appear to have boosted the measure's chances of passage. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/5/2014 10:43:01 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298401&amp;issueID=35002 SMUD's Board of Directors approves $1.47 billion budget for 2015 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298365&issueID=35002 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35002>Monday, December 8, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors on Dec. 4 approved a $1.47 billion budget for 2015. It provides funding for all operations and maintenance, and capital programs, projects and initiatives needed to meet the strategic directives set by the board.<br /> <br /> SMUD said that it will start 2015 with a strong cash balance. When combined with cash generated from operations, SMUD expects to be able to cover the budget expenditures, including capital projects, without issuing new debt. The ability to fund SMUD&rsquo;s 2015 normal system infrastructure through cash flow is a positive factor in maintaining strong credit ratings, it noted. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> The 2015 budget anticipates a small increase in the number of customers SMUD serves but kilowatt-hour sales volume is expected to be slightly lower than in 2014 due to increases in energy efficiency and customer solar, which reduce average electricity consumption per customer. The number of low-income customers receiving a discounted rate is relatively flat, though a new census indicates that the number of customers eligible continues to grow. <br /> <br /> Energy-supply commodity costs -- the cost of natural gas to fuel power plants, wholesale power purchases and transmission -- make up about half of SMUD&rsquo;s total O&amp;M budget. SMUD said it has locked in fixed prices for most expected energy requirements for 2015 to ensure cost and rate stability for customers. Only a very small percentage of budgeted purchases are exposed to short-term market price fluctuations. <br /> <br /> SMUD went on to say that reliability is foremost among its priorities. The budget includes funds for, among other things, ongoing preventive maintenance and capital-improvement projects needed to ensure high reliability of the distribution system; a comprehensive risk assessment of SMUD&rsquo;s assets to meet physical security standards; and improving communications to customers when they&rsquo;re affected by an outage.<br /> <br /> SMUD said that it continues to implement, test and evaluate new technologies to modernize the grid, create operational efficiencies and give customers new tools to manage their energy use. SMUD is making permanent some of the programs tested under the "SmartSacramento" federal grant awarded in 2009, such as advanced lighting controls and in-home energy displays.<br /> <br /> With respect to SMUD&rsquo;s environmental stewardship efforts, SMUD noted that projects in the 2015 budget include, among others, continued investment in research and development projects focusing on ways to better manage intermittent sources of renewable energy, distributed-energy storage and plug-in vehicles and protecting bald and golden eagles at SMUD&rsquo;s Solano Wind Farm through implementation of a conservation program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, SMUD said that its customers continue to pay significantly less for electricity than most Californians and as of January 2015, about 26 percent less than residential customers who are supplied by neighboring Pacific Gas &amp; Electric.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI </a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/5/2014 9:04:42 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298365&amp;issueID=35002 NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries to combine in $4.3 billion deal http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298378&issueID=35002 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35002>Monday, December 8, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries on Dec. 3 announced a definitive agreement under which the companies have agreed to combine. The transaction is valued at approximately $4.3 billion.<br /> <br /> Along with Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval, the transaction also is subject to, among other things, approval by Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Florida-based NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries expect the transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies&rsquo; boards of directors, to be completed within approximately 12 months. Both companies are investor-owned utilities.<br /> <br /> The transaction includes the assumption of $1.7 billion in Hawaiian Electric Industries debt and excludes ASB Hawaii, a banking subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries. In connection with the agreement, Hawaiian Electric Industries separately announced on Dec. 3 a plan to spin off ASB Hawaii, the parent company of American Savings Bank, to Hawaiian Electric Industries shareholders and establish it as an independent publicly traded company.<br /> <br /> The spinoff of ASB Hawaii is expected to be completed immediately prior to, and is contingent upon, the completion of the combination of Hawaiian Electric Industries and NextEra Energy. <br /> <br /> In other recent merger-related news, Louisiana-based IOU Cleco in October said that that it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of North American long-term infrastructure investors in a deal that valued Cleco at approximately $4.7 billion, including approximately $1.3 billion of assumed debt (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42457">Oct. 21, 2014</a>).&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/5/2014 10:07:54 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298378&amp;issueID=35002 New York ISO forecasts adequate electric capacity for peak demand this winter http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298296&issueID=35002 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35002>Monday, December 8, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />New York&rsquo;s state's electric system has the capacity to meet demand for electricity, as well as the operating reserves it needs, during extreme cold through the 2014-2015 winter season, the New York Independent System Operator said Dec. 3. <br /> <br /> The New York ISO anticipates a peak load demand of 24,737 megawatts this winter. The forecast is below last winter&rsquo;s peak, when the polar vortex produced a record-setting winter peak load of 25,738 MW on Jan. 7, 2014. <br /> <br /> The winter peak forecast is based on average winter weather conditions, with composite statewide temperatures of 15-16&deg;F. If extreme weather produces colder conditions, with temperatures in the 5-6&deg;F range, peak demand across the state could increase to approximately 26,300 MW, the ISO said. <br /> <br /> Installed generation capacity in New York state this winter adds up to 39,803 MW, the ISO said. Net external capacity purchases of 1,078 MW also have been secured for the winter period. When combined with the 843 MW of projected demand response in a program that enlists consumers to reduce electricity use during peak conditions, the total capacity resources amount to 41,724 MW. <br /> <br /> The electric system requires surplus power supplies to guarantee that sufficient electricity is available in the event of unanticipated power plant outages, transmission outages or unexpected increases in power consumption, the ISO noted. New York&rsquo;s grid operators maintain 1,910 MW of operating reserves.<br /> <br /> "Last winter, as much of the country dealt with frigid temperatures from polar vortex events, New York&rsquo;s electricity use set a new record winter peak," said NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. "Last winter&rsquo;s record-setting demand, combined with natural gas fuel constraints, led to significant price volatility. We continue to work with our regulators and stakeholders on fuel assurance initiatives, operational measures and potential improvements to our market design that will address the growing reliance on natural gas and strengthen grid reliability and market efficiency." <br /> <br /> Disruptions in the supply or delivery of natural gas can affect the ability of gas-fired generation to provide power, which could affect electric system reliability, the ISO noted. In New York, natural gas supplies much of the state&rsquo;s generating capacity, mostly from "dual-fuel" units capable of using gas or oil to produce power. The fuel-switching capability helps mitigate the impact of fuel supply disruptions, the ISO said.<br /> <br /> The ISO observed that its hourly bid process, the ability to adjust bids in real-time for fuel costs, and a day-ahead market for posting gas nominations "are all part of the NYISO&rsquo;s strong market design."<br /> <br /> For the 2014-2015 winter season, the ISO said it "has added expanded visualization of the natural gas system so grid operators can see more clearly the status of the pipeline system; increased day-ahead reference level flexibility for generators; conducted winter preparedness outreach among market participants; and expanded both the fuel and emissions surveys to enhance reliability." New gas infrastructure serving the downstate region also is expected to help improve generators&rsquo; access to fuel sources. <br /> <br /> The grid operator noted that the state&rsquo;s electricity system registers its greatest demand during summer months, due in large part to the power demands of air conditioning and cooling systems. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fewer than 10 percent of New York households rely on electricity as the main source of home heating, while more than 70 percent use air conditioning. <br /> <br /> This year, New York hit its annual summer peak load in September, recording a peak of 29,782 MW on Sept. 2, which was the third lowest peak since 2000. In July 2013, the state set an all-time record peak of 33,956 MW. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/4/2014 2:42:34 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298296&amp;issueID=35002 FERC nominee tells Senate hearing that reliability is a top priority http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298304&issueID=35001 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35001>Friday, December 5, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Electric reliability will be a top priority for Colette Honorable should she be confirmed as a commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, she said at a Dec. 4 hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.<br /> <br /> "The greatest challenge that I perceive from my experience as an economic regulator and also interacting with the FERC commissioners is reliability," Honorable said in response to a question from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., at the hearing on her nomination to be a FERC commissioner.<br /> <br /> "In many ways, we need to think about not only reliability but resilience efforts," she said. There are "so many potential interferences with the ability to provide reliable and resilient services" to a variety of power customers.<br /> <br /> "Reliability is certainly a top priority for me in my daily work and if confirmed it would continue to be," Honorable went on to say.<br /> <br /> Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., used the hearing to voice concerns about coal stockpiles and railroad delivery issues.<br /> <br /> Franken said that in Minnesota over the past year, "We&rsquo;ve seen them [coal stockpiles] repeatedly drop to dangerously low levels due to the inadequate rail delivery of coal. At least four coal power plants in Minnesota were shut down so that their stockpiles could be built back up before the cold winter months."<br /> <br /> For her part, Baldwin said that "We are hearing alarming reports that there are low stocks as we face the onset of winter," as well as reports of unreliable and unpredictable rail service, "and obviously this has an impact on reliability."<br /> <br /> Baldwin emphasized "the importance of interagency dialogue," adding that she would like a commitment that FERC "will engage with the Surface Transportation Board to ensure that these reliability issues are addressed."<br /> <br /> The American Public Power Association and several other associations in late October urged FERC to hold a public workshop that would focus on railroad coal delivery challenges.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s proposed plan to curb emissions from existing power plants was also discussed at the hearing.<br /> <br /> Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, noted at the hearing that she and two members of the House of Representatives recently sent a letter to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur in which they asked that FERC convene a technical conference and invite the Department of Energy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, "affected asset owners and other relevant stakeholders to go on the record with respect to the reliability challenges posed" to the bulk power system "by this proposal and other pending and forthcoming major federal environmental regulations"&nbsp; (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42717">Nov. 26, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Murkowski asked Honorable if she would support having FERC convene such a technical conference. Honorable said that she would "certainly support any effort to get the stakeholders together."<br /> <br /> Honorable currently serves as chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and until very recently was president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Honorable&rsquo;s one-year term as president of NARUC expired on Nov. 20. President Obama in August announced his intention to nominate Honorable to be a commissioner at FERC.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/4/2014 3:28:19 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298304&amp;issueID=35001 House members ask Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate solar leasing practices http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298290&issueID=35001 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35001>Friday, December 5, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to investigate whether consumers might be harmed by misleading sales practices from solar leasing companies as the market for rooftop solar power expands. The four members of Congress, all Democrats from Arizona, said they support the expansion of rooftop solar, but are worried that companies leasing the systems may be using unfair or misleading business practices.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> While the cost of rooftop solar systems dropped by between 12 percent and 15 percent last year, the up-front cost of rooftop solar panels "is beyond the financial means of most U.S. households," said the four House members in a Nov. 19 letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray.&nbsp;"As a result, many Americans are drawn into the solar market by the promise of a zero-money-down solar lease."<br /> <br /> The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated in its <span style="font-style: italic;">Annual Energy Outlook 2014</span> that hundreds of thousands of Americans will install rooftop solar panels on their homes over the next two years, they said. "We are supportive of this trend because solar is a key component of America&rsquo;s energy future," they continued. "However, as the industry rapidly expands, we must be vigilant in protecting consumers from any misleading sales practices."<br /> <br /> Signing the letter were Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, Ron Barber, Kyrsten Sinema, and Gene Green. <br /> <br /> A customer who signs a solar lease does not own the panels, but rather contracts for the electricity produced by the system for 20 or more years, said the four members of Congress. "The initial attractiveness of a &lsquo;no money down&rsquo; long-term lease may incentivize the installation of rooftop solar. However, as was the case with the subprime mortgage crisis &ndash; easy initial financial terms, increased demand and a rapidly expanding industry can be high risk and ultimately harmful to consumers and the industry."<br /> <br /> Industry analysts predict that 68 percent of rooftop solar installations will be financed through third-party leases in 2014, they noted.<br /> <br /> They asked Cordray what steps the CFPB has taken to investigate the possibility that misleading sales techniques are being used in the rooftop solar industry. They also asked him what protections are in place to make sure that consumers who are considering long-term solar leasing arrangements "are made fully aware of the long-term implications of these transactions." &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/4/2014 1:53:55 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298290&amp;issueID=35001 APPA announces results of its Key Accounts Survey http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297924&issueID=35001 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35001>Friday, December 5, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Publicly owned electric utilities continue to explore new ways to improve services to their key accounts, APPA&rsquo;s 2014 Key Accounts Survey indicates. The Key Accounts Survey is conducted periodically to help understand key account policies and practices among public power utilities.<br /> <br /> Of the responding utilities, 73% have a formal key accounts program, and 66% make contact with them on a regular basis. Most utilities define their key accounts as their largest customers based on revenue and/or load. Sixty-three percent of utilities&rsquo; key accounts programs have specific goals such as energy efficiency metrics, economic development, improving customer service and reliability, and retaining key accounts. <br /> <br /> The preferred method of interaction with key accounts or large customers is on-site meetings, phone and email; while 7% use direct mail, social media or texting as their primary method of interaction. Ninety-three percent of responding utilities have a designated key accounts representative; however, 86% of key accounts representatives have other responsibilities such as billing, credit, economic development, marketing, energy efficiency, conservation, etc. <br /> <br /> The survey indicates that the following utility issues are currently most important to their key accounts (in order of importance):<br /> 1.&nbsp; Reliability<br /> 2.&nbsp; Price stability<br /> 3.&nbsp; Reduced costs<br /> 4.&nbsp; Power quality<br /> 5.&nbsp; Customer service<br /> <br /> For more information on the report, contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or <a href="mailto:mriley@publicpower.org">mriley@publicpower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:mriley@publicpower.org">MEGHAN RILEY</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/3/2014 9:15:32 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297924&amp;issueID=35001 FERC commissioner voices reliability concerns about EPA proposed plan for existing plants http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297915&issueID=35000 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35000>Thursday, December 4, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is voicing concerns about the reliability implications of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Moeller outlined his thoughts in a Dec. 1 letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator for the EPA.<br /> <br /> The FERC commissioner noted that in July, he testified before Congress on the EPA's proposed rule, which is known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). In his testimony, he expressed concerns about the reliability implications of the four compliance "building blocks" and his concern that state implementation plans will be extremely inefficient in a system of interstate regional electric markets. <br /> <br /> Other concerns relate to the front loaded timeline that as proposed will require the bulk of system changes by 2020, Moeller said.<br /> <br /> Another "fundamental problem" is that the proposed plan "seems to assume that a significant amount of new natural gas pipelines needed to fuel power plants, along with a similarly significant expansion of the nation's electric transmission system will suddenly appear so as" to meet the new demands under the proposed plan.<br /> <br /> "Such an assumption ignores the very real challenges we currently have in expanding these categories of energy infrastructure," Moeller said.<br /> <br /> Since July, "my concerns have only increased based on comments from a wide range of stakeholders. Especially persuasive are comments from the regional grid operators including RTOs and ISOs, and from individual states that foresee immense challenges in complying with the proposed rule."<br /> <br /> Moeller noted that he is concerned that the costs of the proposed EPA plan "could total hundreds of billions of dollars."<br /> <br /> But his primary concern relates to implications of the proposed plan on the reliability of the nation's electricity system, he said in his letter to McCarthy.<br /> <br /> "I continue to call for a more formal and transparent process involving FERC (and not just its staff) to examine these reliability implications. The laws of physics will trump any paper regulations or laws," Moeller said. "There is a need to involve electric engineering expertise for an open dialogue and debate over what changes to the grid and energy network are feasible and cost-effective in a reasonable time frame."<br /> <br /> The FERC commissioner said that he appreciates the outreach that EPA officials have undertaken "with our state colleagues through the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Again, a more formal process with FERC and others as described in my testimony will help promote a CPP that does no harm to the reliability of the electric system in a more cost-effective manner."<br /> <br /> The deadline for parties to file comments on the proposed plan at EPA was Dec. 1. For its part, the American Public Power Association said in its comments that if implemented in its current form, EPA&rsquo;s proposed rule "will create economic inefficiency, impose additional costs on electricity customers, threaten the reliability of the electricity system, and force risky over-reliance on a single fuel &mdash; natural gas &mdash; to generate electricity" (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42735">Dec. 2, 2014</a>).&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/2/2014 10:40:37 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297915&amp;issueID=35000 APPA and others want D.C. Circuit to overturn FERC order in case on municipal preference in hydro licensing http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298037&issueID=35000 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35000>Thursday, December 4, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association has joined public power organizations in Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest in a petition asking a federal appeals court to review an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year that said, for the first time, that the Federal Power Act&rsquo;s municipal preference for hydro licenses (in the case of competing applications for a license) applies only to projects that are "in the vicinity" of the public power applicant.<br /> <br /> The FERC ruling, issued on Dec. 19, 2013, held that the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency was not entitled to the municipal preference provided by Section 7(a) of the Federal Power Act because the proposed project, located 400 miles from WMMPA&rsquo;s headquarters, was too far away. <br /> <br /> On Nov. 24, WMMPA &ndash; joined by the Public Power Council and APPA &ndash; filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking judicial review of the FERC case. They asked the court to review the December 2013 order, as well as a June 2014 order in which FERC denied rehearing of the 2013 order. The public power groups asked the court to vacate the original FERC order, as well as the order denying rehearing. They asked the court to instruct FERC to issue a preliminary permit to WMMPA, and to "grant any other relief it deems appropriate."<br /> <br /> The 2013 order from FERC granted a preliminary permit to FPP Qualified Hydro 14, LLC (also known as Free Flow) to study the feasibility of developing a hydroelectric project on the Des Moines River in Polk County, Iowa. Free Flow, based in Boston, and WMMPA had filed competing applications for such a preliminary permit. The Dec. 19, 3013 order from FERC denied WMMPA&rsquo;s application -- saying that the Iowa project was too far away -- and, after a random drawing, granted the preliminary permit to Free Flow, a private company.<br /> <br /> In January 2014, APPA and the Public Power Council filed a document with FERC saying that the commission was wrong to add a geographic limitation to the FPA&rsquo;s preference for municipal applicants for hydro licenses. APPA and the PPC argued that Section 7(a) of the Federal Power Act "is a clear and commanding directive from Congress" that forces the commission, in the case of competing applications for hydro licenses, to award the license to the public power applicant.<br /> <br /> In their January filing, APPA and the PPC also pointed out that private entities regularly own and operate distant hydro projects, yet FERC has never held that geographic proximity is a factor in evaluating hydro proposals (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=40274"><span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span>, Jan. 27, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> WMMPA, a municipal corporation and political subdivision of the state of Minnesota, has a long-term capacity supply contract with Missouri River Energy Services (MRES). MRES serves 61 municipal electric utilities in Iowa, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota, including all of the municipalities that are part of WMMPA.<br /> <br /> The Public Power Council represents the interests of approximately 100 consumer-owned electric utilities in the Pacific Northwest that are preference customers of the Bonneville Power Administration. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/3/2014 1:07:07 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298037&amp;issueID=35000 People http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298071&issueID=35000 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35000>Thursday, December 4, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">In memoriam ... Richard M. Duxbury</span>, retired general counsel and CEO for the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP Energy) in Lincoln, died on Nov. 25. Duxbury was 84 years old. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. A memorial service will occur Saturday, Dec. 6. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to <a href="http://www.hua.org/">Hearts United for Animals</a> in Auburn or the <a href="http://lincolnliteracy.org/">Lincoln Literacy Council</a>. Condolences can be sent online via <a href="http://www.roperandsons.com/obituary/Richard-M.-Duxbury/Lincoln-NE/1455646">Roper &amp; Sons Funeral Homes&rsquo; website</a>. Duxbury&rsquo;s obituary can be read at <a href="http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/duxbury-richard-m/article_fd871798-b4c1-5c2e-a5ec-93510d5205a0.html">JournalStar.com</a>. <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">W. Gary Gates</span>, president and CEO for the Omaha Public Power District in Nebraska, will retire in 2015. Gates has led OPPD since January 2004. He joined the utility in 1972 as a test engineer. During his 42-year career, he has held leadership positions in organizations that include the Nebraska Power Association, the Nuclear Energy Institute, and Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited. The OPPD Board of Directors has begun the formal search process for his replacement. <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Penny Casey</span> has been promoted to power marketing advisor for the Western Area Power Administration in Lakewood, Colorado. Casey joined Western in 1998 as a public utilities specialist, before being named power marketing resources supervisor for the Desert Southwest Region in 2002. Prior to Western, she worked for the U.S. Army and the Defense Fuels Supply Center&rsquo;s Natural Gas Division in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">APPA news</span><br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Theresa Pugh</span>, director of environmental services for APPA, has accepted a new position at the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America in Washington, D.C. Pugh has worked at APPA for 14 years. Her last day at the association is Wednesday, Dec. 17.<br /> <br /> </p> 12/3/2014 3:10:58 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=298071&amp;issueID=35000 APPA offers webinars next week on legislative and regulatory developments; identifying your energy efficiency goals http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297896&issueID=35000 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=35000>Thursday, December 4, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> On Tuesday, Dec. 9, APPA will hold a webinar, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=167287&amp;navItemNumber=38477">"It&rsquo;s a Wrap: A Look Back at Legislative, Regulatory and Political Developments in 2014,"</a> from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> In this webinar, APPA&rsquo;s government relations staff will take a look back at significant legislative and regulatory developments in 2014.&nbsp;They will also provide an analysis of the November mid-term elections and map out the potential political and policy impacts.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /> Then, on Thursday, Dec. 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, APPA will hold a webinar, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=170373">"Identifying Your Utility&rsquo;s Energy Efficiency Goals and Developing a Portfolio Strategy."</a> This is the second in a <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=170371">series of four Energy Efficiency Webinars</a>, designed for utility personnel interested in starting or enhancing an energy efficiency program. The series is based on the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38919&amp;navItemNumber=38479">APPA Energy Efficiency Management Certificate Program</a> curriculum. <br /> <br /> Identifying the goals, potential, costs and benefits of implementing an energy efficiency program is an important step toward building a successful plan. Learn how to establish these components in order to create a program that aligns with your utility&rsquo;s strategic plan and your customers&rsquo; needs. In this webinar, Wallace Barron, president of Barron &amp; Associates Corporate Solutions, will cover the following topics:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Identifying target loads and selecting energy efficiency measures to fit with the supply resource mix;<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Setting goals, determining energy efficiency program results and establishing criteria for optimum program selection; and<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Establishing an integrated resource plan portfolio to meet your customer and utility needs.<br /> <br /> Upcoming webinars in the series will cover measurement and evaluation of program effectiveness and implementing an energy efficiency portfolio.<br /> <br /> Each webinar is worth 0.2 continuing education units, 1.5 professional development hours and 1.5 continuing professional education credits. <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /> For more information and to register, visit <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> under Webinar Series or contact Meghan Riley at <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a> or 202/467-2919. &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/2/2014 3:28:37 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297896&amp;issueID=35000 Pass cybersecurity bill now, APPA and other industry groups tell Senate http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297895&issueID=34999 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34999>Wednesday, December 3, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The American Public Power Association, along with 20 other organizations including the Large Public Power Council, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are urging the U.S. Senate to pass S. 2588, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA), before the lawmakers complete their work for the 113th Congress.<br /> <br /> The measure, written by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, "would promote business security and resilience against cyberattacks, including rogue hackers, sophisticated criminal groups, and foreign powers or their proxies," said APPA and the other groups in a Dec. 2 letter to all members of the Senate. <br /> <br /> The bill "would help businesses achieve timely and actionable situational awareness to improve detection, mitigation, and response capabilities against cyber threats," they said. They noted that the bill passed the Select Committee on Intelligence in July with broad support from both Democrats and Republicans. <br /> <br /> The bipartisan bill "safeguards privacy and civil liberties, preserves the roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and incentivizes sharing with narrow liability protections," said APPA and the others. It also represents a workable compromise among many stakeholders, they added.<br /> <br /> "Cyber threats against U.S. industry are advancing in scope and complexity," the 21 organizations concluded. "We urge the Senate to bring up CISA and pass it during the 113th Congress."<br /> <br /> In November, APPA and nine other electricity organizations wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, urging them to pass the legislation. The measure "is broadly supported by the business and critical infrastructure owner-operator community," they pointed out.<br /> <br /> "Every day, the industry faces threats that, if not immediately addressed and remedied, could have operational consequences," the electricity groups told Reid and McConnell (see the<a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42701"> Nov. 24 Public Power Daily</a>). &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/2/2014 3:27:18 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297895&amp;issueID=34999 ERCOT's updated 10-year outlook projects reserve margins of 15% or more in Texas region through 2018 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297663&issueID=34999 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34999>Wednesday, December 3, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />A new <a href="http://www.ercot.com/content/gridinfo/resource/2014/adequacy/cdr/CapacityDemandandReserveReport-Dec2014.pdf">report</a> by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas says that planning reserve margins in the ERCOT region are expected to exceed 15 percent through 2018. <br /> <br /> Based on current information, the region "expects to have sufficient generation to keep up with demand and maintain the planning reserve margins needed to support reliable operations in the next several years," said&nbsp; Warren Lasher, director of system planning for ERCOT. <br /> <br /> The new 10-year Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report, released on Dec. 1, reflects several changes since the last CDR report was released in May, including the addition of new generation resources and improvements to the method used to forecast wind generation availability during the hours when electricity demand is highest. <br /> <br /> Since May 2014, generation companies in the ERCOT region have added more than 2,100 MW of new gas-fired generation, more than 700 MW of wind generation and a 38-MW commercial-scale solar generation facility, ERCOT said. Planned resources that were not included in the May report include more than 1,500 MW of natural gas-fired generation, 2,500 MW of wind resources and another 105 MW of solar power.<br /> <br /> The report shows a reserve margin of 15.7 percent in summer 2015, based on peak demand of 69,057 megawatts (including 2,343 MW that participate in various demand-response programs). ERCOT expects to have 77,000 MW or more of generation capacity. <br /> <br /> ERCOT noted that the report does not factor in the potential impacts of several environmental regulations that are being implemented or have been proposed, including a November update from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on ground-level ozone. ERCOT recently released a report on the potential impacts of the EPA&rsquo;s Clean Power Plan and is working on a study &mdash; due out later this month &mdash; on the expected impacts of these and other regulations.<br /> <br /> This is the first report issued by ERCOT since October, when its board of directors approved a new methodology to define the percentage of installed wind generation capacity ERCOT expects during peak demand periods. In previous reports, all wind generation resources were counted at 8.7 percent of the total nameplate capacity. Now, after evaluation of historical operations during previous peaks, ERCOT is assigning different values to facilities in the Gulf Coast region and in other parts of the state, and those estimated capacity values differ from summer to winter. <br /> <br /> For summer, ERCOT is counting on 12 percent of nameplate capacity from non-coastal wind resources and 56 percent from coastal facilities, reflecting the average wind generation performance over peak hours in those regions during the six-year study period. In winter, those percentages change to 19 and 36 percent, respectively. <br /> <br /> Commercial-scale solar generation is currently counted at nameplate capacity. After ERCOT has 200 MW of commercial-scale solar installed, that value also will be adjusted in the future based on historical performance during peak demand hours over a three-year period, the grid operator said. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/1/2014 3:00:44 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297663&amp;issueID=34999 New APPA members http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297706&issueID=34999 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34999>Wednesday, December 3, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association welcomes these new members effective December 1, 2014:<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.smartusys.com/">Smart Utility Systems</a><br /> Irvine, CA &ndash;Corporate Associate <br /> <br /> <a href="https://www.ekaplus.com/">Eka Software Solutions</a> <br /> Stamford, CT-Corporate Associate &nbsp;<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.tangentenergy.com/">Tangent Energy Solutions</a><br /> Kennett Square, PA-Corporate Associate <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 12/2/2014 9:04:30 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297706&amp;issueID=34999 FERC details agenda for Dec. 9 workshop examining operator actions in energy and ancillary services markets operated by RTOs, ISOs http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297601&issueID=34999 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34999>Wednesday, December 3, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 20 released details on a workshop scheduled for Dec. 9 at FERC that will examine operator actions in energy and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators.<br /> <br /> In June, FERC directed its staff to convene workshops in order to start a discussion with industry on existing market rules and operational practices affecting price formation issues in energy and ancillary services markets operated by RTOs and ISOs.<br /> <br /> The first workshop held on Sept. 8 addressed uplift payments and the second workshop in late October addressed offer price mitigation and offer price caps, and scarcity and shortage pricing.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The third and final workshop on Dec. 9 will focus on operator actions that affect price formation, FERC noted in its Nov. 20 notice detailing the workshop&rsquo;s agenda.<br /> <br /> A morning panel will "address the nature of operator-initiated out-of-market resource commitments and operator adjustments to market inputs," FERC said in the notice. Officials from ISO New England, California Independent System Operator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, New York Independent System Operator and Southwest Power Pool will be panelists.<br /> <br /> There will be two panels in the afternoon. The first will focus on the experience market participants have with out-of-market operator actions, while the second panel will focus on practices that RTOs and ISOs have adopted, "plan to adopt, or might consider adopting to incorporate otherwise un-modeled constraints (e.g., voltage constraints) into the unit commitment and economic dispatch processes," FERC said.<br /> <br /> Additional details about the workshop are available at FERC&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.ferc.gov/">website</a>.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/1/2014 11:46:30 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297601&amp;issueID=34999 In comments on EPA's proposed rule on CO2, APPA advises agency against trying to do too much, too soon http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297608&issueID=34998 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34998>Tuesday, December 2, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The American Public Power Association on Dec. 1 submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. APPA "agrees that the electricity sector needs to reduce CO2 emissions, but cautions against the dangers of the proposed rule trying to do too much too quickly," the association said in a <a href="http://publicpower.org/Resources/ReleasesDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42730">news release</a> summarizing the comments. The <a href="www.publicpower.org/files/PDFs/APPA2014ExistingPlantGHGNSPSCommentsandAttachments.pdf ">comments</a> are detailed and lengthy, running to more than 200 pages.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If implemented in its current form, EPA&rsquo;s proposed rule, which was issued in June 2014, "will create economic inefficiency, impose additional costs on electricity customers, threaten the reliability of the electricity system, and force risky over-reliance on a single fuel &mdash; natural gas &mdash; to generate electricity," APPA said. <br /> <br /> The association urged the EPA to withdraw the proposed rule, revise it, and re-propose it. Should the agency proceed with the rule as drafted, APPA recommended that a number of revisions be made to it. Those changes, "taken together, would improve its workability and affordability, while still continuing to reduce CO2 emissions," the public power organization said.<br /> <br /> "This rule, as proposed, aims to make unprecedented changes to the way energy will be generated and used in this country," said APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly. "These changes will ripple over the next several decades, so they must be made carefully and collaboratively. In our comments, we&rsquo;ve laid out constructive changes to make the proposed rule more likely to work in the real world and fulfill its intended purpose."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> APPA points out in its comments that the proposed rule&rsquo;s requirements go beyond what is legally permissible under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, and conflict with the authority of other federal, state, and local government entities. <br /> <br /> "EPA asserts that, while electricity costs will rise due to compliance with the proposal, consumers will see only 'negligible' increases in their actual bills after 2020," and could see a decrease, APPA said, adding that the association "is highly skeptical of that assertion." <br /> <br /> APPA said it believes the agency "has relied too heavily on optimistic assumptions on a number of key elements, such as the price of natural gas; the ability of utilities and system operators to dispatch natural-gas units at significantly higher capacity factors; the availability in some states of viable, economic, renewable energy resources; and the rate at which new energy efficiency programs can be implemented."<br /> <br /> "For EPA to assert that the electric utility industry can achieve a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and also lower consumers' electricity bills by 2030 recalls the adage that 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true,'" the association said.<br /> <br /> APPA said it prefers congressional action to address the issue. However, given that Congress is unlikely to act on this matter in the foreseeable future, and that the president has directed the EPA to issue a final rule in June 2015 under its existing authority, APPA urged the EPA to modify the proposed rule to: <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Allow states to choose a baseline time period that more accurately reflects their unique circumstances.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Provide full credit for investments already made &mdash; in renewables, energy efficiency, etc. &mdash; that reduce or offset CO2 emissions.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Fix the errors and revise the assumptions in the computations of the four building blocks to reflect what the states can realistically accomplish and to ensure more equity among states.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Provide a streamlined process for New Source Review determinations and stipulate that an electric generating unit's energy efficiency upgrade under a state compliance plan should be considered greenhouse gas best available control technology (BACT) for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) determinations.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Remove nuclear units under construction from the relevant state goal computations.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Allow all generating resources that emit no CO2 to be used for compliance.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Provide states with more time to develop state compliance plans.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Provide more guidance on the development of multi-state plans and interstate agreements.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Eliminate the interim reduction goal and allow states to determine their own emission reduction trajectory (glide path) to reach their final reduction goal.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Allow a state&rsquo;s final reduction goal, the year to achieve that goal, and/or the glide path to be adjusted if the state can demonstrate that circumstances have materially changed.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Include mechanisms to ensure that potentially regulated entities have maximum flexibility to comply with state plans at reasonable cost.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Establish a reliability "safety valve" to ensure that compliance does not impair system reliability or conflict with North American Electric Reliability Corporation standards. <br /> &nbsp;<br /> APPA noted that it "very much appreciates" the EPA's decision to extend the official comment deadline to allow a fuller opportunity to analyze the many details in the proposed rule, and "appreciates the positive and constructive attitude that the agency and its staff have displayed" during the extended comment period. <br /> <br /> The association said it looks forward to continued collaboration with EPA "to help craft a final rule that further reduces CO2 emissions, while assuring electric system reliability, keeping associated cost increases to reasonable levels, and avoiding the stranding of significant utility assets." &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 12/1/2014 1:25:25 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297608&amp;issueID=34998 FERC approves latest settlement tied to 2011 Southwest power outages http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297462&issueID=34998 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34998>Tuesday, December 2, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 28 approved a stipulation and consent agreement among FERC&rsquo;s Office of Enforcement, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the California Independent System Operator that includes a $6 million civil penalty and resolves an investigation by FERC enforcement staff and NERC into Cal-ISO&rsquo;s involvement in the Sept. 8, 2011, Southwest blackout. <br /> <br /> FERC noted that this marks the fifth settlement related to the FERC-NERC joint investigation into the outage that left more than five million people in Southern California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico, without power for up to 12 hours. <br /> <br /> FERC enforcement staff and NERC determined that Cal-ISO violated three requirements of the transmission operations and the facilities design, connection and maintenance groups of reliability standards. The transmission operations standards cover the responsibilities and decision making authority for reliable operations and aim to ensure that the transmission system is operated within correct operating limits. The other standard involved aims to ensure that system operating limits are based on an established methodology. <br /> <br /> FERC enforcement staff and NERC concluded that Cal-ISO failed to appropriately monitor the current flow on Path 44 or otherwise take corrective action to avert operation of the "intertie separation scheme" at the San Onofre nuclear generating plant switchyard, FERC said. Initiation of the scheme contributed to tripping the San Onofre nuclear generating plant offline and eventually resulted in the complete blackout of San Diego and the Baja California control area operated by Mexico&rsquo;s Comisi&oacute;n Federal de Electricidad, FERC said in a news release.<br /> <br /> Cal-ISO stipulated to the facts in the agreement and agreed to pay the $6 million civil penalty, of which $2 million will be split evenly between the U.S. Treasury and NERC, and $4 million will be invested in reliability enhancement measures that go above and beyond mitigation of the violations and the requirements of the reliability standards. <br /> <br /> Cal-ISO also agreed to mitigation measures and to submit to compliance monitoring. The ISO neither admits nor denies that its actions constituted violations of the reliability standards.<br /> <br /> The fourth settlement was approved by FERC on Nov. 24. Specifically, FERC approved a stipulation and consent agreement among FERC&rsquo;s Office of Enforcement, NERC and the Western Area Power Administration &ndash; Desert Southwest Region that resolved the investigation by FERC enforcement staff and NERC into the Western Area Power Administration &ndash; Desert Southwest Region&rsquo;s involvement in the Southwest blackout.<br /> <br /> FERC enforcement staff and NERC determined that the Western Area Power Administration &ndash; Desert Southwest Region violated four requirements of three reliability standards in the transmission operations and voltage and reactive control categories.<br /> <br /> Western Area Power Administration &ndash; Desert Southwest Region stipulated to the facts in the agreement and agreed to implement compliance measures necessary to mitigate the violations and improve overall reliability, including, among other things, improving its models by adding critical external facilities and facilities operated below 100 kV that can impact system operating limits on its transmission system.<br /> <br /> The first three settlements involved Southern California Edison, the Imperial Irrigation District and Arizona Public Service Company.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/30/2014 5:52:12 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297462&amp;issueID=34998 Senator introduces bill that would clarify FERC legal authority tied to demand response compensation http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297428&issueID=34998 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34998>Tuesday, December 2, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) On Nov. 20 introduced legislation that would amend the Federal Power Act in order to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the legal authority to require regional transmission organizations to compensate demand response.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> The bill, S. 2947, was introduced in response to a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision that vacated Order No. 745 and held that FERC does not have authority to regulate demand response in wholesale electricity markets.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> The appeals court on Sept. 17 turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating Order No. 745 (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42246">Sept. 18, 2014</a>). <br /> &nbsp;<br /> But more recently, the court on Oct. 20 approved a request by FERC to delay finalizing the decision that vacated Order No. 745.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> FERC had asked the court "for a stay of issuance of the mandate in this case, pending the federal government&rsquo;s consideration of whether to file, and possible future filing of, a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court."&nbsp; A petition for a "writ of certiorari" would seek a Supreme Court review of the appeals court's ruling.<br /> <br /> The appeals court on Oct. 20 said that the delay on finalizing the court decision will last through Dec. 16, 2014. The court also stated that if the government seeks "cert" by that date, the stay would remain in place until the Supreme Court concludes its case.<br /> <br /> At a PJM Interconnection event in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur noted that the decision "whether to apply for certiorari is up to the solicitor general" of the federal government. She said that that office has the "exclusive authority to make that decision for the U.S. government." <br /> <br /> Order No. 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, as long as the demand-response resource passes a net benefits test.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI<br /> </a><br /> </p> 11/26/2014 4:37:59 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297428&amp;issueID=34998 Attorneys general say 'numerous legal defects' provide grounds for invalidation of EPA proposed plan for existing plants http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297425&issueID=34997 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34997>Monday, December 1, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s proposed plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants "has numerous legal defects, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety," 17 attorneys general said in Nov. 26 comments filed at the EPA.<br /> <br /> In June, EPA proposed emission guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, invoking its authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).<br /> <br /> EPA&rsquo;s proposal "attempts to use the Clean Air Act to override states&rsquo; energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on EPA&rsquo;s policy choices, forcing states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production," the attorneys general said in their comments. "But the Clean Air Act generally and Section 111(d) specifically do not give EPA that breathtakingly broad authority to reorganize states&rsquo; economies," they said.<br /> <br /> The attorneys general said that the proposed rule is unlawful because, among other things, EPA has chosen to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. Section 111(d) specifically prohibits EPA from invoking that same section of the law [Section 111(d)] where the "source category . . . is regulated under" Section 112, the attorneys general said.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> "Given the multitude of legal deficiencies in its proposal, some of which go to the heart of its authority to regulate fossil-fuel-fired power plants under Clean Air Act Section 111(d), EPA should honor the Act&rsquo;s core statutory limitations on its authority and formally determine that Section 111(d) standards are not appropriate for fossil fuel-fired power plants," they argued.<br /> <br /> If EPA does finalize Section 111(d) standards for fossil-fuel-fired power plants, "it should not perpetuate the unlawful act by attempting to reorganize states&rsquo; energy economies, but should instead promulgate emission guidelines based on the best system of emission reduction that is actually achievable at individual facilities, which states could then consider in establishing performance standards to individual power plants in their jurisdictions," the attorneys general added.<br /> <br /> Stating that the EPA&rsquo;s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard rule will cause the retirement of more than 34 gigawatts of fossil fuel-fired electric generating capacity, the attorneys general went on to cite a NERA Economic Consulting study that projects the EPA&rsquo;s proposed plan for existing plants will result in between 46 and 169 additional gigawatts of capacity being retired unless EPA makes significant corrections.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> Specifically, the study projects coal-unit retirements of between 97 and 220 gigawatts, as compared to 51 gigawatts under a baseline scenario, the attorneys general said.<br /> <br /> "Retirements on this scale are likely to seriously threaten the reliability of our nation&rsquo;s electric supply," they argued. "State regulators and industry stakeholders have warned that the proposal will force them to choose between meeting its requirements at the risk of potentially violating" Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reliability mandates, "or complying with those mandates at the risk of failure to comply with the proposal."<br /> <br /> The attorneys general also said that the plant retirements "are likely to impose significant costs on ordinary citizens throughout the country. The NERA study projects an increase in total consumer energy costs of between $366 billion and $479 billion over the period 2017-2031."<br /> <br /> The comments were submitted by attorneys general from the following states: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">WECC also weighs in <br /> </span><br /> Meanwhile, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) is recommending that the agency provide adequate time to identify reliability implications of proposed state compliance plans.<br /> <br /> WECC on Nov. 25 posted its comments to EPA on WECC&rsquo;s website. Since WECC does not operate, site, or own generation or transmission infrastructure, it has no direct economic interest in how states comply with the EPA&rsquo;s proposed plan, it noted.<br /> <br /> "However, the implementation plans that states will develop to comply with the proposed Clean Power Plan will drive BES changes that must be assessed to assure continued reliable operation of the Western Interconnection," WECC went on to say.<br /> <br /> WECC said that the EPA should allow at least 180 days following the filing of state compliance plans for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), WECC, and other reliability entities to concurrently evaluate the potential reliability impacts of those plans. <br /> <br /> The proposed plan "is complex and could have far-reaching and possibly unforeseen impacts. The success of a state&rsquo;s compliance plan and the reliability" of the bulk electric system "are best served if the complying states and participating utilities, transmission planning regions, and other stakeholders are provided ample time for reliability analyses," WECC said. This would provide additional time for evaluation of reliability implications, multi-state planning and infrastructure investments, the council said.<br /> <br /> WECC also said that the EPA should create and communicate a process for reliability entities such as WECC to highlight reliability implications of any state compliance plan in the Western Interconnection. <br /> <br /> "As the reliability assurer for the Western Interconnection, WECC requests that the EPA consider the range of [bulk electric system] reliability issues that may result from the implementation" of the proposed plan "and allow time for necessary studies and reliability assessments, state planning, and industry development processes." <br /> <br /> WECC recommended creating a process within the proposed plan that considers timing adjustments or the granting of extensions if there is a demonstrable reliability need identified. "Once states develop implementation plans, WECC will be able to consider additional analyses to understand the reliability impact on an interconnection-wide basis," the council added.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI </a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/26/2014 2:29:57 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297425&amp;issueID=34997 EPA proposes tighter ozone standard of between 65 and 70 parts per billion http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297415&issueID=34997 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34997>Monday, December 1, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 26 proposed to tighten air quality standards for ground-level ozone &mdash; or smog&nbsp;&mdash; from the current standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 65 and 70 ppb. The agency said it would take public comments on a level as low as 60 ppb, as well. The EPA will accept comments on the proposal for 90 days after it is published in the <span style="font-style: italic;">Federal Register.</span><br /> <br /> The current standard of 75 ppb was set in 2008 by President George W. Bush. At the time, the EPA&rsquo;s own Science Advisory Board had recommended&nbsp; a more stringent level of 60 to 70 ppb. Environmental groups challenged the Bush administration standard in court. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review the standard every five years, and the agency was under a court-ordered deadline of Dec. 1 to act on the ozone standard. The EPA plans to issue final ozone standards by Oct. 1, 2015.<br /> <br /> The EPA said the new standards will apply to power plants, cars, and oil and gas facilities. The agency also is proposing to tighten the "secondary" ozone standard to a level of between 65 and 70 ppb.<br /> <br /> The EPA said its scientists examined many scientific studies in its most recent review of the ozone standards, including more than 1,000 new studies published since the last update in 2008. "Studies indicate that exposure to ozone at levels below 75 ppb &mdash; the level of the current standard &mdash; can pose serious threats to public health, harm the respiratory system, cause or aggravate asthma and other lung diseases, and is linked to premature death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes," the agency said.<br /> <br /> Ground-level ozone forms in the atmosphere when emissions of nitrogen oxides combine with volatile organic compounds and "cook" in the sun. "People most at risk from breathing air containing ozone include people with asthma, children, older adults, and those who are active or work outside," the EPA said.<br /> <br /> The EPA projected that the benefits of meeting the proposed standards would outweigh the costs. "If the standards are finalized, every dollar we invest to meet them will return up to three dollars in health benefits," the agency said in a Nov. 26 press release. Annual costs are estimated at $3.9 billion in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $15 billion for a standard at 65 ppb. <br /> <br /> "Local communities, states, and the federal government have made substantial progress in reducing ground-level ozone," the EPA said as it announced the proposal. "EPA&rsquo;s analysis of federal programs that reduce air pollution from fuels, vehicles and engines of all sizes, power plants and other industries shows that the vast majority of U.S. counties with monitors would meet the more protective standards by 2025 just with the rules and programs now in place or underway."<br /> <br /> "Smog levels have declined sharply over the last 40 years, but each incremental improvement comes at a significant cost to business and government," <span style="font-style: italic;">The New York Times</span> reported Nov. 26.<br /> <br /> Nationally, from 1980 to 2013, average ozone levels have fallen 33 percent, according to the EPA. The agency said it would hold three public hearings on the ozone proposal.<br /> <br /> During a Nov. 26 conference call the EPA held with stakeholders, the agency said that it plans to hold two more conference calls for stakeholders, on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4, said Theresa Pugh, APPA's director of environmental services. The conference calls will be held at noon, Eastern time. No dial-in phone number was announced for those calls, so persons interested in participating should watch the EPA website for further information, Pugh said.<br /> <br /> Pugh said she expects the EPA to hold its public hearings on the ozone proposal in January 2015. No dates or locations for those hearings have been announced yet by the agency.<br /> <br /> More information about the proposal is on the EPA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.epa.gov/glo/">website</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/26/2014 11:52:44 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297415&amp;issueID=34997 FERC sets hearing on complaint challenging ROE for New England transmission owners http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297421&issueID=34997 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34997>Monday, December 1, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has set for hearing a complaint filed this summer by a large number of New England parties against New England transmission owners. The complaint challenged the transmission owners&rsquo; base return on equity of 11.14 percent.<br /> <br /> The complaint was filed in late July by a wide variety of parties in the New England region including, among others, the Massachusetts attorney general, Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company, Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel.<br /> <br /> The American Public Power Association in September filed to intervene in the proceeding at FERC. The complaint "seeks an order to reduce the return on equity used in calculating formula rates for transmission service under the ISO-New England open access transmission tariff," APPA noted in its Sept. 10, 2014 filing. APPA "has a significant number of utility members who are load-serving entities in ISO-NE and receive transmission service under the tariff. The outcome of this proceeding could directly affect these members and the consumers they serve," APPA said, adding that the association's participation in the proceeding is in the public interest. <br /> <br /> The Nov. 24 order grants APPA&rsquo;s motion to intervene.<br /> <br /> In the complaint, the New England parties said that, due to changes in capital market conditions since the issuance of FERC Opinion No. 489, the 11.14 percent base ROE for the New England transmission owners is unjust and unreasonable. Issued in 2006, Opinion No. 489 addressed the base level ROE, applicable to the regional transmission organization, that was proposed in a proceeding by ISO-NE and New England transmission owners.<br /> <br /> The New England parties said that their two-step discounted cash flow analysis shows that the zone of reasonable returns ranges between 6.34 percent and 12.54 percent. The complainants argued that the commission should set the New England transmission owners' base ROE at 8.84 percent (the median of the zone of reasonableness) or, alternatively, at no more than 9.44 percent (the midpoint of the zone of reasonableness).<br /> <br /> Additionally, the parties to the complaint said that, even if FERC chose to set the base ROE at the midpoint of the upper half of the zone of reasonableness, as it did in Opinion No. 531, the resulting base ROE would be 10.99 percent, which is still below the 11.14 percent base ROE.<br /> <br /> The parties filing the complaint estimate that reducing the New England transmission owners&rsquo; base ROE to 9.44 percent would reduce regional network service costs in New England by $150 million annually.<br /> <br /> FERC on Nov. 24 issued an order setting the complaint for investigation and a trial-type, evidentiary hearing under section 206 of the Federal Power Act. At the same time, FERC consolidated the proceeding with a separate proceeding at the commission for purposes of hearing and decision. The other proceeding involves a complaint that also challenged the 11.14 percent base ROE.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/26/2014 12:14:51 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297421&amp;issueID=34997 No Public Power Daily for the next two days http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296878&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />This newsletter is taking Thursday and Friday off for the holiday. See you on Monday, Dec. 1. Happy Thanksgiving!<br /> <br /> </p> 11/21/2014 3:19:17 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296878&amp;issueID=34994 Supreme Court agrees to review case challenging MATS rule http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297300&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />On Nov. 25, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for the electric utility industry. <br /> <br /> The Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), the National Mining Association, and 21 states appealed an April 15, 2014, ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding the rule. The American Public Power Association is a member of UARG.<br /> <br /> The challengers contend that the EPA should have considered cost when determining whether the regulations were "appropriate and necessary" under the Clean Air Act.<br /> <br /> In its April 2014 decision, the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the EPA&rsquo;s finding that the rule was "appropriate and necessary" and &mdash; with one member of the three-judge panel dissenting &mdash; upheld the agency&rsquo;s position that it was not required to consider costs in setting the standard (see the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41126">April 16, 2014 Public Power Daily</a>).<br /> <br /> The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the case by the end of June 2015. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/25/2014 2:10:09 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297300&amp;issueID=34994 EPA urged not to include nuclear units under construction in calculation of state carbon dioxide goals http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297093&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> It is not appropriate for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to include nuclear power units under construction in the calculation of state carbon dioxide goals, officials from utilities involved with nuclear power units under construction in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee said on Nov. 17 in commenting on an EPA notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) related to reducing CO2 emissions from existing power plants.<br /> <br /> "As the entities with ownership and/or operational interests in the five nuclear units identified in the NPRM as &lsquo;currently under construction,&rsquo; we appreciate EPA&rsquo;s assurance that it is &lsquo;carefully considering&rsquo; stakeholder concerns on this topic as well as the opportunity to provide these joint comments addressing this specific issue," wrote top executives with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Dalton Utilities, Tennessee Valley Authority, Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, Santee Cooper, South Carolina Electric &amp; Gas Co., Southern Company and Southern Nuclear Operating Company.<br /> <br /> "We firmly believe it is not appropriate for the NPRM" to include under construction nuclear units in the calculation of state carbon dioxide (CO2) goals, the utility executives said.<br /> <br /> They said that EPA&rsquo;s methodology for incorporating under construction nuclear units into the NPRM&rsquo;s rate-setting calculation "significantly increases the stringency of the CO2 emission targets" for Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, which are the only states where nuclear units are currently under construction.<br /> <br /> "We believe this constitutes a substantial and unjustified penalty levied on just three states for no legitimate or lawful purpose. It also contravenes other overriding national energy policy objectives. EPA provides no support in the NPRM and supporting documentation for its arbitrary distinction between states with nuclear units under construction and those without, and we believe EPA&rsquo;s approach is a clear violation of the authority EPA has been granted under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)," the utility officials wrote in their letter.<br /> <br /> The nuclear units under construction are: units 3 and 4 at the Vogtle electric generating plant in Georgia; units 2 and 3 at the Virgil C. Summer nuclear station in South Carolina; and Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee.<br /> <br /> "Taken together, these five units are projected to supply over 5,600 megawatts (MW) of new, baseload, zero-emission electric generation, and represent a combined investment of over $28 billion in nuclear power in our region with approximately 11,500 total construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs," the utility officials wrote. "These projects are the first new nuclear units to be built in the United States in over thirty years. They are enormous in size and complexity, with all three sites among the largest ongoing construction projects in the United States."<br /> <br /> Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee "have achieved significant CO2 emission reductions since 2005," the utility officials said. "With the completion of Vogtle 3-4, Summer 2-3, and Watts Bar 2&mdash;projects that are clearly in the national interest and in furtherance of our nation&rsquo;s energy policies&mdash;these three states will provide significant increases in emissions-free electricity in the years ahead. Yet, in the NPRM, EPA has proposed to penalize these states by imposing a substantially more stringent emission target simply because they are hosting nuclear units that remain under construction. This is arbitrary, unfair, and unacceptable."<br /> <br /> The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 "sought to expand the commercial utilization of nuclear energy in the United States, while also reducing CO2 emissions and ensuring affordable, reliable, and clean domestic energy for Americans. Those acts made substantial investments in programs to promote modern nuclear reactors and improved the nuclear licensing process," the utility officials said.<br /> <br /> In furtherance of these policies, the owners and operators of Vogtle 3-4, Summer 2-3, and Watts Bar 2, and the host states, "made important decisions to move forward with expanding our reliance on nuclear energy. So far, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee are the only states where new nuclear units are being constructed, although we are optimistic that others will follow," the utility officials said.<br /> <br /> Federal policies have centered on incentivizing nuclear power and ensuring an efficient regulatory approval process, the utility executives said. "In the NPRM, however, EPA takes a drastically different approach by proposing to impose a heavy penalty on our host states because of these leading energy projects. This is fundamentally unfair to our states and directly contradicts the nation&rsquo;s established energy and environmental policies."<br /> <br /> The letter was signed by: Don Cope, president and CEO, Dalton Utilities; Steven M. Jackson, senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia; Brenda E. Brickhouse, vice-president, environment at the Tennessee Valley Authority; Ron Shipman, vice-president for environmental affairs at Georgia Power; Michael W. Price, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Oglethorpe Power; Pamela J. Williams, senior vice president for corporate services at Santee Cooper; Stephen A. Byrne, chief operations officer and president at South Carolina Gas &amp; Electric; Larry Monroe, chief environmental officer at Southern Company; and B.L. "Pete" Ivey, vice president for regulatory affairs at Southern Nuclear Operating Company.<br /> <br /> The deadline for comments on the proposed rule is Dec. 1, with the final rule anticipated in June 2015.<br /> &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/24/2014 3:49:56 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297093&amp;issueID=34994 Lawmakers seek details on FERC/EPA communications tied to plan for plants; press for conference to examine proposal http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297216&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Several lawmakers are asking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Cheryl LaFleur to detail the "extent and nature of meetings, communications and consultations of any kind" between FERC and the Environmental Protection Agency over the last 18 months related to the EPA&rsquo;s proposed plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants "or any other major EPA regulations that bear on the reliability" of the bulk power system.<br /> <br /> At the same time, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., asked in their Nov. 24 letter that FERC convene a technical conference and invite the Department of Energy, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, "affected asset owners and other relevant stakeholders to go on the record with respect to the reliability challenges posed" to the bulk power system "by this proposal and other pending and forthcoming major federal environmental regulations."<br /> <br /> Upton is chairman of the House of Representatives&rsquo; Energy and Commerce Committee, Whitfield is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee&rsquo;s Subcommittee on Energy and Power and Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.<br /> <br /> They said that EPA "lacks the mission and the expertise to determine what is necessary to maintain the reliability of the nation&rsquo;s electric grid. Indeed, Congress specifically established the electric reliability organization for this very purpose." <br /> <br /> FERC previously certified the North American Electric Reliability Corporation as the electric reliability organization. NERC on Nov. 5 issued an initial reliability review of the EPA&rsquo;s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants that raises a number of questions related to the proposal (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42613">Nov. 6, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Upton, Whitfield and Murkowski also said that the EPA "itself has never performed an analysis of the cumulative impacts its recent electricity-related rules would have on reliability, nor has it sought, as part of its due diligence, such a cumulative analysis" from NERC, FERC or the Department of Energy.<br /> <br /> They said that they want to "learn as expeditiously as possible the extent and nature of meetings, communications, and consultations of any kind between FERC and EPA over the last eighteen months regarding" the EPA proposed plan "or any major EPA regulations that bear on the reliability" of the bulk power system.<br /> <br /> "Our purpose is to establish the record of consultations that have taken place and to understand the details of the discussions, their results and the plan for future interactions," Upton, Whitfield and Murkowski wrote in their letter. "We have asked our staffs to follow up with specific questions in this respect."<br /> <br /> FERC Commissioner Tony Clark recently called for a "much more transparent process" tied to the EPA&rsquo;s plan "in relationship to how we&rsquo;re modeling reliability and how reliability is being taken into consideration" (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42607">Nov. 6, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Clark, who made his comments at a meeting in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Energy Bar Association, said that "I recently read in the press clippings an EPA official said, &lsquo;We are working closely with FERC on these reliability matters.&rsquo; And I read it and I thought, well, that&rsquo;s news to me."<br /> <br /> Clark said, "I know [there are] staff level conversations that are going on every so often and phone calls back and forth," but it is "not a transparent process to me. I know it&rsquo;s not a transparent process to anyone in this room or anyone else in the industry." <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Upton, Whitfield and Murkowski asked that FERC convene a technical conference to hear formally from DOE, "the sector-specific agency with responsibility to assure adequate energy supplies, and other relevant stakeholders so that FERC may examine the significant concerns, as identified in NERC&rsquo;s report," that the EPA plan for existing power plants "presents for grid reliability."<br /> <br /> They said that a conference held in December "or as soon as practicable after EPA&rsquo;s December 1 deadline for comments" on the plan will have the benefit of highlighting aspects of the record. "The conference should also cover other pending or forthcoming major federal environmental regulations that may impact the reliability of the electric grid."&mdash;<a href="http://pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI<br /> </a><br /> </p> 11/25/2014 10:36:28 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297216&amp;issueID=34994 Leadership of committees shapes up for the upcoming session of Congress http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297233&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Committee leadership is beginning to take shape as Congress organizes for the new session that will start on Jan. 5, 2015. <br /> <br /> Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will largely remain the same in the 114th Congress (2015-2016), including Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). One exception is Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE), who lost his re-election bid and will be replaced as subcommittee chairman by Michael Burgess (R-TX).<br /> <br /> Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) won a vote 100-90, in a secret ballot, over Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to become the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pallone, the most senior Democrat on the committee following the retirement of current ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA), would normally be expected to ascend to the top spot on the committee without a competitive race. However, Eshoo, the third most senior Democrat on the panel, jumped into the race and was backed by a fellow Californian, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.<br /> <br /> Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) has been selected to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. Conaway is one of the early co-sponsors of H.R.1038, the Public Power Risk Management Act &ndash; a measure backed by the American Public Power Association. He previously was chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. His counterpart in the Senate will be Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), who has been vocal in his criticism of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the needs of commodity end-users, including public power utilities.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Ryan to head Ways and Means<br /> </span><br /> Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stepped down as chairman of the Committee on the Budget, which now will be led by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Ryan will become chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means. Kevin Brady (R-TX), another member of the committee, had intended to compete with Ryan for the Ways and Means chairmanship, but stepped out of the running earlier this month. <br /> <br /> Ryan has not specifically endorsed a draft tax reform plan released earlier this year by departing Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI), but he has said he would continue to pursue tax reform. The proposal released by Camp would have raised tens of billions of dollars from municipal bonds to offset the cost of personal and corporate income tax rate cuts. <br /> <br /> New Republican members of the House committees on Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, and Ways and Means were announced on Nov. 20:<br /> <br /> House Appropriations Committee:<br /> Evan Jenkins (WV)<br /> David Jolly (FL)<br /> Scott Rigell (VA)<br /> David Young (IA)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Energy and Commerce Committee:<br /> Susan Brooks (IN)<br /> Larry Buchson (IN)<br /> Chris Collins (NY)<br /> Kevin Cramer (ND)<br /> Bill Flores (TX)<br /> Richard Hudson (NC)<br /> Markwayne Mullin (OK)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Financial Services Committee:<br /> Bob Dold (IL)<br /> Frank Guinta (NH)<br /> French Hill (AK)<br /> Mia Love (UT)<br /> Bruce Poliquin (ME)<br /> David Schweikert (AZ)<br /> Scott Tipton (RO)<br /> Roger Williams (TX)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Ways and Means Committee:<br /> George Holding (NC)<br /> Patrick Meehan (PA<br /> Kristi Noem (SD)<br /> Jason Smith (MO)<br /> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">GOP names House committee chairmanships </span><br /> <br /> House committee chairmanships, as chosen by the House Republican Steering Committee, are as follows:<br /> <br /> Administration &ndash; Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)<br /> Agriculture &ndash; Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)<br /> Appropriations &ndash; Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)<br /> Armed Services &ndash; Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)<br /> Budget &ndash; Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)<br /> Education and the Workforce &ndash; Rep. John Kline (R-MN)<br /> Energy and Commerce &ndash; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)<br /> Ethics &ndash; Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)<br /> Financial Services &ndash; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)<br /> Foreign Affairs &ndash; Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)<br /> Homeland Security &ndash; Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)<br /> Intelligence &ndash; Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)<br /> Judiciary &ndash; Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)<br /> Natural Resources &ndash; Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)<br /> Oversight and Government Reform &ndash; Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)<br /> Rules &ndash; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)<br /> Science, Space, and Technology &ndash; Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)<br /> Small Business &ndash; Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)<br /> Transportation and Infrastructure &ndash; Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)<br /> Veterans&rsquo; Affairs &ndash; Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)<br /> Ways and Means &ndash; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)<br /> <br /> &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/25/2014 11:02:21 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297233&amp;issueID=34994 APPA to offer courses in February on cost of service, performing a utility financial check-up, and accounting http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296943&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association's <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Winter Education Institute</a>, set for Feb. 2-6, 2015 in Anaheim, California, will offer a series of courses designed for accounting, cost of service, and finance personnel at public power utilities. <br /> <br /> The accounting courses provide training at basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Courses include: <br /> <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39353&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Public Utility Accounting</a> &ndash; Feb. 2-3 <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39354&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Work Order and Asset Management Accounting</a> &ndash; Feb. 4 <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39355&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Advanced Public Utility Accounting</a> &ndash; Feb. 5-6 <br /> <br /> The finance classes are designed for finance personnel and rate analysts, as well as policymakers and general managers who are involved in financial planning and the pricing of electric utility services. The courses include: <br /> <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39356&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Basic Cost of Service &amp; Retail Rate Design</a> &ndash; Feb. 2-3 <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39357&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Intermediate Cost of Service &amp; Retail Rate Design</a> &ndash; Feb. 3-4 <br /> &bull; <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39358&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Advanced Cost of Service &amp; Retail Rate Design</a> &ndash; Feb. 5 <br /> &bull; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39359&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Performing a Utility Financial Check-Up</a> &ndash; Feb. 6 <br /> <br /> Courses can be taken either individually or together, as a series. All classes are highly interactive: instructors incorporate real-life public power examples, discussion, and calculations. Participants also work through exercises and use computer models and actual rate forms in the finance classes. <br /> <br /> Attendees can earn professional certification credits by attending these courses. Each two-day class provides 15 continuing professional education credits (CPEs); one-and-a-half-day classes are worth 12 CPEs; and one-day courses are worth 7.5 CPEs. APPA also offers continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs). <br /> <br /> The Winter Institute also features nine other education course on the following topics: customer service management, public power leadership, new OSHA regulations for public power and underground distribution systems. There is a $100 discount for those who attend more than one course (or register with a colleague) and a $50 early registration discount for those who register by Jan. 12. All events will be held at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort in California.<br /> <br /> For more information, visit the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">APPA website</a>, or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/24/2014 9:19:29 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296943&amp;issueID=34994 Short takes. . . http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297304&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced on Nov. 25 that it will hold a confirmation hearing on Dec. 4 to consider the nomination of Colette Honorable for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. </span>Honorable is currently chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and is a member of the executive committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She was nominated by President Obama earlier this year to replace Commissioner John Norris, who left the commission to join the Department of Agriculture. Her nomination is not considered controversial. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/25/2014 2:31:41 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297304&amp;issueID=34994 Infographic: Turkey Power http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297307&issueID=34994 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34994>Wednesday, November 26, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> <table align="left" width="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 256px; height: 50px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img align="left" src="http://appanet.files.cms-plus.com/Media/images/Thanksgiving Infographic Image 250 pixels.jpg" title="" alt="" style="margin-bottom: 4px; margin-right: 8px;" /><br /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td><br /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>Happy Thanksgiving from the American Public Power Association. <br /> <br /> We created an <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/files/Media/images/34-Gobble-How-Much-Power-for-Turkey-Day-v6.jpg">infographic</a> to show how much electricity the U.S. might gobble up to cook our turkeys this year. Feel free to share with your customers via your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/25/2014 4:14:37 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297307&amp;issueID=34994 NERC report says prolonged cold weather events may cause increase in generator unavailability http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297039&issueID=34993 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34993>Tuesday, November 25, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Prolonged cold weather events in parts of North America may cause an increase in generator unavailability due to natural gas and coal constraints, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation said in a report released on Nov. 21 detailing its 2014-2015 winter reliability assessment.<br /> <br /> This is one of several key findings included in the report, which is an independent assessment of the reliability of the bulk electricity supply and demand in North America from December 2014 through February 2015. Another key finding is that resources are adequate to meet 2014-2015 forecast normal winter peak demand.<br /> <br /> "It provides a high&#8208;level reliability assessment of the 2014&ndash;2015 winter resource adequacy and highlights individual Assessment Areas&rsquo; operating challenges," NERC said. NERC independently assessed demand and generation projections based on data provided by industry.<br /> <br /> "A continuing trend in recent NERC long term reliability assessments and the topic of two published NERC special assessments is the increase of gas-fired generation coupled with the reduction in fuel diversity across the overall resource portfolio," NERC said.<br /> <br /> NERC said that while the extent of this trend varies from region to region, the concerns are high priority in areas where: (1) power generators rely on interruptible gas pipeline transportation; (2) natural gas interstate pipelines are constrained to meet demand beyond what has been contracted and committed; and (3) gas use for power generation is increasing. <br /> <br /> NERC noted that its special assessment on gas concluded that as natural-gas-fired generation increases, more attention is needed from system planners and operators to better understand the interaction between the electric and gas systems.<br /> <br /> The assessment said that natural gas is the largest fuel type, comprising up to 43 percent of the total 2014&ndash;2015 NERC-wide winter capacity on-peak resource mix. Limited gas pipeline infrastructure has been constructed compared to new gas-fired generation. <br /> <br /> The U.S. capacity from gas-fired generation increased by almost 5 GW since last year, but only 252 miles of new pipeline (4.5 Bcf) were added in 2012&mdash;the lowest pipeline addition since 1997. More than half of new pipeline projects that entered commercial service in 2012 and 2013 were in the Northeast, but most of that capacity was added outside of New England&rsquo;s constrained areas, where there is an increasing reliance on gas-fired generation, the electric reliability organization said.<br /> <br /> "Announcements for new pipeline capacity from 2014 through 2016 show infrastructure enhancements to pipelines in the Northeast, but these projects do not alleviate the constraints across the New England interface. Therefore, from a natural gas availability perspective, similar conditions as last year can be expected. For New England, this includes the potential for natural gas interruption to gas-fired generators and a reliance on backup fuel (generally oil) to meet peak demand," the assessment went on to say.<br /> <br /> NERC said that the gas and electric industries have made substantial progress to enhance coordination and develop strategies to address bulk power system reliability concerns. NERC&rsquo;s 2014 long-term reliability assessment highlights industry progress and efforts to address the concerns relating to natural gas generation, it added (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42645">Nov. 13, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> In terms of recommendations in this area, the assessment said that industry should review and supplement, if needed, short-term operational plans in preparation for this winter. "Assessment areas with high penetration of gas-fired generation should have operational plans in place to address and manage potential reliability concerns, such as fuel deliverability constraints," the report said.<br /> <br /> NERC "should specifically consider fuel availability and deliverability and integrate both into resource adequacy assessments. In parts of North America, where natural gas is constrained due to the lack of available pipeline capacity, gas-fired generation without a firm fuel contract or other back-up fuel is essentially energy limited. Therefore, similar to other energy-limited resources (e.g., wind, hydro), resource adequacy assessments should also consider the fuel and capacity constraints of gas-fired generation."<br /> <br /> Another key finding is that an increased reliance on gas-fired generation requires new approaches for assessing reliability.<br /> <br /> NERC noted in the assessment that higher-than-expected forced outages and higher-than-expected forecast peak demand were observed during the polar vortex of early 2014, particularly for natural-gas-fired generators. <br /> <br /> As a result of the polar vortex, NERC examined this winter&rsquo;s resource adequacy for the affected areas to evaluate their reserve margins, using demand and generation forced outage assumptions similar to those from the polar vortex.<br /> <br /> To examine the potential impacts of a similar event for the 2014&ndash;2015 and the 2015&ndash;2016 winter periods, NERC ran scenarios on select assessment areas that experienced significant loss of generation during the 2014 polar vortex event. "Based on the results of the scenarios, if similar extreme weather events occur in the future, projected reserve margins are lower and thus could potentially impact" bulk power system reliability, the assessment said. <br /> <br /> With respect to recommendations in this area, the assessment said that NERC, regional entities and the industry should assess scenarios that reflect severe winter conditions.<br /> <br /> Also, NERC and regions should begin developing new approaches for assessing resource adequacy reliability in extreme weather conditions, such as calculating a winter-specific Reference Margin Level for a reserve margin analysis.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/24/2014 1:09:23 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=297039&amp;issueID=34993 FERC approves merger between Exelon and Pepco Holdings http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296882&issueID=34993 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34993>Tuesday, November 25, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 20 issued an order approving the merger of Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc.<br /> <br /> In an analysis of the merger, FERC looked at, among other things, the effect of the transaction on horizontal and vertical competition.<br /> <br /> Monitoring Analytics, the independent market monitor for the PJM Interconnection, previously agreed that the proposed merger does not raise horizontal market power concerns with respect to power generation.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The monitor, which was one of several parties to comment on the proposed deal, noted that the proposed merger will combine the assets of Exelon, a large generation owner and a large transmission owner in PJM, with the assets of Pepco Holdings, a large transmission owner in PJM.<br /> <br /> The monitor said that, while both Exelon and Pepco Holdings have substantial portfolios of demand-side resources that participate in the PJM energy markets and capacity markets, and that the deal would significantly increase the combined company&rsquo;s market share among demand-side resource providers, the companies had not provided an analysis showing the effects of combining the demand-side resource portfolios. <br /> <br /> In its order, FERC said that the proposed merger "will not have an adverse effect on horizontal competition in the generation market."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> With respect to the PJM monitor&rsquo;s contention that the companies&rsquo; substantial portfolio of demand response resources requires further analysis, FERC pointed out that the companies offered an analysis that included Pepco Holdings&rsquo; demand response resources as a capacity product participating in the PJM Base Residual Auction. <br /> <br /> "We find that the combination of the approximately 700 MW controlled by Pepco Holdings with the approximately 26,000 MW already controlled by Exelon constitutes only a small increase in market concentration for the capacity product and, therefore, will not have an adverse effect on competition in the PJM capacity market," FERC said in the order.<br /> <br /> Moreover, although the monitor "submits that no information has been provided regarding the effects of the combination of applicants&rsquo; capacity market-based demand response resources on the energy market," a filing by the companies at FERC on Sept. 19 provided additional information regarding the limited ability of Pepco Holdings&rsquo; demand response resources to participate in the PJM energy market, FERC added. <br /> <br /> "Applicants indicate that Pepco Holdings has been called upon only twice since 2010 to reduce demand under the Emergency Demand Response Program and has made offers in the Economic Program during a total of 31 hours since 2010," the order said.<br /> <br /> At the same time, FERC noted that the monitor raised additional concerns related to the impact of the merging companies&rsquo; collective capacity market-based demand response resources on prices in the energy market following PJM dispatch. <br /> <br /> Specifically, the monitor is worried that the combination of Exelon&rsquo;s and Pepco Holdings&rsquo; capacity market-based demand response resources could impact prices in the PJM energy market because these demand response resources are subject to significantly higher offer caps than generation resources and are eligible to set energy market prices in periods when all asset owners are pivotal.<br /> <br /> FERC noted that in a May 2014 order, it accepted several PJM open access transmission tariff revisions to promote the operational flexibility and efficiency of capacity market-based demand response resources. <br /> <br /> "While we recognize that the combination of Exelon&rsquo;s and Pepco Holdings&rsquo; capacity market-based demand response resources increases the market share owned by" the companies, FERC said it believes that recent improvements to the dispatch and pricing of capacity market-based demand response resources "will encourage competition among providers and lead to more efficient dispatch going forward."<br /> <br /> FERC said that it would continue to address the broader issues raised by the monitor in ongoing proceedings.<br /> <br /> The monitor also claimed that the deal raised horizontal market power issues in transmission, but FERC said that the combination of the utilities "does not materially lessen" the pool of transmission developers.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, FERC said that the deal "will not have an adverse effect on vertical competition from the combination of generation and upstream natural gas inputs." FERC said it is satisfied that the proposed merger will not give applicants the ability to withhold natural gas transportation to disadvantage rival generation as a result of the proposed merger. <br /> <br /> The companies expect to complete the merger in the second or third quarter of 2015.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/22/2014 9:50:21 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296882&amp;issueID=34993 New OSHA rule on the reporting of work-related injuries goes into effect in January http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296752&issueID=34993 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34993>Tuesday, November 25, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> A <a href="https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/NAICSReporting.pdf">new rule</a> from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 tightens a requirement for employers to notify OSHA about certain workplace injuries.<br /> <br /> This new rule is separate from OSHA's new standards for electric power generation transmission and distribution work that were announced last April. (That rule, which includes requirements for electrical protective equipment and revises utility workplace safety standards, became effective on July 10, 2014, although several provisions have compliance dates in 2015. APPA is offering a <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35914&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Feb. 2 course</a> on the new safety rule.)<br /> <br /> The new rule, which was announced on Sept. 11, 2014, falls under OSHA&rsquo;s record-keeping regulations. All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new reporting requirements for severe on-the-job injuries and illnesses.<br /> <br /> Under the revised rule, "employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours," the agency said.<br /> <br /> Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees, the agency said in a <a href="https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&amp;p_id=26673">news release</a>. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule. <br /> <br /> OSHA has set up a <a href="https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/">webpage</a> to provide guidance on the revised rule.<br /> <br /> In an article in an agency newsletter, <span style="font-style: italic;">OSHA QuickTakes,</span> OSHA said employers will have three options for reporting the severe incidents. They can call their nearest OSHA office during business hours; call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742); or file a report online.<br /> <br /> More information and resources, including a YouTube video, are posted on <a href="https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/">OSHA&rsquo;s Web page</a> on the updated reporting requirements. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/20/2014 4:52:38 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296752&amp;issueID=34993 Pass cybersecurity bill, APPA and nine other electricity groups tell Senate leaders http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296822&issueID=34992 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34992>Monday, November 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />In the remaining days of the 113th Congress, the nation's lawmakers should pass a Senate bill called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA), the American Public Power Association and nine other electricity organizations said Nov. 20.<br /> <p>In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, APPA and the others said the cybersecurity bill, S. 2588, "is broadly supported by the business and critical infrastructure owner-operator community." <br /> </p> <p>"Enactment of information sharing legislation is urgently needed to further enhance communication among the federal government, the North American electric power sector, and other critical infrastructure sectors, which in turn will improve our ability to defend against cyber attacks," said the 10 electricity sector groups. <br /> </p> <p>Joining APPA in signing the letter were: the Canadian Electricity Association, Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association, GridWise Alliance, Large Public Power Council, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, Transmission Access Policy Study Group, and Utilities Telecom Council.</p> <p>"Every day, the industry faces threats that, if not immediately addressed and remedied, could have operational consequences," the electricity groups told Reid and McConnell. "We must and do respond swiftly and thoroughly to these threats to ensure the protection of the electric grid and our ability to maintain reliable electric service to customers."</p> <p>If the bill passes the Senate before the 113<sup>th</sup> Congress adjourns in December, it could be conferenced with H.R. 624, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and be sent to President Obama for his signature. <br /> </p> <p>"Although the electric power sector already has in place mandatory and enforceable reliability and cybersecurity standards, the need for government and industry to better share actionable security information in a timely, confidential manner remains," they wrote. "The more thorough our understanding of the threats our sector faces, the more quickly and effectively we can prevent or mitigate cyber attacks."</p> <p>S. 2588, a bipartisan bill that easily passed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, "provides the essential mechanisms and protections for improved information exchange to occur," said APPA and the others.</p> <p>"The electric power sector takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain the reliability, safety, and security of the electric grid," they told the Senate leaders. Beyond the mandatory reliability and cybersecurity standards already in place, the industry also uses a "defense-in-depth" mitigation strategy against cyber and other threats, they added. <br /> </p> <p>They noted that the electric power sector also is working with the federal government through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council and the Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center to improve the flow of and access to information. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a></p> <p><a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org"><br /> </a></p></p> 11/21/2014 11:16:15 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296822&amp;issueID=34992 FERC details enforcement priorities for fiscal year 2015, activities in fiscal year 2014 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296788&issueID=34992 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34992>Monday, November 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission&rsquo;s Office of Enforcement in fiscal year 2015 will continue to target fraud and manipulation, serious violations of mandatory reliability standards, anticompetitive conduct "and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets," FERC said on Nov. 20.<br /> <br /> At the commission&rsquo;s regular monthly open meeting, FERC staff unveiled a 2014 report on enforcement. The report was prepared by the FERC Office of Enforcement&rsquo;s four divisions: Investigations, Audits, Energy Market Oversight, and Analytics and Surveillance.<br /> <br /> Among other things, the report said that in fiscal year 2014, investigations staff opened 17 new investigations and brought 15 pending investigations to closure with no action or settlement. Staff obtained settlements resulting in almost $25 million in civil penalties and disgorgement of $4 million plus interest in unjust profits. All settlements included provisions requiring the subjects to enhance compliance programs and periodically report back to the Office of Enforcement regarding the results of those enhancements.<br /> <br /> FERC&rsquo;s audits and accounting staff reviewed the conduct of regulated entities through 19 financial and operational audits of public utilities and natural gas pipelines, resulting in 162 recommendations for corrective action and refunds and recoveries totaling more than $11.7 million.<br /> <br /> The report noted that during the fiscal year, FERC approved settlement of an investigation of a self-reported violation of the commission&rsquo;s anti-manipulation rule, the first self-report of this kind to result in a commission-approved settlement. <br /> <br /> Launched by a self-report by Direct Energy Services LLC, FERC staff investigated whether Direct Energy manipulated natural gas prices at three hubs in 2011 and 2012. Staff ultimately concluded that Direct Energy engaged in manipulation in May 2012 at Algonquin and Transco Zone 6 to benefit its related financial positions. <br /> <br /> "Direct Energy stipulated to the facts (without admitting that it committed a violation), and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000, to disgorge $31,935, and to continue implementing its existing compliance measures, which include periodic review of its employees&rsquo; trading conduct," the report noted. "Importantly, Direct Energy received a relatively small civil penalty and disgorgement payments due to its self-reporting, strong compliance program, quick action, and full cooperation with Enforcement&rsquo;s investigation."<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, FERC market oversight staff in fiscal year 2014 continued to analyze market fundamentals, including significant trends and developments, market structure and operations to identify market anomalies, flawed market rules and potentially improper behavior by market participants. Market oversight staff also presented its annual State of the Markets report, assessing significant events of the previous year, and the market oversight staff also continued ensuring compliance with various Commission forms and reports, FERC said.<br /> <br /> FERC analytics and surveillance staff reviewed instances of potential misconduct and referred matters to Investigations staff. <br /> <br /> FERC said it also continued to enhance its ability to conduct surveillance of the natural gas and electric markets and to analyze individual market participant behavior by working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to receive that agency&rsquo;s large trader report data. <br /> <br /> At the meeting, FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur noted that this is the first annual report since FERC signed a memorandum of understanding with the CFTC. She asked commission staff to comment on how FERC has utilized the trading data that FERC has been receiving from the CFTC.<br /> <br /> "The large trader report that we have started receiving from the CFTC has been very helpful in helping us discover potential market manipulation and market misconduct," a FERC staff member said. "It&rsquo;s been particularly useful in assisting" FERC staff in determining whether a market participant has the financial incentive to manipulate a FERC-jurisdictional market, the staff member said. <br /> <br /> Larry Gasteiger, acting director of FERC&rsquo;s Office of Enforcement, discussed the CFTC-FERC MOU in prepared testimony for a Nov. 21 Senate hearing.<br /> <br /> "So far this year, the implementation of the MOU has assisted FERC&rsquo;s investigative efforts," Gasteiger said in the testimony, which was prepared for a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing examining Wall Street bank involvement with physical commodities. The subcommittee falls under the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.<br /> <br /> He noted that FERC this year began receiving a daily feed of data from the CFTC&rsquo;s large trader report, which includes participant-level open financial positions for certain energy products. <br /> <br /> The large trader report "has proven to be very useful to our surveillance work, especially for identifying potentially manipulative conduct," Gasteiger said in the prepared testimony. Going forward, he said, the large trader report "will continue to be a significant resource for our surveillance and enforcement efforts."<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, FERC on Nov. 20 also noted that its analytics and surveillance staff led an extensive review of the polar vortex events that occurred in January and February 2014 to determine whether potentially manipulative trading behavior contributed to high natural gas prices and elevated electricity costs.<br /> <br /> FERC enforcement staff on Oct. 16 said that while they found no evidence of widespread or sustained market manipulation during severe cold weather events in the winter of 2013-2014, enforcement staff disclosed that they have opened three informal, non-public investigations into discrete market participant actions (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42439">Oct. 17, 2014</a>).&mdash;<a href="http://pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/21/2014 9:08:44 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296788&amp;issueID=34992 SRP reaches deal for solar energy facility, saying it shows that community-scale solar is increasingly affordable http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296751&issueID=34992 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34992>Monday, November 24, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Salt River Project in Arizona on Nov. 20 announced a 21-year power purchase agreement for 45 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy from a facility to be built near Florence, Arizona, in 2015.&nbsp; SRP will purchase all of the solar energy produced at the Sandstone Solar Power Plant. The plant will be built and owned by independent power producer sPower, headquartered in Salt Lake City.<br /> <br /> SRP Deputy General Manager John Sullivan said the price SRP will pay for power from the community-scale solar plant is very near the utility&rsquo;s average cost of energy.<br /> <br /> "This opportunity best represents SRP&rsquo;s goal to acquire the most cost-effective clean, renewable resources for the benefit of all of our customers," said Sullivan.&nbsp; "In time, the price we will pay for energy from the Sandstone Solar Plant will actually be less than some of our traditional resources."<br /> <br /> The 21-year agreement is valued at around $65 million, and the price SRP will pay per kilowatt-hour from the facility is about 5.3 cents.&nbsp; The average on-peak market price for electricity is about 4 cents per kWh.&nbsp; The amount of energy of energy that will be produced at the plant (45 MW) is equivalent to about 10,000 residential installations, SRP said. <br /> <br /> Combined with the Copper Crossing Solar Ranch in Florence, the Queen Creek Solar Farm, and a solar tracking system at ASU Polytechnic Campus in Mesa, Arizona, SRP will soon have about 85 MW of solar energy generated from local community-scale solar facilities, the utility said in a news release.<br /> <br /> The project in Florence will be built on approximately 300 acres and will use more than 500,000 photovoltaic modules mounted on a single-axis tracking system that follows the sun.&nbsp; Officials at sPower plan to have the facility commercially available by December 2015.<br /> <br /> The SRP board of directors has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP&rsquo;s retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020.&nbsp; Currently, SRP is ahead of schedule &ndash; providing more than 12 percent of retail energy needs with sustainable resources, which include solar, wind and geothermal energy, hydro power and conservation and energy-efficiency measures. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/20/2014 4:51:49 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296751&amp;issueID=34992 FERC approves physical security reliability standard submitted by NERC http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296662&issueID=34991 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34991>Friday, November 21, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 20 approved a physical security reliability standard submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).<br /> <br /> Of note is the fact that the final rule does not adopt a directive proposed in a prior notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) related to the ability of applicable governmental authorities (FERC and any other appropriate federal or provincial authorities) to add or remove facilities from an entity&rsquo;s list of critical facilities. Instead, FERC said that it will use its audit authority to determine if any further action by the commission is needed.<br /> <br /> The American Public Power Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Large Public Power Council in September filed comments at FERC related to the physical security reliability standard NOPR issued by FERC in July (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42203">Sept. 11, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> Among other things, the groups urged FERC not to pursue the idea of modifying the 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.<br /> <br /> APPA and the other two groups pointed out that the proposed physical reliability standard required 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 in their comments.<br /> <br /> 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.<br /> <br /> 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. <br /> <br /> Overall, APPA, NRECA and LPPC said that they "appreciate the commission&rsquo;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&nbsp; take steps to reduce grid vulnerabilities against physical attacks. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, FERC&rsquo;s final rule adopts the NOPR proposal to direct NERC to remove wording that the commission believes could narrow the scope and number of identified critical facilities. <br /> <br /> Under this directive, NERC has six months from the effective date of this final rule to remove the word "widespread" or, alternatively, propose modifications that address concerns that the term is unclear with respect to the obligations it imposes on applicable entities, how it would be implemented by applicable entities, and how it would be enforced.<br /> <br /> FERC also adopted the NOPR proposal requiring NERC to submit an informational filing that addresses whether the physical security reliability standard should be applicable to additional control centers, consistent with the scope of critical facilities under other critical infrastructure protection standards. The commission gave NERC two years to do this. <br /> <br /> The commission decided that a second proposed informational filing on the analysis on grid resiliency is not necessary. Instead, it will consider ways for industry to best inform the commission of current and future resiliency efforts, which could take the form of reports and/or technical conferences to address specific areas of concern.<br /> <br /> In other NERC-related action at FERC&rsquo;s regular monthly open meeting, the commission accepted the second performance assessment of NERC, finding that NERC continues to satisfy the statutory and regulatory criteria for certification as the nation's electric reliability organization (ERO). <br /> <br /> The performance assessment highlights NERC&rsquo;s ability to develop and enforce reliability standards and discusses how NERC is improving the performance of, and mitigating risks to, the bulk power system as related to avoidable outages. <br /> <br /> Also, the assessment explains how NERC&rsquo;s compliance monitoring and enforcement efforts have matured over the past five years to provide industry with greater certainty on actions, outcomes, and reliability consequences. <br /> <br /> While accepting the assessment, FERC also directed NERC to take certain actions to improve NERC&rsquo;s effectiveness as the ERO by, among other things, continuing to improve consistency and develop performance and reliability metrics in order to track NERC&rsquo;s operations going forward.<br /> <br /> FERC certified NERC as the ERO on July 20, 2006 and NERC filed its initial performance assessment in 2009, on the three-year anniversary of its certification.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/20/2014 12:23:58 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296662&amp;issueID=34991 FERC directs grid operators to file reports on fuel assurance http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296654&issueID=34991 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34991>Friday, November 21, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 20 directed regional grid operators to file reports on their efforts to address the need for fuel assurance. <br /> <br /> FERC said that fuel assurance describes a broad set of issues in regional transmission organizations and independent system operators that are associated with generator access to sufficient fuel supplies and the firmness of generator fuel arrangements.<br /> <br /> Failure to address this issue now could lead to volatile and high fuel prices or costly RTO/ISO actions to ensure reliability, FERC said. <br /> <br /> The action was taken at the commission&rsquo;s regular monthly open meeting.<br /> <br /> FERC offered some guidance in its order on the types of options that could be pursued. In the capacity markets, RTOs/ISOs could "provide greater price incentives for capacity resources to be available, and impose stiff penalties for failure to perform" or "could take a more administrative approach" and "specifically require that capacity resources have certain fuel arrangements in place to be eligible to provide resource adequacy." In the "energy and ancillary services markets, shortage pricing measures that accurately reflect the value to consumers of avoiding an involuntary curtailment could provide incentives for resources to pursue firmer fuel arrangements."<br /> <br /> FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur acknowledged during discussion of the order that that some RTOs, such as ISO New England and the PJM Interconnection, have already taken steps to address fuel assurance.<br /> <br /> FERC said that fuel assurance was a consistent theme at two recent technical conferences conducted by the commission and has a direct and immediate impact on generator performance and system reliability. <br /> <br /> The first technical conference, which focused on regional centralized capacity markets, took place on Sept. 25, 2013, while the second technical conference, on winter 2013-14 regional market operations and performance, took place April 1, 2014. <br /> <br /> "We learned from the technical conferences, the events of last winter, and our efforts on gas-electric coordination that fuel assurance is critical to ensuring energy markets support reliability at just and reasonable rates," LaFleur said in a commission news release. "This order will provide the Commission with market-specific information that will inform our continued work on this important issue." <br /> <br /> At the meeting, LaFleur said the technical conferences, "and a lot of the other work the commission has done, highlighted a key issue that competitive markets are confronting, which is whether markets are designed &mdash; and whether pricing is designed to ensure &mdash; fuel availability, particularly during times of peak demand so that reliability needs are met."<br /> <br /> FERC&rsquo;s order said that out of the set of issues explored in both conferences, "generator performance and efficient market operations are among the most pressing concerns to the commission."<br /> <br /> Throughout the conferences and subsequent post-technical conference comments, and in continued analysis by the RTOs/ISOs and FERC, generator access to sufficient fuel supplies and the firmness of generator fuel arrangements "has been identified as a significant issue contributing to poor generator performance and inefficient market operations."<br /> <br /> FERC also noted in the order that commenters in the technical conferences questioned whether the existing markets value fuel assurance. "In particular, commenters raised concerns as to whether the current resource adequacy constructs in place in the RTOs/ISOs, including the eastern centralized capacity markets, can address these significant challenges effectively," FERC said. <br /> <br /> Commenters raised specific concerns "focused on the ability of capacity markets to address a range of reliability and operational needs, including valuing firmer fuel supplies," the order added.<br /> <br /> "As currently designed, the eastern capacity market auctions establish capacity prices based on economic bids of sellers, but do not directly take into account generator type, fuel supply arrangements, or operational characteristics," FERC said.<br /> <br /> Fuel assurance "is a key to ensuring generator performance, which directly contributes to the overall reliability of the grid and just and reasonable rates. Failure to address fuel assurance could lead RTOs/ISOs to take costly actions to ensure reliability," the commission said.<br /> <br /> "Failure to address fuel assurance could also result in volatile (and often high) prices to consumers when generation resources are forced to procure fuel supplies at the last minute in a volatile natural gas market," the order went on to say. The events of winter 2013/2014 "provide an example of this potential. To the extent that energy and ancillary services markets, centralized capacity markets, or resource adequacy constructs fail to address fuel assurance concerns, reforms may be necessary to ensure that these markets or resource adequacy constructs meet their reliability objectives and result in just and reasonable wholesale rates." <br /> <br /> The reports by the RTOs and ISOs are due within 90 days of the date of the Nov. 20 order. The reports "should describe the nature of fuel assurance concerns" specific to each RTO or ISO's region, FERC said, and "should also describe the comprehensive strategy or strategies the RTO/ISO has implemented or plans to implement to address market and system performance in light of each of its fuel assurance concerns."<br /> <br /> Also, the reports should detail the specific programs and mechanisms that RTOs/ISOs will use to carry out their strategies. <br /> <br /> Following the submission of the reports by the grid operators, there will be a 30-day public comment period.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/20/2014 11:30:44 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296654&amp;issueID=34991 FERC proposes policy on cost recovery for modernizing natural gas facilities http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296603&issueID=34991 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34991>Friday, November 21, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Nov. 20 that it will seek public comment on a proposed policy statement from FERC that would allow interstate natural gas pipelines to recover certain capital expenditures made to modernize pipeline infrastructure. The commission said the proposed policy would allow such costs to be recovered through "surcharge or tracker mechanisms." <br /> <br /> Electric utilities increasingly rely on natural gas as a fuel to generate power, and utilities have been working on better coordination between the electricity and natural gas sectors. In New England, utility leaders have warned for the last several years that inadequate pipeline capacity could lead to a shortage of natural gas for running power plants.<br /> <br /> In conjunction with its regular monthly meeting on Nov. 20, FERC said that, because of regulatory reforms from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, interstate pipelines "likely will face new standards requiring significant capital cost expenditures to enhance the safety and reliability of their systems."<br /> <br /> Under recent Environmental Protection Agency initiatives, these pipelines also may face increased environmental monitoring and compliance costs, as well as a need to replace or repair existing compressors and other facilities, FERC said. <br /> <br /> The proposed policy statement is meant to ensure that the commission&rsquo;s existing ratemaking policies "do not create barriers to the ability of pipelines to expedite needed or required upgrades and improvements," FERC said. <br /> <br /> Under the proposed policy statement, a pipeline seeking a cost-recovery surcharge would have to meet five standards:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The pipeline&rsquo;s base rates must have been recently reviewed through a proceeding under the Natural Gas Act or through a collaborative effort between the pipeline and its customers.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Eligible costs must be limited to one-time capital costs incurred to meet safety or environmental regulations, and the pipeline must specifically identify each capital investment to be recovered by the surcharge.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Captive customers must be protected from cost shifts if the pipeline loses shippers or increases discounts to retain business.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;There must be a periodic review to ensure rates remain just and reasonable.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The pipeline must work collaboratively with shippers to seek their support for any surcharge proposal.<br /> <br /> Comments on the proposed policy statement will be due 30 days from the date of the proposal&rsquo;s publication in the <span style="font-style: italic;">Federal Register.</span> &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org"></a><br /> </p> 11/20/2014 10:36:28 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296603&amp;issueID=34991 APPA asks to intervene in RICE case before District of Columbia Circuit http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296498&issueID=34990 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34990>Thursday, November 20, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association has asked to intervene in a court case over the Environmental Protection Agency&rsquo;s final amended rule on reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), in the latest round of court fights over the RICE rule.<br /> <br /> In a motion filed Nov. 12 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, APPA said it would like to intervene in the case,<span style="font-style: italic;"> PSEG Power LLC and Calpine Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency</span>, on the side of the EPA.<br /> <br /> APPA members own and operate electric generation units powered by reciprocating internal combustion engines that are subject to the final rule. APPA filed comments with the EPA in the underlying rulemaking, and supported the criteria in the final rule for operating these engines for up to 50 hours per year in non-emergency situations. <br /> <br /> "APPA believes these limited operations are essential and the flexibility provided in the Final Rule is necessary," the association said in its Nov. 12 motion to intervene in the PSEG case. The court granted APPA's motion to intervene on Nov. 17. <br /> <br /> Earlier this year, a coalition of utility groups, including APPA, intervened in a different case before the same federal appeals court to say that the EPA acted reasonably in amending its emission standards for small diesel generators. In an April 4 joint brief in that case, <span style="font-style: italic;">Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, et al., v. EPA</span>, the coalition asked the D.C. Circuit to reject challenges to the amended RICE rule. The coalition also said the agency acted reasonably in establishing a regulatory subcategory for units located in sparely populated areas, given the difficulty of accessing engines in such locations (see the <a href="http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v2.asp?aid=263299&amp;issueID=34838">April 18, 2014 Public Power Daily</a>). <br /> <br /> Litigation over the RICE rule has a long history. After the publication of the final amended RICE rule in January 2013, a number of parties brought suit against the EPA. APPA filed a motion for leave to intervene in the court litigation.The motion was granted, and APPA joined with other parties in a brief supporting EPA in this case. Oral argument was heard on Sept. 26, 2014, and a decision is expected this winter. <br /> <br /> Separately, the EPA has granted reconsideration of the rule on three issues:<br /> <br /> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Timing for compliance with the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel requirement for emergency compression ignition engines;<br /> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Timing and required information for the reporting requirement for emergency engines; and<br /> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Conditions for operation for up to 50 hours per calendar year in non-emergency situations.<br /> <br /> Court challenges to the reconsidered issues were held in abeyance pending the outcome of the reconsideration process. In August 2014, the EPA decided not to change its 2013 final amended rule (see the <a href="http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v2.asp?aid=280361&amp;issueID=34921">Aug. 15, 2014 Public Power Daily</a>). <br /> <br /> The court litigation held in abeyance has now been reinvigorated, and a new court appeal -- the PSEG case -- was filed by generators opposing the 50-hour element of the final amended rule. &nbsp;&mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/19/2014 2:22:16 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296498&amp;issueID=34990 Moody's cites NYPA's disciplined financial practices in upgrading credit rating http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296423&issueID=34990 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34990>Thursday, November 20, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Nov. 13 said that an upgrade by Moody&rsquo;s Investors Service of NYPA&rsquo;s revenue bonds, from Aa2 to Aa1, will help to ensure continued low borrowing costs by the statewide public power utility.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The action by Moody&rsquo;s on Nov. 12 came only one week after a similar action by Standard and Poor&rsquo;s, NYPA noted (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42648">Nov. 13, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> In August, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook of NYPA from stable to positive, mirroring a recent "triple play" of upgrades to New York State&rsquo;s overall credit rating from the same "Big Three" ratings services, for lower state borrowing costs, NYPA noted.<br /> <br /> "For NYPA, the positive assessments contribute to the multi-dimensional role that it plays for supplying clean, economical electricity for job-producing businesses, in modernizing key electricity infrastructure and for advancing the state&rsquo;s energy efficiency," the power authority said.<br /> <br /> Moody's upgraded NYPA&rsquo;s approximately $1.1 billion of revenue bonds outstanding to Aa1 from Aa2 and affirmed its short-term ratings for commercial paper and variable rate bonds at P-1 and VMIG 1, respectively. Moody&rsquo;s outlook for NYPA is stable. "The stable outlook considers NYPA's strong management of its financial operations, limited leverage and favorable cost position," Moody&rsquo;s said.<br /> <br /> Moody&rsquo;s said that the upgrade reflects "disciplined financial practices that will enable NYPA to expand on its strategic objectives of providing low cost, reliable, clean energy in a manner" that encourages business development in the state of New York.<br /> <br /> Also, the ratings agency said that NYPA&rsquo;s credit metrics "are among the strongest of all U.S. public power electric utilities with generation ownership in our rated universe."&nbsp; NYPA "is an integral part of state supported plans to reinforce and modernize New York's electric grid and promote economic development and efficiency," Moody&rsquo;s said.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;As the owner of more than 3,200 MW of upstate hydroelectric facilities, and about a third of the state's high-voltage transmission facilities, NYPA "is uniquely positioned to provide very low-cost, clean energy in support of state goals," the ratings agency said. <br /> <br /> The authority's "strong balance sheet positions it well to continue to invest in the modernization and expansion of its system while maintaining solid financial metrics," Moody&rsquo;s said. <br /> <br /> NYPA said that it appreciates the positive ratings reports that it has received and will continue its focus on "strong fiscal discipline and operational excellence."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI<br /> </a><br /> </p> 11/19/2014 11:21:38 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296423&amp;issueID=34990 TVA reports more than $11 billion in operating revenues in fiscal 2014 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296499&issueID=34990 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34990>Thursday, November 20, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Tennessee Valley Authority on Nov. 17 reported more than $11 billion in operating revenues in fiscal 2014, resulting in $469 million in net income. TVA noted that it overcame a 2.4 percent decline in total sales to record its highest net income year since 2010.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> "We had a strong financial year in 2014 highlighted by further improvements in TVA&rsquo;s operating and maintenance costs, an area we have been acutely focused on over the last two years," TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in a news release. "We have taken considerable strides in our efforts to reduce our controllable costs, our O&amp;M costs, to align with our revenue and growth expectations for the future," he added.<br /> <br /> TVA said that it continued to make investments in its asset portfolio in fiscal year 2014, while also reducing debt using both cash on hand and cash from operations.<br /> <br /> Sales to local power companies were moderately higher in 2014 as compared with 2013, as weather favorably impacted retail demand, particularly in the polar vortex last winter. This increase was also due to, among other things, some underlying economic activity. <br /> <br /> Growth in sales to local power companies partially offset lower sales to directly served industrial customers, as TVA saw the final year-over-year impact from the loss of U.S. Enrichment Corp.&rsquo;s operations in Paducah, Ky., formerly TVA&rsquo;s largest directly served customer.<br /> <br /> Total revenues advanced nearly 2 percent in 2014 compared with the prior year. The increase was primarily due to higher base revenues attributable to more sales volume to local power companies and a non-fuel base rate increase that became effective Oct. 1, 2013. Somewhat offsetting the increase were lower fuel revenues resulting from the decrease in sales to directly served industries.<br /> <br /> Fuel expense decreased $90 million in 2014 compared with 2013, primarily due to the timing of TVA&rsquo;s fuel cost recovery mechanism and a reduction in sales volume, but was somewhat offset by higher purchased power costs in 2014. <br /> <br /> Operating and maintenance expense decreased $87 million in 2014 compared to 2013, largely due to a $122 million decrease related to TVA&rsquo;s costs savings initiatives.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI </a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/19/2014 2:40:22 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296499&amp;issueID=34990 ERCOT voices reliability concerns related to EPA plan to curb emissions from existing power plants http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296251&issueID=34989 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34989>Wednesday, November 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Electric Reliability Council of Texas in a Nov. 17 report said that its primary concern with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants is that, given the ERCOT region&rsquo;s market design and existing transmission infrastructure, "the timing and scale of the expected changes needed to reach the CO2 emission goals could have a harmful impact on reliability." <br /> <br /> Specifically, implementation of the EPA plan in the ERCOT region, "particularly to meet the plan&rsquo;s interim goal, is likely to lead to reduced grid reliability for certain periods and an increase in localized grid challenges," ERCOT said in its analysis of the impacts of the plan.<br /> <br /> ERCOT has evaluated the potential implications of the proposed plan for grid reliability and conducted a modeling analysis of the impacts to generation resources and electricity costs in the ERCOT region. <br /> <br /> "Based on this analysis, ERCOT anticipates that implementation" of the proposed plan will have a significant impact on the planning and operation of the ERCOT grid. <br /> <br /> ERCOT estimates that the proposed CO2 emissions limitations will result in the retirement of between 3,300 MW and 8,700 MW of coal generation capacity, could result in transmission reliability issues due to the loss of generation resources in and around major urban centers, and will strain ERCOT&rsquo;s ability to integrate new intermittent renewable generation resources. <br /> <br /> The EPA plan "will also result in increased energy costs for consumers in the ERCOT region by up to 20% in 2020, without accounting for the costs of transmission upgrades, procurement of additional ancillary services, energy efficiency investments, capital costs of new capacity, and other costs associated with the retirement or decreased operation of coal-fired capacity in ERCOT," the report said.<br /> <br /> There is a "natural pace of change in grid resources due to advancing cost effective technologies and changing market conditions," the report said. "This pace can be accelerated, but there is a limit to how fast this change can occur within acceptable reliability constraints. It is unknown based on the information currently available whether compliance with the proposed rule can be achieved within applicable reliability criteria and with the current market design," ERCOT said.<br /> <br /> But the report said that there are certain grid reliability and management challenges that ERCOT will face as a result of the resource mix changes that the proposed rule will induce:<br /> <br /> &bull;The anticipated retirement of up to half of the existing coal capacity in the ERCOT region "will pose challenges to reliable operation of the grid in replacing the dispatchable generation capacity and reliability services provided by these resources"; <br /> &bull;Integrating new wind and solar resources "will increase the challenges of reliably operating all resources, and pose costs to procure additional regulating services, improve forecast accuracy, and address system inertia issues"; and <br /> &bull;Accelerated resource mix changes will require major improvements to ERCOT&rsquo;s transmission system, "posing significant costs not considered in EPA&rsquo;s regulatory impact analysis." <br /> <br /> ERCOT said that these issues "highlight the need for the final rule to include a process to effectively manage electric system reliability issues that may arise due to implementation" of the EPA plan, "as well as include more implementation timeline flexibility to address each state&rsquo;s or region&rsquo;s unique market characteristics."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> With respect to the need to manage reliability issues, ERCOT said it supports an ISO/RTO Council proposal for the inclusion of a reliability safety valve process in the context of the CO2 rule, as well the need for states to consult with ISOs and RTOs during the development of state plans.<br /> <br /> The Southwest Power Pool has also analyzed the EPA plan in the context of possible effects on the SPP footprint. Under the current timetable for complying with the proposed rule, the SPP region could face severe overloads leading to cascading outages, SPP said in October (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42398">Oct. 13, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, officials from the PJM Interconnection on Nov. 17 made a presentation to a PJM committee related to a preliminary PJM analysis of the EPA proposed plan. <br /> <br /> The purpose of the preliminary analysis is to offer information regarding the potential effects of the proposed rule on PJM&rsquo;s energy market under specific sets of assumptions including possible changes in the generation mix and levels of energy efficiency. <br /> <br /> In material posted on its website related to the presentation, PJM noted that it is performing a reliability analysis to complement the analysis of market impacts, which should be available by early December.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/18/2014 2:22:31 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296251&amp;issueID=34989 Senators press FERC for hearing tied to ISO New England forward capacity auction http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296295&issueID=34989 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34989>Wednesday, November 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., are urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold a hearing related to an ISO New England forward capacity auction held earlier this year.<br /> <br /> Sanders and Blumenthal in a Nov. 17 letter to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur said that they were writing regarding FERC&rsquo;s "failure to adequately address allegations of market manipulation" during ISO New England&rsquo;s forward capacity auction in February 2014, "costing New England consumers an estimated $1.4 billion or $110 annually per customer if such allegations are found to be true."<br /> <br /> "It is unacceptable for FERC to take no action to protect consumers from overpaying if the allegations of market manipulation are true," wrote Blumenthal and Sanders. "Despite FERC&rsquo;s recent decision to deny the rehearing request" of objecting parties, "we believe that a hearing and opportunity to present arguments and consumer oriented reform of the auction process are necessary to ensure that concerns of market manipulation are sufficiently considered and to restore ratepayer confidence in the regulatory system."<br /> <br /> The lawmakers also decried FERC&rsquo;s decision "to allow the auction results to be validated even while an investigation into potential market manipulation by importers is being conducted." They said that FERC is "required by law to enforce the Federal Power Act in a way that protects consumers and ensures that consumers will pay no more than just and reasonable rates."<br /> <br /> 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.<br /> <br /> FERC on Sept. 16 issued a notice in which the commission said that the results of the ISO&rsquo;s eighth forward capacity auction would go into effect "by operation of law," as opposed to either being accepted, rejected, or suspended and set for a hearing by a FERC order.<br /> <br /> On the same day, FERC issued a decision in which it 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, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42245">Sept. 18, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> More recently, FERC on Oct. 24 dismissed a couple of recent requests that asked the commission to reconsider the Sept. 16 notice. FERC noted that two pleadings, characterized by the filing entities as "requests for rehearing" of the Sept. 16 notice, had been filed. One of those filings was made by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and several Connecticut governmental agencies (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42492">Oct. 23, 2014</a>). But FERC dismissed the pleadings on the grounds that the Sept. 16 action came in the form of a notice, as opposed to a FERC order. &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/18/2014 3:24:27 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296295&amp;issueID=34989 MISO reports that it has ample reserves for this winter http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296116&issueID=34989 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34989>Wednesday, November 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Midcontinent Independent System Operator said Nov. 14 that it is projecting sufficient resources to meet electricity demand this winter across the MISO footprint. Winter demand is predicted to peak at 103.2 gigawatts and 149.8 GW of capacity is anticipated to be available, MISO said in a <a href="https://www.misoenergy.org/Library/Repository/Meeting%20Material/Stakeholder/Workshops%20and%20Special%20Meetings/2014/20141112%20Winter%20Readiness%20Workshop/20141112%20Winter%20Readiness%20Workshop%20Presentation.pdf">report</a>.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The reserve margin is anticipated to be 45.1 percent, or three times the grid operator&rsquo;s reserve requirement of 14.8 percent.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> As winter approaches, MISO <a href="https://www.misoenergy.org/Library/Repository/Communication%20Material/Message%20From%20MISO/MessageFromMISO_Weatherization_20141013.pdf">is urging</a> utilities to weatherize generating units per the recommendations of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.<br /> <br /> Last winter, significant portions of the MISO footprint "experienced extreme weather conditions requiring the implementation of emergency procedures on multiple occasions," the grid operator said. "Continued and improved coordination between the electric industry and natural gas industry is needed to ensure we effectively manage system assets."<br /> <br /> "Last winter MISO saw some of the lowest temperatures in 20 years," said Todd Ramey, vice president for system operations and market services. "Working with our members, we are using lessons learned during those difficult operating conditions to improve our ability to keep the system running during future extreme weather events." <br /> <br /> The grid operator said that it ran a number of contingencies and what-if scenarios, as it prepared its Winter Assessment, to ensure that the region will be able to meet power demand. MISO said it continues to actively engage stakeholders in building on last winter&rsquo;s lessons. <br /> <br /> Among those efforts:<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The "Electric/Gas Coordination Field Trial" established regular communications between real time operations in MISO&rsquo;s control rooms and two natural gas pipeline companies that serve gas-fired generation in the MISO area. MISO is expanding the initiative to all 70-plus pipeline operators that serve gas-fired generation in the region it serves.<br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A real-time mapping tool will show all the pipelines in the footprint and the gas-fired units that are connected to them. <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Work to better synchronize the timetable used to schedule next-day power generation with the different timetable that the pipeline industry uses to schedule next-day gas deliveries. <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A Voluntary Load Management reporting initiative will provide MISO with a more accurate picture of load modifying resource availability in the winter. <br /> <br /> MISO noted that it also is working to ensure that demand response "is accurately priced in the marketplace, and that market signals are not distorted when DR is utilized during the type of extreme weather conditions that occurred last winter." &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/18/2014 9:52:22 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296116&amp;issueID=34989 Clark is appointed to APPA board of directors http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296252&issueID=34989 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34989>Wednesday, November 19, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Fred Clark, president and CEO of the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA), has been appointed to the American Public Power Association's Board of Directors.<br /> <br /> <table align="left" width="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 167px; height: 240px; margin-right: 8px; margin-bottom: 8px; border: medium none;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><img align="left" style="margin-bottom: 8px;" alt="" title="" src="http://appanet.files.cms-plus.com/Media/images/Fred%20Clark%20board%20member%20160%20pixels.jpg" /><br /> </td> </tr> <tr align="center"> <td style="border: medium none;"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-weight: bold;">Fred Clark</span><br /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>The APPA Board of Directors approved Clark&rsquo;s appointment when it met in October. Clark will fill the unexpired term of Austin Carroll, general manager of the Hopkinsville Electric System in Kentucky.<br /> <br /> With the election of Carroll as the new chair-elect of the APPA board, Clark was appointed to fill Carroll&rsquo;s position representing Region 7. Region 7, which is the East South Central area of the United States, includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.<br /> <br /> Clark is one of 30 elected members of the APPA board. He will be up for election to a full term at the 2015 APPA National Conference, scheduled for June 5-10 in Minneapolis, Minn.<br /> <br /> AMEA, located in Montgomery, Alabama, is the wholesale power provider for 11 public power utilities in the state. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/18/2014 2:24:46 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=296252&amp;issueID=34989 New England generator group seeks FERC order that would disqualify DR capacity resources from ISO NE forward capacity auctions http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295739&issueID=34988 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34988>Tuesday, November 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue an order that would direct ISO New England to disqualify all demand response capacity resources from an upcoming forward capacity auction.<br /> <br /> At the same time, the group wants FERC to direct the New England grid operator to revise its transmission, markets and services tariff in order to exclude demand response capacity resources from not only ISO-NE&rsquo;s ninth forward capacity auction, but also all future forward capacity market auctions.<br /> <br /> In its Nov. 14, 2014, complaint NEPGA said that such action is required in light of a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in <span style="font-style: italic;">Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC</span> ("EPSA"), in which the court held that FERC lacks jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act to regulate rates for demand response.<br /> <br /> "Although decided in the context of a rulemaking concerning demand response participation in organized wholesale energy markets, the reasoning of the D.C. Circuit&rsquo;s decision applies equally" to forward capacity markets and other wholesale markets, NEPGA said, "and compels the conclusion that demand response capacity resources cannot lawfully participate as supply" in ISO-NE&rsquo;s ninth forward capacity auction or other forward capacity market auctions. <br /> <br /> "Even assuming arguendo that there were some reasonable basis for interpreting EPSA as being limited to the energy markets, however, demand response capacity resources would still need to be disqualified from supply-side participation" in the ninth forward capacity auction, "because those resources will be unable to fulfill their obligations to submit offers into the day-ahead and real-time energy markets if they clear and assume capacity supply obligations," NEPGA said.<br /> <br /> NEPGA asked FERC to act on or before Jan. 15, 2015 in order to address this issue before the scheduled commencement of the ninth forward capacity auction on Feb. 2, 2015. The auction is for the 2018/2019 capacity commitment period.<br /> <br /> Addressing this issue in advance of the upcoming auction "will ensure that clearing prices are not distorted by the participation of resources that cannot lawfully participate in that auction and that will be unable to fulfill their obligations if selected. It will also help avoid the challenges of attempting to unwind their capacity supply obligations after the auction," NEPGA told FERC.<br /> <br /> "To be clear, it is no answer to suggest, as some may, that the Commission can kick this can down the road by allowing demand response capacity resources to participate in" the upcoming auction "and then making up for the capacity shortfall through reconfiguration auctions to be conducted prior to the 2018/2019 capacity commitment period," NEPGA said.<br /> <br /> The group argued that the damage to the ninth forward capacity auction -- and to "the vast majority of suppliers, whose offers will have cleared in that auction &ndash; will already have been done." It is the forward capacity auctions, "not the reconfiguration auctions, that set the prices received by the vast majority of resources and thereby convey price signals to potential new entrants and existing sellers." FERC "recognized as much in the context of analogous forward capacity auctions conducted" by the PJM Interconnection, NEPGA said.<br /> <br /> Higher prices in reconfiguration auctions will do nothing to offset the impact on suppliers whose resources will have cleared in the ninth forward capacity auction, the group said. "Moreover, shifting potentially significant amounts of capacity from" that auction "into the more thinly-traded reconfiguration auction will simply mean that prices in the latter, like the prices in the former, will be distorted," NEPGA said.<br /> <br /> FirstEnergy earlier this year filed a similar complaint at FERC asking that PJM remove all tariff provisions that allow or require the compensation of demand response as supply in the PJM capacity market and also asking that the results of the last capacity auction, held in May 2014, be recalculated with all demand response resources excluded.<br /> <br /> The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Sept. 17 turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating Order No. 745&nbsp;on demand-response compensation to consumers (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42246">Sept. 18, 2014</a>). But more recently, the appeals court on Oct. 20 approved a request by FERC to delay finalizing the decision that vacated FERC Order No. 745.<br /> <br /> The appeals court on Oct. 20 said that the delay on finalizing the court decision will last through Dec. 16, 2014. The court also stated that if the government seeks "cert" by that date, the stay will remain in place until the Supreme Court concludes its case. At a PJM Interconnection event in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur noted that the decision "whether to apply for certiorari is up to the solicitor general" of the federal government.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI<br /> </a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/16/2014 11:34:23 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295739&amp;issueID=34988 New England, New York winter peak loads expected to rival last winter's: Genscape http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295607&issueID=34988 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34988>Tuesday, November 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The U.S. East Coast is expected to feel the strongest cold anomalies this winter with peak load in the New England region and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) rivaling last winter&rsquo;s peak, said Pedro Mulero, director and demand and wind forecasting for Genscape, in a Nov. 14 blog.<br /> <br /> In the<a href="http://www.genscape.com/blog/winter-forecast-2014-2015-return-polar-vortex"> blog</a>, which focuses on the outlook for the winter 2014-2015, Mulero writes that the upcoming winter will offer a wide variety of weather scenarios, "which may or may not be similar to those we experienced last year. A few of these scenarios, however, could include the return of the dreaded polar vortex."<br /> <br /> Among other things, Mulero examines the outlook for specific parts of the country, starting with the East Coast. "Big cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC should be nearly as cold as last year, which means that peak load for NEPOOL [New England Power Pool] and NYISO will rival last winter's peak."<br /> <br /> Mulero said that this is "all consistent with weak El Nino conditions and an Arctic Oscillation moving into a predominantly negative phase."<br /> <br /> He said that the eastern half of the PJM Interconnection footprint "will be quite cold as well, but the western half, including the Ohio Valley and northern Illinois, will remain only slightly below normal winter temperatures. Therefore, PJM's winter peak should fall short of last winter's peak by roughly 4 GW."<br /> <br /> Turning to the central part of the U.S. (Midwest, Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley), Mulero said that the "heartland of the country will be a bit more varied than the New England region this winter."<br /> <br /> The Genscape official wrote that while the Midwest is expected to have a much milder winter than last year, the Southern Plains and the lower Mississippi Valley are expected to be just as cold as they were last year. <br /> <br /> "The biggest impact for load is the milder Midwest, which is also a direct result of weak El Nino-like conditions: less Arctic air intrusions with sunnier skies and drier air." Peak load should be "a significant 7.5 GW less than last year's peak, which translates into a decrease of almost seven percent."<br /> <br /> Mulero said that cities like Minneapolis and Des Moines, which experienced weather that was seven to nine degrees below average last winter, "will experience a winter more akin to that of 2002-2003, when the average winter temperature was only a half degree below normal." <br /> <br /> The Southwest Power Pool footprint, "resting between the cold and warm anomalies, will see almost as significant of a drop in peak winter load" as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator --&nbsp; 6.6 percent lower than last year.<br /> <br /> The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, "on the contrary, will be colder and rainier than average," which Mulero said was "a classic El Ni&ntilde;o signature for Texas." Daytime highs "will be suppressed, but morning lows will be on the milder side, with clouds and high humidity keeping temperatures from dropping too much at night. This scenario will help keep the season&rsquo;s peak load about 1 GW below last year&rsquo;s peak, even when colder, but much drier conditions prevailed."<br /> <br /> In the West, Mulero said that in California, a "nascent" El Nino will "set up the right conditions for drought relief, with persistent periods of rain and heavy mountain snow."<br /> <br /> This scenario "represents a complete departure from last year's extremely dry season. Not only will it be rainy and humid, but it will also be warmer than a typical winter. This will be the case across most of the Pacific Northwest. Dry, Arctic air will, for the most part, stay away from the western third of the country."<br /> <br /> Genscape is a global provider of real-time data and intelligence for commodity and energy markets.<br /> &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/14/2014 8:29:29 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295607&amp;issueID=34988 APPA offers Customer Service Management Certificate Program in February http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295913&issueID=34988 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34988>Tuesday, November 18, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />APPA will hold its <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38918&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Customer Service Management Certificate Program</a> during the <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Winter Education Institute</a>, Feb. 2-6, 2015, in Anaheim, California. <br /> <br /> Because public power utilities place a high priority on their relationships with their customers, the performance expectation for employees who manage customer service centers is more intense than ever. To help these individuals meet their needs, APPA created a five-day certificate program designed for customer service representatives, managers and supervisors. The curriculum consists of the following five, one-day classes: <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39360&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Electric Utility Industry Overview</a>: Provides a foundation of knowledge on utility operations, integrated resource planning and legislative and regulatory issues facing the industry.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35903&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Management of Successful Customer Service Operations</a>: A course with case studies, data and strategies that support six core factors that have directly contributed to a public power system&rsquo;s quality of service. <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35904&amp;navItemNumber=38913">The Leadership Development Process</a>: A course to teach managers how to motivate employees to achieve successful day-to-day performance. Participants also learn basic tenets of leadership that help create loyalty and improve communication of goals and objectives. <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35905&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems</a>: A review of the latest in customer service technology, including metering, billing, telecommunications, Internet options and other high-tech customer service solutions. <br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=35906&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Utility Collections: The Complete Process</a>: An in-depth analysis of the structure and operations of utility credit and collections, with examples of how utilities in this country and abroad are organized to manage credit risk. It also reviews various customer-focused approaches used for residential, commercial and industrial accounts. The final section includes analysis on different collection activities and advice on the most efficient approach. <br /> <br /> The curriculum content is tailored to public power utilities and provides specific information and strategies that participants can use in their jobs. The classes can be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. Courses are offered only once a year although, as an alternative, they can be offered as in-house classes.<br /> <br /> To earn a Customer Service Management Certificate, participants must complete the required course work and, within two years of taking the courses, pass an online exam and develop a service department assessment and business plan that shows how their utility can use technology, labor and new processes to improve customer service. <br /> <br /> The Winter Education Institute also features courses on accounting, performing a utility financial check-up, cost of service and rate design, underground distribution systems, new OSHA regulations for public power and a five-day Public Power Manager Certificate Program. <br /> <br /> For more information, visit <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> and click on "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley (202/467-2919; <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>). &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/17/2014 12:01:17 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295913&amp;issueID=34988 'Waters of US' rule should be withdrawn, revised and re-proposed, APPA tells federal agencies http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295578&issueID=34987 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34987>Monday, November 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should withdraw their proposed "Waters of the United States" rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the American Public Power Association told the agencies Nov. 13. The rule, issued last March, "broadens the scope of CWA jurisdiction beyond the statutory limits established by Congress and the constitutional limits recognized by the Supreme Court," APPA said. Public comments on the proposed rule were due Nov. 14.<br /> <br /> The rule poses "significant, practical problems" for public power utilities, APPA said. The association recommended that the agencies withdraw the proposed rule, revise it, then propose a new version.<br /> <br /> "APPA believes that the agencies must engage in discussions with stakeholders to develop a revised proposed rule that is more consistent with the available science and with the limits established by Congress and recognized by the Supreme Court," the association said. "If the agencies decide to withdraw the rule, APPA and its members stand ready to participate in redrafting the proposed rule to ensure that it addresses the full environmental, social, and economic impacts for all sections of the CWA beyond Section 404 (e.g. Sections 311, 401, 402)."<br /> <br /> The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers proposed the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule earlier this year to determine which streams, wetlands and other bodies of water are protected under the Clean Water Act (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=40951">Public Power Daily, March 27, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> "Choices made by electric utilities on the types of power plants they utilize and the fuels they need to run such plants, as well as capital investments made in the near-term, dictate the course of electric generation&rsquo;s water use over the long-term," APPA told the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. "The proposed WOTUS rule will significantly impact these decisions." Legal, operational, and financial hurdles posed by the proposed rule "would impose serious compliance problems for electric utilities given the physical nature of water used by the industry in the course of electric utility operations," the association said.<br /> <br /> Many public power utilities and other political subdivisions "provide essential water, wastewater and, at times, storm water control services to their customers," APPA explained. "They have historically been, and will continue to be, supporters of the goals of the Clean Water Act."<br /> <br /> The proposed rule, however, "could serve to impose additional regulatory burdens on these public entities and the local communities they serve without any concomitant environmental benefits," APPA said. The proposed rule "would drastically expand the WOTUS jurisdiction of the agencies, which would subject more utility projects and activities to CWA jurisdiction."<br /> <br /> APPA noted that it is a member of both the Utility Water Activities Group and the Waters Advocacy Coalition. "These two industry groups have submitted comments that make persuasive arguments that the proposed WOTUS rule significantly expands the agencies&rsquo; federal authority and goes well beyond the limits set by Congress and recognized by the Supreme Court," the association said. <br /> <br /> In September, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, a bill supported by APPA that is designed to block the Waters of the U.S. rule. The measure would prohibit the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing the proposed rule, and would prevent them from using the rule as a basis for future administrative actions. It would also prohibit any "guidance" that would expand the scope of waters covered by the Clean Water Act and the agencies&rsquo; interpretive rule, which would broaden regulation of the agricultural community (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42211">Public Power Daily, Sept. 12, 2014</a>). <br /> <br /> In early October, the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy asked the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed rule, saying it would have "a direct and potentially costly impact" on smaller utilities and other small businesses (see <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42357">Public Power Daily, Oct. 6, 2014</a>). &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/14/2014 2:36:40 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295578&amp;issueID=34987 People http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295127&issueID=34987 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34987>Monday, November 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"> <table align="left" width="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 150px; margin-right: 12px; margin-bottom: 12px; border: medium none;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><img width="150" height="225" alt="" title="" src="http://www.publicpower.org/files/Media/images/Stauffer,%20Gary.jpg" /><br /> </td> </tr> <tr align="center"> <td style="border: medium none;"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-weight: bold;">J. Gary Stauffer</span><br /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table></span><span style="font-weight: bold;">J. Gary Stauffer</span>, executive director of the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP Energy) in Lincoln and immediate past chair of the American Public Power Association Board of Directors, will depart from NMPP Energy, effective July 1, 2015. He has worked for the joint action agency for 11 years and has served on the APPA board since 2006. He currently sits on the APPA CEO Climate Change and Generation Policy Task Force and is president of Public Power, Inc. A 12-member joint operating committee, which represents each of the four organizations of NMPP Energy, will conduct a search to find Stauffer&rsquo;s replacement. <br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Joaquin C. Flore</span>s, former general manager of the Guam Power Authority in Hagatna, is no longer with the utility. <span style="font-weight: bold;">John M. Benavente</span>, general manager of consolidated utility services for GPA and the Guam Waterworks Authority, has been appointed interim general manager while GPA seeks a permanent replacement.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;"> <table align="left" width="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 300px; margin-right: 12px; margin-top: 12px; margin-bottom: 12px; border: medium none;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><img width="300" height="250" alt="" title="" src="http://www.publicpower.org/files/Media/images/Marlow.jpg" /><br /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="border: medium none;"><span style="font-size: 8pt;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Marlow Smethurst received the Frank R. Randolph Award at the Indiana Municipal Electric Association&rsquo;s Fall Conference in Mishawaka, Indiana, from Phil Goode, IMEA president and general manager of Crawfordsville Electric Light and Power.</span> Photo courtesy of IMEA</span><br /> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>Marlow Smethurst</span>, superintendent for the Tell City Electric Department and board chairman for the Indiana Municipal Electric Association, will retire at the end of the year. IMEA recognized his 58-year career by awarding him the Frank R. Rudolph Award, the association&rsquo;s most prestigious honor. Named after Francis Rudolph, who was utility manager in Greendale, Indiana, for more than 35 years, the award is given to individuals who make significant contributions to public power in Indiana. Smethurst has worked for the Toledo Edison Company; Hoosier Energy; and the city of Greendale. He joined Tell City Electric in 2000, where he has been the superintendent for 12 years.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Phillip T. Solomon</span>, energy services director for the city of St. George, Utah, will retire Nov. 30. He began his tenure with the city as water and power engineer; deputy director; and director. He served as vice chair and chair of the American Public Power Association&rsquo;s Engineering &amp; Operations Conference Committee, and as a member of APPA&rsquo;s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Panel. <br /> <br /> The Massachusetts Municipal Electric Company in Ludlow elected Peabody Municipal Light Plant General Manager <span style="font-weight: bold;">Glenn Trueira</span> to director of the board. He will complete an expired term that was previously occupied by <span style="font-weight: bold;">Philip W. Sweeney, Jr.</span>, who passed away in May (see June 6 Public Power Daily <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41481">People column</a>). MMWEC also presented its inaugural awards for leadership:<br /> <br /> &bull; Francis H. King Leadership Award to Holyoke Gas and Electric General Manager <span style="font-weight: bold;">James M. Lavelle</span>;<br /> &bull; James E. Baker Service Award to former manager and engineer of the Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant <span style="font-weight: bold;">Gerald P. Skelton</span>; and<br /> &bull; Philip W. Sweeney Public Service Award to Peabody Municipal Light Plant Commissioner <span style="font-weight: bold;">Robert O. Wheatley</span>.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Peter J. Prettyman</span> has joined the Indiana Municipal Power Agency as vice president and general counsel. Previously, he was a litigation attorney with Taft Stettinius and Hollister, LLP.<br /> <br /> </p> 11/12/2014 3:39:05 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295127&amp;issueID=34987 Short takes. . . http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295595&issueID=34987 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34987>Monday, November 17, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">The Senate Republican Conference voted unanimously on Nov. 13 to elect current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to be Senate majority leader for the 114th Congress.</span> Also elected were Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to be majority whip, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., to be Republican Conference chair, &nbsp;and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to be Republican Policy chair.<br /> <br /> </p> 11/14/2014 4:12:28 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295595&amp;issueID=34987 By working together, IT and OT people can improve a utility's security, SMUD official tells APPA Grid Security Summit http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295356&issueID=34986 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34986>Friday, November 14, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> Traditionally, there has been a thick firewall between a utility's information technology (IT) department and its operational technology (OT) department, but the two separate sides can make your utility stronger if they work together, a cybersecurity expert told an American Public Power Association conference on Nov. 12. These days, as IT-style cyber attacks are increasingly aimed at the OT side, people from these two different operations need to help each other, said Scott Saunders, information security officer for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California. <br /> <br /> "OT is the new target," he said, speaking at APPA's Grid Security Summit in Arlington, Va.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> IT people handle things such as email and software, while OT people handle SCADA systems and other industrial control systems, Saunders said. The cultures of the two are different, for good reasons, he said. The IT side, which must make patches on the fly and install software to meet employees' changing needs, tends to be quite open to change. The OT side, on the other hand, tends to be more guarded and wary of changing the existing system, because of the far-reaching consequences that are possible, he said.<br /> <br /> "The risk of change is greater in OT," Saunders said. "Change is common and routine in IT."<br /> <br /> A utility&rsquo;s operating system "used to be closed," he said. "You had to go to it and touch it to change it."<br /> <br /> Now, though, "you can change it from anywhere," Saunders said. That brings a host of conveniences, but also makes your system more vulnerable, he said.<br /> <br /> "As we connect things up, we increase our attack landscape," he said.<br /> <br /> There is a lot of talk these days about the convergence of IT and OT, but that does not mean centralization, Saunders said. Instead, "it&rsquo;s about collaboration." <br /> <br /> "Security is not an IT or OT issue &mdash; it&rsquo;s a business problem that affects the whole company," he said.<br /> <br /> A utility can get its IT and OT people working together by starting to tear down the traditional firewall between its people, he said. "Start to understand each other," he told the public power audience. "Get OT folks to understand the process-oriented nature of IT. Establish a shared vision."<br /> <br /> At SMUD, "we established integrated working groups," he said. He recommended creating a subject matter expert team that represents both IT and OT.<br /> <br /> "Remove the &lsquo;I don&rsquo;t know how that works&rsquo; statements," so people will not point fingers at the other department, Saunders advised. <br /> <br /> At SMUD, "we integrated our OT and IT procedures," he explained. "We now have SMUD procedures."<br /> <br /> Now, when a change is being considered, it cannot be adopted until both OT and IT &mdash; as well as information security personnel &mdash; have approved the new system, he said. "You fit in a larger ecosystem."<br /> <br /> "We are taking away the &lsquo;people&rsquo; firewall, but we are keeping the infrastructure separate," he emphasized. The industrial control systems managed by OT still need to be kept separate from the IT business systems, he said.<br /> <br /> "Keep clear lines of demarcation," he said. "It&rsquo;s really, really important." &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/13/2014 2:40:41 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295356&amp;issueID=34986 Senator launches latest salvo against New York capacity zone http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295296&issueID=34986 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34986>Friday, November 14, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Nov. 11 launched his latest salvo against a New York Independent System Operator capacity zone, vowing to take legislative steps to undercut the zone. <p>At issue is a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-approved capacity zone in the lower Hudson Valley that went into effect earlier this year. Schumer first voiced concerns about the zone in November 2013 when he called on FERC to delay an order implementing the new zone. More recently, he was joined by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Reps. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., and Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., in asking FERC to reverse its decision supporting creation of the zone. The Sept. 15, 2014 letter was sent to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. </p> <p>Schumer on Nov. 11 said that he would introduce legislation that will require FERC to complete and publish a cost-benefit analysis before moving any further forward with the capacity zone. The bill would block FERC from putting federal funding toward the capacity zone if the cost-benefit analysis shows that it will result in increases for ratepayers, which Schumer said any study is likely to conclude. </p> <p>In addition, Schumer said that he would support an amendment to the House of Representatives&rsquo; version of the federal spending bill that recently passed the House. The amendment would prevent FERC from putting any federal money toward capacity zone implementation. Schumer said that the Senate will likely be considering an omnibus spending bill and that he will push to make sure this amendment is included.</p> <p>In their letter to LaFleur, Schumer and the other lawmakers from New York said that the zone has resulted in a "significant and unwarranted price increase" for lower Hudson Valley electric consumers. "Estimates indicate that the annual increase in electric prices associated with the" zone will reach approximately $280 million, the lawmakers told LaFleur.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> </p></p> 11/13/2014 11:06:07 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295296&amp;issueID=34986 Energy Northwest nuclear plant sets new record for consecutive days of producing power http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295354&issueID=34986 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34986>Friday, November 14, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Energy Northwest reported that as of the morning of Nov. 13, Columbia Generating Station had been producing energy for the Northwest power grid for 506 consecutive days, beating the previous record of 505 days set in April 2011.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> During this time, Columbia, a nuclear power plant located in Washington state, produced more than 13.25 million megawatt hours of electricity while achieving a 96.85 percent capability factor, Energy Northwest said.<br /> <br /> The current run began after the plant was restarted following Columbia&rsquo;s 2013 refueling and maintenance outage, which ended June 25, 2013. Columbia&rsquo;s next refueling outage is scheduled to begin May 9.<br /> <br /> Columbia this month marked five years without an unplanned shut-down. Employees and contractors also recently surpassed 13 million hours worked without a lost-time accident, Energy Northwest noted.<br /> <br /> Columbia is the Northwest&rsquo;s only commercial nuclear energy facility, generating 1,170 megawatts, which is sold at-cost to the Bonneville Power Administration. Ninety-two Northwest utilities receive a percentage of its output. <br /> <br /> In December, Columbia will mark 30 years of commercial operation. Columbia set power generation records in 2012, 2013 and for fiscal year 2014.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Energy Northwest to serve as marketing affiliate of Hometown Connections</span><br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Energy Northwest and Hometown Connections on Nov. 11 said that Energy Northwest will serve as a marketing affiliate of Hometown Connections, the utility services subsidiary of the American Public Power Association. <br /> <br /> Energy Northwest will help promote to its membership the metering, SCADA, outage management, distributed generation and other vendors allied with Hometown Connections, Energy Northwest and Hometown Connections said.<br /> <br /> "In addition to providing our region with safe, reliable and cost-effective power, Energy Northwest works to support the operational and service needs of its members &ndash; the Washington state public power utilities which serve nearly 1.5 million ratepayers," said Jim Gaston, general manager, energy services and development, in a news release. "By helping our members learn about the innovative products and services offered through Hometown Connections, we are helping them access premier solutions for meeting the region&rsquo;s future energy needs."<br /> <br /> "We are honored to welcome Energy Northwest to our network of public power officials," said Tim Blodgett, Hometown Connections president and&nbsp; chief executive officer. "By sharing our advertising, articles and other information, Energy Northwest will help its members identify leading products at discount pricing and access Hometown&rsquo;s deep knowledge of utility management best practices gathered through our work with more than 850 public power systems across the U.S."<br /> <br /> Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects, along with the Columbia nuclear plant. As a Washington state, not-for-profit joint operating agency, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers. The agency notes that it continually explores new generation projects to meet its members&rsquo; needs.<br /> <br /> Hometown Connections personnel provide consulting support in the areas of organization assessment, strategic planning, governance development, and staffing. In addition, Hometown Connections is a resource to APPA members large and small, providing discounted pricing on technology, services, and other solutions from industry-leading companies. The products and services offered through Hometown Connections include the full range of advanced grid solutions, as well as financial and organizational management tools and consulting.<br /> &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI&nbsp; </a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/13/2014 2:28:35 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295354&amp;issueID=34986 TVA to offer 130 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in 2015 http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295082&issueID=34986 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34986>Friday, November 14, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Tennessee Valley Authority on Nov. 7 said that it will offer a total of 130 megawatts of renewable energy capacity in 2015 through a variety of power-purchasing programs for home, business, industrial and wholesale installations, bringing the total amount of renewable energy TVA has offered or interconnected since 2011 to more than 500 megawatts.<br /> <br /> TVA said that the renewable energy capacity being added by TVA is consistent with its current long-term energy strategy, the 2011 integrated resource plan, which calls for building capacity with the most cost-effective and reliable programs. TVA is updating the IRP in collaboration with customers and other stakeholders. The revised IRP is expected to be completed in late 2015 and will serve as TVA&rsquo;s energy roadmap for the future.<br /> <br /> Patty West, director of TVA&rsquo;s Renewable Energy Solutions, said that TVA recognizes the changes occurring in the renewable energy marketplace as popularity grows and generating costs decline. She said TVA must continue to work with customers and stakeholders to determine the true value of renewable energy and balance that value with what&rsquo;s best for the nine million energy consumers in the Tennessee Valley. The work being done as part of the 2015 IRP will play a major role in this determination, TVA said.<br /> <br /> TVA has 217 megawatts of operating or committed solar projects under contract at more than 2,000 locations across the region. TVA&rsquo;s renewables portfolio also includes 1,542 megawatts from wind and 64 megawatts from biomass from operating projects.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in other news, TVA recently said that its strong operational and financial performance for fiscal year 2014 was highlighted at its board of directors&rsquo; quarterly meeting on Nov. 6. TVA&rsquo;s fiscal year ended Sept. 30.<br /> <br /> TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said that employees worked safely and found ways to significantly lower costs. "By the end of the fiscal year, we had realized $300 million in sustainable cost reductions," Johnson said. "We are well on our way to our three-year goal of reducing operation and maintenance costs by $500 million in 2015."<br /> <br /> TVA has reduced its debt by more than a billion dollars from the previous year while still investing in a number of major capital projects. TVA said these include clean-air equipment at the Gallatin Fossil Plant, natural gas plants at Allen (Memphis) and Paradise (Kentucky), as well as significant progress toward the completion of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 and investments in the transmission system to maintain and improve reliability across the Tennessee Valley. <br /> <br /> American Public Power Association President and CEO Sue Kelly and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jo Ann Emerson toured TVA&rsquo;s Watts Bar Unit 2 on Oct. 17, where they said, among other things, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should give proper credit to nuclear units under construction in its proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42445">Oct. 20, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> In discussing TVA&rsquo;s improved nuclear program performance, TVA&rsquo;s Johnson on Nov. 6 said an important milestone was reached when all six nuclear units were returned to normal oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He said the improved performance of the nuclear fleet saved TVA and its customers about $200 million in fuel costs last year.<br /> <br /> He also said that TVA is moving toward a more diverse and reliable generating portfolio. As part of this effort, TVA continues to review its coal-fired units. Under an agreement with the EPA, the state of Kentucky and others, TVA must determine by the end of this calendar year whether to install air pollution controls on Units 1 and 4 at the Shawnee fossil plant, convert those units to burn biomass or retire them.<br /> <br /> Johnson said that TVA is currently conducting an environmental assessment of the options "and I encourage members of the public to comment on the options," Johnson said. The public comment period is open now through Nov. 10. <br /> <br /> In other news from Nov. 6, TVA said that it expects tax equivalent payments to state and local governments to show a slight increase to $542 million in fiscal year 2015 based on higher power sales revenue this year.<br /> <br /> TVA makes tax equivalent payments to the eight states where it sells electricity or owns generating plants, transmission lines, substations or other power-related assets, and directly to 146 local governments where TVA owns power property. The redistribution of each state&rsquo;s allocation of tax equivalent payments to local governments is strictly governed by each state&rsquo;s individual legislation.<br /> <br /> The TVA board of directors at its Nov. 6 meeting approved the final tax equivalent payment for fiscal year 2014. This year&rsquo;s payments were $14 million less than in 2013, a direct result of a decrease in power sales revenue due in part to the economy and TVA&rsquo;s largest directly served industry ceasing operations in Paducah, Ky.<br /> <br /> TVA also reported that it made the final scheduled payment on Congress&rsquo; original $1 billion investment in building TVA&rsquo;s power program decades ago. TVA has made payments of $10 million to $20 million a year &ndash; plus interest &ndash; to the U.S. Treasury since 1961. The final $10 million payment came in the closing days of fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30. Payments totaled more than $3.6 billion.<br /> <br /> Finally, TVA said that its economic development efforts were successful in attracting and retaining more than 60,300 jobs and spurring a record $8.5 billion in business investments in the TVA region in fiscal year 2014. "This significantly exceeds the previous year&rsquo;s results of 52,000 new and retained jobs and $5 billion in capital investment," TVA said in a news release. TVA attributed the gains in 2014 to two factors: more opportunity because of an increase in new projects the past couple of years and TVA&rsquo;s competitive and reliable power. &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/12/2014 2:33:36 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295082&amp;issueID=34986 NERC long-term assessment focuses on changing resource mix, lower reserve margins and environmental regulations http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295128&issueID=34985 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34985>Thursday, November 13, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />A report issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. on Nov. 12 examining long-term reliability issues in North America said that reserve margins are trending lower in several regions, despite low load growth. <br /> <br /> The <a href="http://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability%20Assessments%20DL/2014LTRA.PDF">report</a> also identified two other key findings -- that a changing resource mix requires new approaches for assessing reliability and, separately, that existing and proposed environmental regulations create uncertainty for the future related to fossil fuel generation.<br /> <br /> NERC noted that its 2014 long-term reliability assessment is based on resource adequacy information collected from eight regional entities that is used to assess the long-term reliability of the North American bulk power system while identifying trends, emerging issues and potential risks. The long-term reliability assessment is developed annually by NERC.<br /> <br /> The assessment provides a wide-area perspective on the adequacy of the generation, demand-side resources and transmission systems necessary to meet system reliability needs over the next decade.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The assessment includes NERC&rsquo;s identification of issues that may impact the reliability of the North American bulk power system to provide industry, regulators, and policy makers with adequate time to address or otherwise develop plans to mitigate potential reliability impacts caused by these issues, NERC notes.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The assessment also documents current industry plans to maintain reliability during the next decade, advising regulators, policy makers, and the general public of existing and potential challenges, complexities, and interdependencies.<br /> <br /> The electricity industry provided NERC with resource adequacy projections for the 2015&ndash;2024 assessment period. NERC said it independently assessed these projections and identified three key findings that will impact the long-term reliability of the North American bulk power system and materially change the way the system is planned and operated:<br /> <br /> &bull;Reserve margins in several assessment areas are trending downward, despite low load growth;<br /> &bull;Environmental regulations create uncertainty and require assessment; and<br /> &bull;A changing resource mix requires new approaches for assessing reliability.<br /> <br /> With respect to reserve margins, the report said that the near-term impacts of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which was recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency, are factored into the assessment. "However, uncertainty remains for a large amount of existing conventional generation that may be vulnerable to retirement resulting from additional pending regulations&mdash;particularly EPA&rsquo;s recently proposed Clean Power Plan (section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act)," NERC added. That plan addresses carbon dioxide emissions reductions from existing power plants.<br /> <br /> NERC acknowledged that it does not have authority to set reliability standards for resource adequacy (e.g., reserve margin criteria) or order the construction of resources or transmission. "However, NERC has the responsibility to independently assess where BPS [bulk power system] reliability issues may arise and to identify emerging risks to resource adequacy."<br /> <br /> In a news release accompanying the assessment, NERC said that in several assessment areas, reserve margins are trending downward because of ongoing generation retirements, despite low load growth.<br /> <br /> In the area of environmental regulations, NERC said that the EPA&rsquo;s proposed Clean Power Plan will accelerate the shift in the generation mix from coal to natural gas. The EPA "projects that the natural gas market portion of total U.S. power generation will grow from 29 percent (energy) in 2013 to 33&ndash;34 percent between 2020 and 2030," the NERC assessment said. And a recent study conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis indicates that natural gas generation will increase by an additional 400&ndash;450 TWh/year due to impacts of the proposed EPA plan, NERC added. This will result in an increase in the contribution of gas-fired generation in the energy market to a share of 35 percent in 2020, 39 percent in 2030 and 49 percent in 2040, the assessment said.<br /> <br /> "With this shift toward more natural gas consumption in the power sector, the power industry will become increasingly vulnerable to risks from natural gas supply and transportation issues," NERC said. "Impacts due to extreme conditions should be integrated in planning scenarios to ensure a suitable generating fleet is available" to maintain bulk power system reliability. <br /> <br /> "Adverse winter weather, such as the 2014 polar vortex, provided an example of the potential impacts to supply and transportation. While several gas pipeline construction projects are underway to address deliverability issues in the Northeast, the shift toward additional natural gas consumption, as outlined in the proposed Clean Power Plan, would create additional pipeline needs. Sufficient lead times (more than three years) will be needed to plan and build new pipelines. This calls for a careful and deliberate review of the way in which natural gas is currently delivered and used by the electricity industry, so adjustments can be made to support enhanced reliability of both the gas and electric systems," NERC said in the assessment.<br /> <br /> NERC on Nov. 5 issued an initial reliability review of the EPA&rsquo;s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants that raises a number of questions related to the proposal (see Public Power Daily,<a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42613"> Nov. 6, 2014</a>).<br /> <br /> Turning to the changing resource mix, NERC said that North America&rsquo;s resource mix is "undergoing a significant transformation at an accelerated pace with ongoing retirements of fossil-fired and nuclear capacity and growth in natural gas, wind, and solar resources."<br /> <br /> This shift "is caused by several drivers, primarily existing and proposed federal, state, and provincial environmental regulations. Other drivers include lower natural gas prices due to abundant supply, along with policies incentivizing the movement from conventional energy resources toward ongoing integration of both distributed and utility-scale renewable resources." <br /> <br /> The convergence of these resource mix changes is directly impacting the behavior of the North American bulk power system, NERC said. "These developments will have important implications on industry planning and operations, as well as how NERC assesses reliability."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/12/2014 3:49:30 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=295128&amp;issueID=34985 Grid Security Summit: Creating a culture of security is imperative as threats evolve http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294996&issueID=34985 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34985>Thursday, November 13, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />As the grid security landscape rapidly transforms, it is important that a security culture spread throughout utilities and government agencies, public power leaders said at the kick-off to the American Public Power Association&rsquo;s inaugural Grid Security Summit on Nov. 12.<br /> <br /> Grid security is an issue that requires industry-government cooperation, cross-departmental measures within agencies, and utility-wide understanding and effort, said Kevin Wailes, CEO of Nebraska&rsquo;s second largest retail electric provider.<br /> <br /> Wailes, CEO at Lincoln Electric System in Lincoln, Nebraska, also serves on the Electric Sub-sector Securty Coordinating Council, or ESCC. Just like utilities have made safety a part of their culture, he said, they must do the same with cyber and physical security measures.<br /> <br /> "I think now we have this culture that we have to look at cyber and physical security," Wailes said of the electric industry. "The threats continue to change and continue to adapt."<br /> <br /> "These issues really morph and change over time and at any time they can be active in many different forms," said APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly. "It&rsquo;s a many-fronted effort. I&rsquo;m very proud of our staff in how they&rsquo;ve followed these issues as they progress."<br /> <br /> Wailes gave APPA an in-depth look at his work with the ESCC in a Q&amp;A for Public Power magazine&rsquo;s Grid Security issue. Below is an excerpt. Find more articles in the <a href="http://publicpower.org/Media/magazine/PPMagIssue.cfm?ItemNumber=42133">special issue</a> of Public Power magazine.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">What steps has the ESCC taken to prepare for a major physical or cyber attack, or threat of attack, on a utility or utilities?</span><br /> Historically, the utility industry has focused on reliability and we&rsquo;ve been pretty good at doing that. However, we&rsquo;re looking at different kinds of threats, especially long-term ones, and how we can deal with them.<br /> <br /> The focus of the ESCC is more on malicious threats. But we also recognize the need to make sure we&rsquo;re better at responding to severe storm events.<br /> <br /> A good example of our preparation efforts is [the NERC-sponsored] GridEx II [a grid security exercise that took place in 2013] developed from GridEx I, a large nationwide drill held in 2011.<br /> <br /> GridEx II involved both cyber and physical security. At the end of the second half day of the drill, industry and government executives met to participate in an extension of the original drill that escalated from where it ended with the general utility participants. The facilitators identified issues and asked the participants what kind of information and resources they needed to address the situations. That allowed everyone to understand the potential holes in response plans, as well as the potential issues our counterparts had to address in those situations.<br /> <br /> The exercise brought about a much closer relationship and understanding, between high-level government and utility officials.<br /> <br /> The exercise also encouraged a better dialogue among government agencies and better communication among utilities. It helped to build the relationships that are needed if a significant event occurs. For all of us, it helped answer the question: What role would we have in such an event? Our industry has always provided mutual aid, but this drill took it to a higher level.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-weight: bold;">What steps might the ESCC take in the event of a major physical or cyber attack on a utility or utilities?</span><br /> That&rsquo;s still a question. Does the ESCC as a group have a role or might it ultimately provide tools and guidance on how to deal with large scale events?<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;re still working on how the group would engage if there was an event of significant national security impacting the industry. We don&rsquo;t want to replicate anything that&rsquo;s already being done. And we don&rsquo;t want to put ourselves between other authorities. <a href="http://publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42134">Read more</a>.&mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/12/2014 1:17:21 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294996&amp;issueID=34985 Northwest Power Pool initiative launches solicitation seeking market operator for potential energy imbalance market http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294535&issueID=34985 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34985>Thursday, November 13, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> The Northwest Power Pool Market Assessment and Coordination Committee, also known as the "MC Initiative," has issued a request for proposals that seeks a market operator to provide a range of services associated with a sub-hourly, Security Constrained Economic Dispatch (SCED), also known as an energy imbalance market (EIM).<br /> <br /> The solicitation, which was issued on Oct. 31, notes that the initiative was launched in 2012 to explore a range of alternatives that could help the balancing authorities and scheduling utilities in the Northwest Power Pool area address growing operational and commercial challenges affecting the regional power system. The initiative includes 16 balancing authorities and three scheduling entities.<br /> <br /> Several American Public Power Association members have been taking part in the Northwest Power Pool&rsquo;s Market Assessment and Coordination Initiative, which has been undertaking a thorough evaluation of an EIM. APPA in July noted that it supports this effort.<br /> <br /> The RFP notes that the initiative created a problem statement to guide the process. Included in the problem statement, among other things, are:<br /> <br /> &bull;Northwest Power Pool balancing authorities and scheduling entities need additional tools to respond to rapid changes in load resource balance (ramps) and the increasing demand for balancing capacity driven by the growth of variable energy resources;<br /> <br /> &bull;Utilities within the Northwest Power Pool footprint are managing load and resource balance without systematically sharing the diversity between their systems, which may be resulting in increased costs and wear and tear on generating resources; and<br /> <br /> &bull;The region&rsquo;s increasingly constrained transmission system would benefit from new tools for congestion management and more efficient use of existing infrastructure.<br /> <br /> The RFP said that the MC Initiative is seeking a market operator to develop and implement a SCED by Oct. 1, 2017, "that will fulfill the goals of increased efficiency in the utilization of energy resources and enhanced reliability for the region." The market operator will also be responsible for all tasks related to operating the SCED.<br /> <br /> It is expected that the RFP review and selection process will be completed in early 2015. The initiative&rsquo;s executive committee will make a decision in early 2015 whether to enter into negotiations with a potential market operator.<br /> <br /> The solicitation is available at: <a href="http://www.nwpp.org/our-resources">http://www.nwpp.org/our-resources</a>.<br /> <br /> At the start of November, a first-of-its-kind, real-time energy imbalance market went live in the West (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42590">Nov. 4, 2014</a>). The market covers the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and its launch culminates work that began in fall 2012. The California Independent System Operator and PacifiCorp have partnered on the EIM that went live at the start of November.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 3:42:51 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294535&amp;issueID=34985 NYPA continues to upgrade transmission, study micro-grids post-Sandy http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294498&issueID=34985 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34985>Thursday, November 13, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />Two years after Hurricane Sandy caused extended power outages on the East Coast, the New York Power Authority said it is continuing to upgrade and refurbish its transmission facilities and performing micro-grid feasibility studies to ensure infrastructure remains resilient in future storms.<br /> <br /> The utility said on Oct. 30 it is taking measures including upgrades on one-third of the state&rsquo;s high-voltage power lines and research into shoring up electric service for critical public facilities such as hospitals, universities and prisons.<br /> <br /> Transmission upgrades are part of NYPA&rsquo;s multi-year program to modernize and strengthen aging assets in northern, western and central New York. NYPA said the upgrades will enhance versatility, performance and resilience.<br /> <br /> Micro-grid feasibility studies are focused on applying energy resilience measures at New York City Housing Authority Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, Stony Brook University Research and Development Park on Long Island and Empire State Plaza in Albany.<br /> <br /> "A micro-grid, comprised of interconnected distributed energy resources that are closer to end users than conventional power sources, can operate in both a grid-connected or &lsquo;island&rsquo; mode, assuring continued high-level of electricity service even if there are problems on the power grid," NYPA said in a news release.<br /> <br /> The state-wide public power utility is also working on enhancing communication networks between power plants to ensure connectivity during severe weather and other emergencies.<br /> <br /> In addition to upgrading its system, NYPA announced on Nov. 6 it received an upgrade to its credit ratings. Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s upgraded NYPA&rsquo;s long-term credit rating from AA- to AA and its short-term debt from A-1 to A-1+.<br /> <br /> The upgrades "are a testament to the authority&rsquo;s strong financial and operational management," the utility said in a news release. NYPA has received similar positive assessments from Moody&rsquo;s and Fitch Ratings this year.&mdash;<a href="mailto:ldalessandro@publicpower.org">LAURA D'ALESSANDRO</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 2:50:12 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294498&amp;issueID=34985 APPA Academy offers webinar next week on energy efficiency programs http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294437&issueID=34985 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34985>Thursday, November 13, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />On Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, APPA will hold a webinar called <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=170372">"Overview of Energy Efficiency Programs."</a> This is the first in a <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Event.cfm?EventID=170371">series of four Energy Efficiency Webinars</a>, designed for utility personnel interested in starting or enhancing an energy efficiency program. The series is based on the APPA <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38919&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Energy Efficiency Management Certificate Program</a> curriculum. The webinars are tailored to public power utilities and provide specific information and strategies that participants can use in their jobs.<br /> <br /> 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. <br /> <br /> The series includes the following webinars, all of which will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time: <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Identifying Your Utility&rsquo;s Energy Efficiency Goals and Developing a Portfolio Strategy, Dec. 11 <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Measurement and Evaluation of Program Effectiveness, Jan. 13 <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Implementing an Energy Efficiency Portfolio, Feb. 10 <br /> <br /> All events will be led by Wallace Barron, president of Barron &amp; Associates Corporate Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia. <br /> &nbsp; <br /> 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 <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> under "webinars" or contact Meghan Riley at <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>; 202/467-2919. &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 11:42:36 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294437&amp;issueID=34985 FERC approves plan for WAPA-Upper Great Plains Region, Heartland and Basin Electric to join SPP http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294581&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 10 significantly expanded the Southwest Power Pool market by accepting SPP&rsquo;s proposal to integrate Western Area Power Administration - Upper Great Plains Region, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Heartland Consumers Power District into SPP.<br /> <br /> FERC said its decision expands the geographic footprint of the regional power market to include a significant portion of the Upper Great Plains that spans the Eastern and Western Interconnections of the U.S. electric grid. <br /> <br /> The order "is a positive step that greatly expands customer access to organized markets, particularly in the upper-Midwest region, and increases efficiency and reliability for the newly combined market," said FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur.<br /> <br /> FERC said that the area of the Western Area Power Administration to be included in this new portion of SPP is known as Western-UGP, for Western-Upper Great Plains, which owns an extensive system of high-voltage transmission facilities and markets federally generated hydropower in the Pick-Sloan Missouri-Basin Program-Eastern Division of Western. <br /> <br /> Basin Electric serves 2.8 million customers in territories covering approximately 540,000 square miles using nearly 2,100 miles of transmission lines and 70 switch yards. <br /> <br /> Heartland is a public corporation and political subdivision of the State of South Dakota. It provides wholesale power to 28 municipalities in eastern South Dakota, southwest Minnesota, and northwest Iowa, to six South Dakota state agencies, and to one electric cooperative in South Dakota. <br /> <br /> Together, these new SPP members provide the backbone of the bulk electric transmission system across seven states in the Upper Great Plains region consisting of approximately 9,500 miles of transmission lines.<br /> <br /> WAPA Administrator Mark Gabriel this summer directed WAPA&rsquo;s Upper Great Plains Region to take the necessary actions to accomplish full membership with the SPP (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=41824">July 11, 2014</a>). Citing the "unique circumstances in the Upper Great Plains," Gabriel said the "business-based decision is in concert with our Vision and our Strategic Roadmap 2024, helping us keep costs low and efficiently serving our customers in the Upper Great Plains Region." &mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/11/2014 7:31:18 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294581&amp;issueID=34984 State CO2 targets under EPA proposal can be described as front-loaded, says Congressional Research Service analysis http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294527&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> State emission targets for carbon dioxide under the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants can accurately be described as front-loaded, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said in a Nov. 3 analysis.<br /> <br /> The EPA proposed rule, which was issued in June 2014 and is expected to be finalized next June, would set state-specific CO2 emission rate targets in pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generation, the CRS said in a short report issued as part of its "CRS Insights" series. The targets include both a 2030 goal and an interim goal to be achieved "on average," between 2020 and 2029, the research service noted in the report, "EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal: Are the Emission Rate Targets Front-Loaded?"<br /> <br /> "Some industry stakeholders and state agencies have characterized EPA's proposed CO2 emission rate targets for existing power plants as 'front-loaded,' with a disproportionate percentage of emission rate reductions required in the early years of the program (2020-2024)," the CRS report said. Its analysis "provides data consistent with this observation," said the report, written by Jonathan L. Ramseur.<br /> <br /> Using a 2012 baseline, the EPA applied a formula to set state-specific CO2 emission rate goals for each year, starting in 2020 and ending in 2029, the report noted. States "are not specifically required to meet these annual emission rates," the report said. "However, states would likely need to reduce their emission rates on a pathway that is similar" to the 2020-2029 annual emission rates.<br /> <br /> The "mathematics of EPA's 2029 interim target effectively require states to make emission rate reductions in the early years, which some have described as 'front-loading,'" the CRS analysis said.<br /> <br /> "One could also compare the emission rate reduction in 2020 (from the 2012 baseline) to the final emission rate reduction required by 2030," the report added. "For example, 90% of Arizona's total emission rate reductions occur between its 2012 baseline and its 2020 emission rate (the largest decrease by this measure). This measure ranges from 90% to 32% (Rhode Island), with a median of 66%. Arguably, this comparison provides further support for the contention that the emission rate requirements are 'frontloaded.'" &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 3:27:35 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294527&amp;issueID=34984 American Antitrust Institute Vice President Diana Moss named new president and CEO of AAI http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294520&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) on Nov. 10 said that AAI Vice President Diana Moss will succeed founder Albert Foer as president and CEO of AAI, with the leadership hand off expected to be effective January 2015. <br /> &nbsp;<br /> The American Public Power Association "has always been a strong supporter of AAI&rsquo;s vital work advocating for vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws and meaningful competition in the U.S. economy," said APPA President and CEO Sue Kelly. "I am sure Diana Moss will carry on AAI&rsquo;s great work. Having been in the trenches with her on energy policy issues, I can say from personal experience that she is a knowledgeable and effective advocate and a worthy successor to Bert Foer."<br /> <br /> "I speak for the entire AAI Board of Directors in enthusiastically welcoming Diana as our new president and CEO as of this coming January. She is ideally positioned to build on Bert's powerful 17-year legacy and to take the AAI in new directions over the years ahead," said Robert Skitol, chairman of the AAI Board of Directors.<br /> <br /> Moss, an economist, joined the AAI shortly after its creation, bringing with her public- and private-sector experience in antitrust and regulation. While at AAI, Moss has effectively developed and expanded advocacy channels and strategies, and strengthened communications with enforcers, Congress, other advocacy groups, and the media, AAI said. <br /> <br /> As vice president since 2002, Moss has also extended the AAI's competency in a number of industries that are a major antitrust focus, including energy, transportation, agriculture, telecommunications, and healthcare. <br /> &nbsp;<br /> With the transition to new leadership, Foer, who turned 70 this year, will step into a new half-time role with a focus on international competition advocacy and competition culture. <br /> <br /> "Diana has been my trusted right hand for 14 years," said Foer in speaking about the transition and leadership handoff. "She is a skilled competition advocate with strong connections in the antitrust and regulatory communities and has been instrumental in helping build the AAI into a leading, progressive competition advocacy organization."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> </p> 11/10/2014 3:16:41 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294520&amp;issueID=34984 Correction http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294418&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> In a news story in the Nov. 6 <span style="font-style: italic;">Public Power Daily</span> about a dispute between a Virginia utility and a cable company over pole attachment fees, we made a mistake in the way we referred to the $20.60 fee approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. That fee is for each attachment, not for each pole, since poles may have more than one attachment (see "<a href="http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v2.asp?aid=293506&amp;issueID=34980">Virginia regulators settle on $20.60 as reasonable pole attachment fee in dispute between co-op and Comcast</a>").<br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 10:06:53 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294418&amp;issueID=34984 APPA offers Public Power Manager Certificate Program in Anaheim in February http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294436&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />APPA will offer its recently updated Public Power Manager Certificate Program courses at the association's <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/Landing.cfm?ItemNumber=32858&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Winter Education Institute</a>, Feb. 2-6, at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort in Anaheim, California.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> With ever-increasing pressures and challenges on utilities from heightened customer expectations, changing regulations, technology advances and competition for recruiting and retaining the best employees, those who lead and manage public power utilities must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to create and sustain an effective organization with an engaged and committed workforce. <br /> <br /> The five-day <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=38922&amp;navItemNumber=38479">Public Power Manager Certificate Program</a> is aimed at a new generation of leaders, along with existing supervisors and managers. It will help them navigate and provide organizational direction in a changing and complex industry. The course work consists of three classes and provides industry-specific training. The classes can be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. <br /> <br /> The program curriculum starts with a one-day <a href=" http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=39360&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Electric Utility Industry Overview</a> course, which provides a foundation of knowledge on utility operations, integrated resource planning and legislative and regulatory &nbsp;issues facing the industry. The second course, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=42256&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Financial Planning and Budgeting: What Managers Need to Know</a>, focuses on financial management, budgeting techniques, long-term financial planning methods, understanding various forms of electric rates and how to convey these items to utility policymakers. <br /> <br /> The updated three-day leadership course, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Events/interiorsidebar.cfm?ItemNumber=42257&amp;navItemNumber=38913">Strategic Leadership for Public Power</a>, specifically tailored to public power utilities, teaches participants how to think strategically and manage complex issues and problems. This component of the program provides participants with an in-depth perspective on public power leadership by focusing on the development of the individual leader and the leader&rsquo;s role in guiding and developing their organization and its workforce. <br /> <br /> To earn a Public Power Manager certificate, participants must complete the three required courses and, within a year, submit a post-course project. The program was launched in 2009. To date, more than 100 public power professionals from across the nation have completed the required course work and nearly 60 utility employees have graduated from the program. <br /> <br /> The program courses are offered only once a year although, as an alternative, they can be offered as in-house classes. <br /> <br /> In addition to the certificate program, the Winter Education Institute features 13 other in-depth courses on accounting, cost of service and rate design, performing a utility financial check-up, underground distribution systems training, a new class on OSHA regulations for public power utilities, and the Customer Service Management Certificate Program classes. <br /> <br /> For more information, visit <a href="http://www.APPAAcademy.org">www.APPAAcademy.org</a> and click on Courses/Workshops or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or <a href="mailto:MRiley@PublicPower.org">MRiley@PublicPower.org</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:hlambert@publicpower.org">HEIDI LAMBERT </a><br /> <br /> <br /> </p> 11/10/2014 11:41:51 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294436&amp;issueID=34984 APPA seeks nominations for DEED board http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=293331&issueID=34984 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34984>Wednesday, November 12, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The American Public Power Association's Demonstration of Energy &amp; Efficiency Developments (DEED) program is seeking nominations for a candidate to serve a three-year term on the DEED Board of Directors. The new board member's term will begin at&nbsp; the DEED spring 2015 board meeting. The director will represent Region 1 (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Nominations are due by Nov. 30, 2014.<br /> <br /> Eligible candidates are utility, joint action agency, or association personnel with DEED member companies who hold senior positions in either executive management or utility operations within Region 1. Nominees should be familiar with local, regional and national industry issues, especially as they relate to energy research and development, and engineering technologies.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> A memo about the nomination process, and a nomination form, are available on APPA's <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Programs/interiordetail2col.cfm?ItemNumber=31265&amp;navItemNumber=38577">website</a>. &mdash;<a href="mailto:janderson@publicpower.org">JEANNINE ANDERSON</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/4/2014 3:02:34 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=293331&amp;issueID=34984 Notice: No Public Power Daily tomorrow http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=292970&issueID=34982 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34982>Monday, November 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /><img width="400" height="300" style="" alt="" title="" src="http://www.publicpower.org/files/Media/images/Veterans%20Day%20Meme.jpg" /><br /> <br /> Because of the Veterans Day holiday, this newsletter will not be published tomorrow. Our next issue will come to you on Wednesday, Nov. 12.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/files/Media/images/Veterans%20Day%20Meme.jpg">Click here </a>to download the American Public Power Association's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CaptainPublicPower?src=hash">#CaptainPublicPower</a> Veterans Day image and share on social media tomorrow. <br /> <br /> </p> 11/3/2014 9:56:30 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=292970&amp;issueID=34982 APPA emphasizes importance of accurate measures for performance of RTOs http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=293962&issueID=34982 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34982>Monday, November 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br />The need for accurate measures of the performance of regional transmission organizations "is even more critical" in 2014 than in 2010, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the first set of metrics for RTOs, the American Public Power Association said in Nov. 3 comments filed at the commission. At the same time, APPA used its comments to urge FERC to expand the collection of these metrics.<br /> <br /> FERC staff in late August issued a report that assessed possible common metrics for evaluating the performance of independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, and utilities in regions outside ISO and RTO markets (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42150">Oct. 2, 2014</a>). Concurrently with the issuance of the report, FERC issued a separate notice seeking public comments on the report. <br /> <br /> The report represented the culmination of five years of effort by ISOs, RTOs and utilities in regions outside ISO and RTO markets to develop performance metrics in a FERC staff-led metrics initiative. The analysis framework discussed in the report consists of 31 common metrics that measure performance for the six ISOs and RTOs and five utilities in regions outside ISO and RTO markets for the 2006-2010 period. Prior metrics-related reports include a report submitted to Congress on performance metrics for ISOs and RTOs, and a FERC staff report on performance metrics in regions outside ISOs and RTOs.<br /> <br /> In its Nov. 3 comments, APPA notes that FERC developed the metrics following the release in September 2008 of a Government Accountability Office report.&nbsp; "In the eight years since the release of the GAO report, the Commission has issued separate sets of performance metrics for the RTOs and for public utilities outside of RTO regions, and received reports on those metrics from the six RTOs and five public utilities, covering the years from 2006 through 2010," APPA said. "There is therefore an almost four-year gap in the data on performance measures reported by these entities."<br /> <br /> With regard to the necessity of the collection of information, "APPA has long supported the use of metrics and consistent reporting of those metrics as a tool to evaluate RTO performance," the association noted. APPA filed initial comments along with the Electricity Consumers Resource Council on RTO/ISO performance metrics in March 2010.<br /> <br /> APPA maintains its original position, stated in its 2010 comments, that the Commission&rsquo;s RTO performance metrics are insufficient, "and it urges the Commission to expand the collection of these metrics," APPA said. "But regardless of whether the metrics are expanded as requested, at a minimum, the Commission should require the RTOs to continue to report on those metrics that were originally approved by the Commission for the RTOs."<br /> APPA specifically urged FERC to add RTO performance metrics for generator revenues and costs and, separately, financial arrangements for new capacity.<br /> <br /> With respect to generator revenues and costs, APPA noted that in March 2010, it was joined by 28 other parties in asking that the Commission expand its RTO metrics to include "one primary metric that is missing from the Commission&rsquo;s proposed array&mdash;generator costs compared to revenues."<br /> <br /> APPA "reiterates this prior request that the Commission require the RTOs to submit data on merchant generator revenue from all sources and all components of costs." This data "would differ significantly from the RTO metric on net revenues for new resources, as that metric does not provide insight on the degree to which existing resources are over or under-recovering their costs."<br /> <br /> In terms of financial arrangements for new capacity, APPA said that data on the primary financial arrangements supporting new resource development, such as that provided in an APPA October 2014 study (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42423">Oct. 15, 2014</a>), can inform the discussion of the need for and types of potential reforms to the capacity markets.<br /> <br /> "APPA therefore recommends a metric that reports the new capacity constructed in each year as categorized by direct market sales, ownership and bilateral contracts. Such data should be reported for both the RTO and non-RTO regions, recognizing that the market sales category would not apply to both."<br /> <br /> APPA pointed out that the comment request listed only three metrics within the Systems Operations Measures group that would be reported on going forward: system lambda, resource availability, and fuel diversity. The Commission is proposing to collect information on these three system operations metrics plus the common reliability metrics, initially for the years 2008&ndash;2012 and later for 2010&ndash;2014.<br /> <br /> Fourteen metrics, previously approved in 2010 for RTO reporting, are not included in the list of common metrics.<br /> <br /> "APPA understands the Commission&rsquo;s interest in finding common metrics but disagrees with the removal of RTO-specific performance metrics. APPA therefore strongly recommends that the Commission require that RTOs continue to report on all of the original RTO metrics, not just the common metrics. Where applicable, a qualitative comparison of the difference between the metric for RTO and non-RTO regions should be provided by the Commission staff," APPA said.<br /> <br /> The ISO/RTO Council (IRC) also filed comments in the proceeding. The IRC is comprised of various grid operators in the U.S. and Canada, but in the case of the Nov. 3 filing at FERC, the IRC noted that the Alberta Electric System Operator, the Independent Electricity System Operator of Ontario and the Electric Reliability of Council of Texas did not join in the filing due to jurisdictional reasons.<br /> <br /> The IRC said it supports reporting on the 30 common metrics identified by FERC staff in the metrics report and reiterated by the Commission in its comment request. The 30 common metrics "were included in the original set of metrics identified by the Commission and the IRC to measure the performance of ISOs, RTOs, and utilities in regions outside ISO and RTO markets with respect to reliability, operations, and market performance. The IRC also does not oppose the collection and reporting on those metrics identified by the Commission as &lsquo;Other Metrics&rsquo; on a periodic basis."<br /> <br /> The IRC asked that FERC accept the next IRC report from the jurisdictional IRC members as an update to prior submittals.&nbsp; These prior submittals addressed ISO and RTO performance data for the periods of 2005 through 2009 and 2006 through 2010, the IRC said. "Given that the jurisdictional IRC members have previously submitted an updated report for the 2006-2010 period, a further report from the jurisdictional ISOs/RTOs for the 2008 through 2010 period is not needed and should not be required. The IRC proposes, instead, to provide data for the 2010-2014 period. The IRC proposes to submit such an update report in August, 2015."&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> <br /> </p> 11/6/2014 10:58:15 PM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=293962&amp;issueID=34982 PJM official details various scenarios RTO is considering as DR compensation case remains in limbo http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294044&issueID=34982 <p><strong style="font-size:10px;"><a href=http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/newsletter-v2.asp?issueID=34982>Monday, November 10, 2014</a> -- <em></em></strong><br /> <p>An official with the PJM Interconnection on Nov. 4 detailed a number of scenarios the grid operator is considering while the status of a court decision that vacated Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order No. 745 on demand-response compensation to consumers remains in limbo.</p> <p>The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Sept. 17 turned aside a request by FERC that the court review its May ruling vacating Order No. 745 (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42246">Sept. 18, 2014)</a>. But more recently, the appeals court on Oct. 20 approved a request by FERC to delay finalizing the decision (<span style="font-style: italic;">Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC</span>) that vacated FERC Order No. 745.</p> <p>The appeals court on Oct. 20 said that the delay of finalizing the court decision will last through Dec. 16, 2014. The court also stated that if the government seeks "cert" by that date, the stay will remain in place until the Supreme Court concludes its case. At a PJM Interconnection event in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur noted that the decision "whether to apply for certiorari is up to the solicitor general" of the federal government. </p> <p>If a petition for cert is filed and the Supreme Court takes the case on certiorari, but the Supreme Court does not act by May 1, 2015, PJM "would propose to continue to apply its existing demand response rules because if cert is granted there is a chance that the Supreme Court could overturn" the prior ruling, said Jacqulynn Hugee, assistant general counsel for markets at PJM. The date of May 1, 2015 is significant because that is the day when PJM will hold its next base residual auction for capacity.</p> <p>"Therefore, in our view, it would be a risk worth taking to continue to operate under" PJM&rsquo;s existing rules, the PJM official said in comments made at the Energy Bar Association&rsquo;s 2014 mid-year meeting and conference in Washington, D.C. Hugee participated in a panel that looked at the legal proceeding and the future of demand response.</p> <p>On the other hand, if a petition is filed by the government, but the Supreme Court denies a writ of cert "or the mandate is issued by the appellate court before May 1, 2015," she said that a PJM proposal "would allow for more certainty in the market" by having a set of rules than can be implemented in time for PJM&rsquo;s May 2015 base residual auction.</p> <p>PJM in early October released a paper that called for allowing demand response to continue to participate in its markets in the wake of the court decision earlier this year (see Public Power Daily, <a href="http://www.publicpower.org/Media/daily/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=42387">Oct. 9, 2014).</a> Hugee said that PJM is referring to its "new proposed paradigm" as a "stop gap" proposal. </p> <p>However, PJM believes the Supreme Court won&rsquo;t likely act on a petition for cert until at least March 2015, Hugee said. "And if a writ is granted in that time frame or later, it would create some turmoil in our markets because it would mean that the EPSA decision would still stand." </p> <p>And in PJM, "despite what I&rsquo;ve heard from some people, our energy markets are inextricably intertwined with our capacity markets, so PJM would only have two months or less before the May 2015 base residual auction to try to come up with some rules that would be consistent with EPSA, with no time to have any meaningful discussion with stakeholders or FERC regarding those rules before we&rsquo;d be requesting implementation of those rules."</p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span></p> <p>Hugee said that by "submitting this stop gap proposal to the commission in the near future, PJM is giving market participants advanced notice of the new proposed rules and it will also allow for more considered discussions by stakeholders and FERC regarding a workable set of rules that can be implemented in time for the May 2015 base residual auction."</p> <p>She said that "these temporary measures that PJM expects to propose, if its board of managers approves, are not intended to set policy for demand response well into the future. They&rsquo;re only trying to maximize demand response participation in PJM&rsquo;s markets for the upcoming auctions until such time as there is finality as to the EPSA decision and whether it will become the rule of the land or it will be overturned."</p> <p>Hugee said that what "we&rsquo;re attempting to do is to have some new rules on the shelf ready to go if we need them because otherwise there would be confusion if there is no plan in place ready to address the eventuality that the Supreme Court does not grant cert on any requested petition for cert." </p> <p>With the PJM proposal, the grid operator "has sought to try to preserve the ability of market participants to provide wholesale demand side response" in its markets, Hugee said. Under PJM&rsquo;s current market model, she noted, demand response is primarily offered as a supply side resource and is treated similar to generation for purposes of market participation.</p> <p>PJM has concluded that "given the restrictions" of the court&rsquo;s decision, "the best way to retain the demand response option" in PJM would be as a demand side resource, rather than as a supply side resource, she said. The explanation for this "is because any scenario that we considered with demand response remaining as a supply side resource had no monetary benefit to load serving entities since they would both be the payor of the costs of the demand response in the market, as well as the payee of the revenues for providing that demand response on the supply side," the PJM official said.</p> <p>Order No. 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, as long as the demand-response resource passes a net benefits test.&mdash;<a href="mailto:pciampoli@publicpower.org">PAUL CIAMPOLI</a><br /> </p></p> 11/7/2014 8:59:33 AM http://www.naylornetwork.com/app-ppd/articles/index-v4.asp?aid=294044&amp;issueID=34982