Gonzaga University
Public Power Weekly
May 20, 2013: No. 20
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In This Issue
 
APPA and other electric industry groups have said such a directive would be premature
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FERC, NERC both singled out Texas and the San Diego-Orange County area in California as potential problem spots
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Appeals court upholds regulators' use of a median, rather than midpoint, of a range of rates of return on equity for transmission projects
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Paper includes option to "repeal the tax exemption on all governmental and private activity bonds"
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Cuomo's plan would reduce LIPA's role to that of a holding company, cut the utility's number of employees from more than 90 to about 20, shrink board from 15 people to five
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Environmental groups wanted court to order NRC to review decision to grant combined construction, operating licenses for Vogtle units
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ABB Tropos Wireless Research Center
 
All Democrats on the panel voted in favor; all Republicans voted against
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Upton called the measure "a commonsense fix that will help keep the lights on in times of emergencies"
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Vote in Senate was 97-0 for MIT professor
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An overview of how APPA utility members propose policy resolutions and a look at the steps those resolutions must go through to become official association policy
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Measure would authorize construction work at dams
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Industrial facilities that receive power at greater than 100 kV would be subject to NERC standards, Anderson said
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News for Bogorad, Dalrymple, Jones, McDowell
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Proposal in fiscal year 2014 budget request caused TVA bonds to lose value, he said
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ISO now is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator
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RETECH 2013
 
APPA staff members from three departments will lead this session
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Workshops will take place at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio
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AVO Training Institute, Inc.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 16 issued a final rule directing the North American Electric Reliability Corp. to develop reliability standards to protect the grid from the potential impact of geomagnetic disturbances (GMD), such as solar storms. The final rule "largely adopts" the proposed rule issued in October 2012 but gives the industry more time and flexibility, Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur said.

In a joint Dec. 26 comment on the proposed rule, APPA, the Large Public Power Council, the Edison Electric Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association said such a directive would be premature.

The final rule requires NERC to develop and submit new GMD standards in a two-stage process. In the first stage, NERC must file, within six months of the rule taking effect, reliability standards requiring grid owners and operators to develop and implement operational procedures to mitigate GMD effects. The rule encourages implementation of the standards within six months of commission approval, FERC said. The final rule also directs NERC to conduct a vulnerability assessment and identify facilities most at risk from a severe disturbance.

In the second stage, NERC has 18 months to file standards identifying "benchmark GMD events," which define the severity of disturbances that a grid owner/operator must assess. Those standards must require owners and operators to conduct initial and continuing assessments of the potential effects of specified "benchmark GMD events" on equipment and the bulk-power system as a whole. If the assessments identify potential effects, the reliability standards should require a responsible entity to develop and implement plans to protect against instability, uncontrolled separation or cascading failures of the system.

The second-stage standards must not be limited to operational changes, FERC staff said.

In addition to extending the deadlines for NERC to file the new standards, the final rule "makes clear that the commission expects NERC to propose a multi-phased and prioritized implementation plan for the second-stage standards," Commissioner LaFleur said.

The rule gives industry and NERC the flexibility to identify technically justified benchmarks and "makes clear that the commission is not prescribing a specific technology or methodology for the second-stage standards, but rather directing industry and NERC to apply their technical expertise to develop and implement a plan to protect against instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading failures," she said.

The commission in the final rule "clarifies that it does not intend to impose ‘strict liability’ for outages caused by GMD events of unforeseen severity," LaFleur said. The commission "recognizes that our understanding of GMD is still evolving, and that reliability standards cannot be expected to protect against all GMD-induced outages."

In their comments on the proposed rule, APPA and the other trade associations voiced concern "that the commission may believe that necessary tools and refined solutions are readily available to effectively assess and mitigate the impacts of GMD events, when this is not the case." Issuing standards before the NERC task force completes its work "would not serve the industry or the electric customers they serve well and could result in commission mandates that may do more harm than good," because they would direct utilities to take actions that could have unintended adverse impacts on reliability, said APPA and the others.

The final rule will take effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. —ROBERT VARELA

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After plummeting in 2012, natural gas (and electricity) prices look to rebound to 2011 levels this summer, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in its Summer 2013 Energy Market and Reliability Assessment. Electricity supplies are expected to be adequate in most of the country, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is looking at low reserve margins and the San Diego-Orange County area in Southern California could see price spikes, FERC staff said at the commission’s May 16 meeting.

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. also singled out Texas and the San Diego-Orange County area as potential problem spots in its summer assessment.

Forward natural gas prices for the summer are above $4/MMBtu at all major trading hubs, compared with less than $2.50/MMBtu in 2012, staff said. Adjusting for the relative efficiency of coal versus and natural gas, current natural gas prices are 78 cents/MMBtu higher than Central Appalachian coal prices, the largest separation seen since July 2010, FERC staff said. The higher natural gas prices "should predominately favor dispatch of coal over natural gas."

In Texas, ERCOT is forecasting a reserve margin of 12.9%, compared with a target of 13.75%. A combination of extreme heat and extreme outages could cause problems, staff said.

In San Diego-Orange County, the major problem is the continued outage of the San Onofre nuclear plant. Other factors that could put upward pressure on prices there are higher natural gas prices, low hydro production, transmission constraints, hot weather and California’s cap-and-trade system, FERC staff said. Unusual heat or unexpected outages "could result in localized controlled load shedding to maintain system integrity," NERC said in its assessment.

Outages and retirements due to federal environmental regulations are not expected to cause any crises this summer, NERC said. "The impacts of recent retirements of fossil-fired generation are reflected in this assessment, and environmental control retrofits are not expected to impact generator outages for the summer peak," NERC said. "The planned outages associated with plant retrofitting are more likely to cause some constraints during the shoulder months (usually during the spring and fall) when generators typically perform preventative maintenance." —ROBERT VARELA

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A federal appeals court has upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s use of a median, rather than midpoint, of a range of reasonable rates of return on equity for transmission projects. In a May 10 ruling in Southern California Edison v. FERC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the commission "provided principled reasons for using the median" to establish SoCal Edison’s base rate of return on equity.

The court noted that this was the first legal challenge to FERC’s use of the median even though the commission announced in a 2008 case that it that it would use the median as the measure of the return on equity for a single electric utility of average risk.

Southern California Edison had requested a base return of 11.5 percent for three transmission projects, citing a midpoint of 12 percent for a proxy group of transmission projects. (With incentives granted by FERC, the rates of return for the three projects ranged from 12.75 to 13.25 percent.) Using a different proxy group, the commission found that the zone of reasonableness ranged from 7.97 percent to 13.67 percent, and set the company’s base return at the median, 10.55 percent.

The court remanded another aspect of the case back to FERC—its updating of Edison’s projected borrowing costs. The commission’s 2010 decision to use more recent Treasury rates as a proxy for the utility’s borrowing costs resulted in a further reduction of the base return to 9.54 percent. However, the court agreed with Edison that FERC erred in not considering evidence presented by the utility to the effect that the 2008 economic collapse made use of the Treasury rates inappropriate. —ROBERT VARELA

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Current law affording tax-exempt status to the interest on municipal bonds continues to be threatened, judging by a white paper issued May 15 by staff of the Senate Finance Committee. The document is the sixth in a series of papers compiling tax reform options that lawmakers on the committee may want to consider as they work on tax reform legislation.

The white paper, which was prepared for a private meeting May 15 among members of the committee, includes the option to "repeal the tax exemption on all governmental and private activity bonds."

The paper also listed these options for overhauling the nation's tax code:
• "Create a new, permanent direct subsidy for bonds for financing government capital projects;" and
• "Replace the exclusion for interest on state and local bonds with a direct subsidy for the issuer or a non-refundable tax credit for the investor."

The staff document says tax-exempt bonds "are intended to reduce the borrowing costs to state and local governments by providing a tax exemption for investors on the interest they receive," but adds that, "according to the Congressional Budget Office, about 20 percent of the subsidy does not accrue to the state and local government by lowering their borrowing costs."

In a section on federalism, the paper notes, "Some believe that it is not an appropriate role for the federal government to assist state and local governments by, for example, helping to pay for local infrastructure or services. Others argue that such assistance has spillover effects beyond the local community, and therefore the federal government should play a role."

A number of changes to the current deductions for mortgage interest were among the other options for tax reform offered in the paper.

"Tax reform provides an opportunity to simplify tax expenditures for economic and community development and, if members of Congress decide to preserve these provisions, make them more effective," the staff paper said. In a foreword introducing the document, Senate Finance Committee staffers said that, "for the sake of brevity, the list does not include options that retain current law."

"The failure to mention key points in opposition to the proposed changes would appear to indicate a real threat that the Finance Committee staff is inclined to support limiting, replacing, or repealing the exclusion" in current law that protects the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, said John Godfrey, senior government relations representative for APPA. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo released proposed legislation last week that would carry out his plan to restructure the Long Island Power Authority and allow LIPA's future utility partner, PSEG of New Jersey, to take over almost all of the Long Island utility's operations. The plan includes a three-year rate freeze.

"LIPA is broken," Cuomo said at a May 13 news conference in Albany, N.Y. The governor said Sandy, the hurricane that morphed into a superstorm shortly before it made landfall in late October 2012, "was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Cuomo has been critical of LIPA for its response to Superstorm Sandy. Earlier this year, he called for selling LIPA to an investor-owned utility. But credit rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's Corp. both immediately raised questions about the feasibility of selling the Long Island utility. They said the economics of such a move would be uncertain. (See Public Power Daily, Jan. 11, 2013).

The governor's plan would reduce LIPA's role to that of a holding company, cut the utility's number of employees from more than 90 to about 20, and shrink its board of directors from 15 people to five. The proposed legislation also would refinance as much as half of LIPA's $6.7 billion in debt at a lower interest rate.

Investor-owned PSEG, based in Newark, N.J., is already set to take over management of LIPA's electric grid starting in January 2014, under a long-term contract with the Long Island utility. Under the contract, PSEG's new unit, PSEG Long Island, LLC, will operate a dedicated business unit on Long Island, tentatively called ServCo, that will provide services to LIPA and its 1.1 million customers. (See Public Power Daily, April 29.)

Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association and a former chief executive of LIPA, said the association "supports Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to restructure LIPA and the way the electric utility services are owned and managed on Long Island and we look forward to working with him on developing any legislation needed to implement these reforms."

The governor's proposed legislation would, among other things:

• allow the state to privatize operations and maintenance of the utility system;
• amend state law to reduce the cost of LIPA’s debt through refinancing at a lower interest rate;
• place the Long Island utility company under state oversight by the Department of Public Service;
• preserve LIPA's tax-exempt status and protections of existing and future debt; and
• preserve eligibility for reimbursement for storm costs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cuomo and legislative leaders said they wanted to turn the proposal into a bill that can be voted on by the end of the session on June 20, according to New York Newsday. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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A federal appeals court on May 14 denied a petition by environmental groups to review Nuclear Regulatory Commission decisions to grant combined licenses for construction and operation of the Vogtle nuclear units 3 and 4 and to approve an amendment to Westinghouse Electric Co.’s AP1000 reactor design. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the groups’ arguments that the NRC should have delayed acting until it had considered and implemented the recommendations of its task force on the Fukushima accident in Japan.

The NRC’s environmental impact statement for the new units "addressed and dismissed precisely the risks that gave rise to the Fukushima accident," the court said in Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League v. NRC. Without an explanation from the environmental groups "as to what specific ‘new and significant’ environmental information NRC failed to consider, or what deficiency in the existing [environmental impact statement] it failed to rectify, NRC reasonably found that [the groups’] contentions did not warrant a contested hearing," the judges added.

The court also found that the environmental groups’ contentions lacked specific links between the Fukushima accident and the Vogtle site. There was no evidence or even allegation linking the Vogtle site to the recommendations of the NRC’s Fukushima task force, the court said.

The NRC reasonably declined to supplement its existing environmental assessment of the AP1000 design, the court said. In considering the amendment to the design, the commission "re-examined the probability that a severe accident might occur and concluded that the potential design changes did not affect its original evaluations." —ROBERT VARELA

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On a straight party-line vote, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 16 approved the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.  All 10 Democrats voted in favor of her nomination and all eight Republicans voted against her nomination. 

Prior to the vote, the ranking Republican member of the committee, David Vitter of Louisiana, said the EPA had responded further to some of his requests regarding openness and transparency at the agency.  He summarized a letter he sent to EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe that thanks the acting administrator for the commitments he made to Vitter on the requests for transparency. In the letter, Vitter promised to support McCarthy’s nomination on the Senate floor "without a cloture vote or any 60-vote threshold" if additional progress is made in responding to his outstanding requests in this matter.  Vitter added that, should EPA grant all five of the requests outlined in the letter, he would "support the McCarthy nomination."

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has placed a hold on the McCarthy nomination over a flood control project in Southeast Missouri. —J.A.

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The House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 15 approved H.R. 271, the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2013. The bill, authored by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, is designed to make sure electric utilities can comply with Department of Energy emergency orders to maintain grid reliability without facing penalties for violating potentially conflicting environmental laws.  APPA supports the bill. 

The bill, which passed the committee on a voice vote, will now go to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

The Federal Power Act authorizes DOE to order electric generating facilities to continue operating in order to avoid potential reliability-related emergencies. However, compliance with such an emergency order could trigger a violation of environmental laws and regulations, potentially exposing the generator to penalties and lawsuits.

"This is a commonsense fix that will help keep the lights on in times of emergencies," said committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. "This legislation passed this committee and the full House last year, and I am hopeful we’ll be able to get this through the Senate and to the president this time," he said.

"Texas and other states are being warned by electricity regulators that reserve margins could dip dangerously low this summer," said Olson. "My bill fixes an unfortunate glitch in federal law that puts power generators in the unenviable position of choosing which federal law they will violate - a DOE emergency order to provide power or environmental laws that expose them to citizen lawsuits."

The measure is cosponsored by Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. —JEANNINE ANDERSON


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The Senate voted unanimously on May 16 to confirm Ernest Moniz to head the Department of Energy.

Moniz, a physics professor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, replaces former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who resigned in April.

Moniz was an energy undersecretary in the Clinton administration. —J.A.

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All regular APPA members (utilities, joint action agencies, state/regional associations) have the opportunity to help shape APPA's policies on legislation, regulation and other federal issues by participating in a democratic process that begins with the Legislative and Resolutions (L&R) Committee. The L&R Committee will meet during APPA’s National Conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday, June 16, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Each year, the L&R Committee meets twice to consider proposed policy resolutions – once at the Legislative Rally in Washington, D.C. (held early in the year, usually in March) and once at the National Conference in June. Any regular APPA member may designate one voting delegate to the L&R Committee, by filling out a short form available on APPA's website or by sending an email to the APPA Government Relations Department. No proxies are allowed.

Voting delegates to the L&R Committee receive a "call for resolutions" several weeks prior to each of the two annual committee meetings. The call for resolutions delineates the process and sets the deadline for submitting proposed new policy resolutions to APPA staff. All of the proposed resolutions are then sent out to the L&R Committee voting delegates two weeks in advance of the meeting to give voting delegates the chance to review the proposed policy and discuss any concerns with the drafters. APPA government relations staffers are available to consult with APPA members throughout the process of developing and reviewing the proposed resolutions.

Once the proposed resolutions are sent out, they cannot be modified until considered at the meeting. APPA staff works with the chair of the committee -- a representative from an APPA member with a one-year term -- to draft the committee agenda, and establish the order in which the resolutions will be considered at the meeting. The meeting is governed by Robert's Rules of Order, and a certified parliamentarian is employed to help the chair with any parliamentary inquiries. During consideration of the resolutions, each one may be debated, amended, sent back to an APPA committee for further consideration, passed without amendment, or defeated. Once a resolution is passed at the Legislative Rally meeting, it becomes APPA policy until the APPA National Conference, at which point it is reviewed again at the L&R Committee meeting during the conference, and may be amended. New resolutions may also be considered at that June meeting.

Once the L&R Committee reconsiders the resolutions passed at the Legislative Rally and considers any new resolutions, it then sends this package of resolutions to the entire APPA membership for consideration at the annual Association Business Meeting, which takes place on the Tuesday afternoon of the National Conference.

Voting delegates for the Association Business Meeting must be designated in advance when they register for the National Conference. The L&R Committee delegate and the Association Business Meeting delegate may or may not be the same person -- that is up to each APPA member to decide. The L&R Committee delegates typically specialize in government relations and legislative and policy issues, while the Association Business Meeting delegates will be voting not only on the policy resolutions, but also on the APPA board of directors, and therefore may want to have a broader perspective.

When the full association passes the package of resolutions, they go into the APPA Codification of Resolutions and cannot be amended. If a clarification to, or reversal of, existing policy is necessary, then a new resolution must be offered the following year. New resolutions may also build on existing resolutions as a policy matter becomes more complex or nuanced. Otherwise, if no change to an existing policy resolution is adopted in subsequent years, it remains APPA policy. Periodically, policy resolutions are offered by members seeking to highlight an important issue where no new policy is needed.

For anyone who would like to review APPA’s existing policy positions, the resolutions passed in March 2013 at the Legislative Rally may be found on APPA’s website. Another helpful document for reviewing APPA's policy positions, also available on APPA's website, is the Codification of APPA Resolutions, which is a compilation of all of the resolutions passed since APPA was formed.

A document, Understanding Voting Delegates, also is available on the APPA website, as is a form for making changes or additions to the L&R Committee.

If you have any questions about your L&R Committee voting designee or the designation process, contact Joy Ditto, APPA's vice president of government relations, at jditto@publicpower.org (202/467-2954) or Forrest Sholars, APPA, at fsholars@publicpower.org (202/467-2959).

For questions about the Association Business Meeting, contact Shelley Padilla at spadilla@publicpower.org (202/467-2902).

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The Senate on May 15 passed S. 601, the Water Resources and Development Act, authorizing new lock, dam, levee, and environmental restoration.

The measure was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and David Vitter, R-La., the ranking Republican on the committee. It was approved on a vote of 83-14.

Next stop is the House. —J.A.

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Naylor, LLC
Industrial energy users are concerned over potential changes in the definition of the bulk electric system that could unintentionally make numerous manufacturing facilities subject to reliability standards developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the Electricity Consumers Resource Council said.

ELCON President John Anderson wrote to Cheryl LaFleur, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, expressing the industrial customers' concern.

Approval of the new definition, which was first developed by a NERC drafting team, was reaffirmed by FERC in an April 18 order.

The change in definition is "of paramount concern to industrial electricity users" because it could make any industrial facility with assets that receives power at greater than 100 kV subject to NERC standards, Anderson said in the letter. Almost all major industrial sites have substations that meet that threshold, he said.

Anderson asked to meet with Commissioner LaFleur and other members of FERC to discuss the issue. —JEANNINE ANDERSON

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Cindy Bogorad
Cindy Bogorad, partner at Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP, has been named a 2013 Washington D.C. "Super Lawyer" for the Energy and Natural Resources practice area by the Super Lawyers rating service. The title includes a listing in the 2013 issue of Super Lawyers Magazine. She is known for her work with municipal and cooperative electric utilities. She works with individual clients and national organizations such as the Transmission Access Policy Study group.


James R. Dalrymple



James R. Dalrymple
has been named senior vice president of coal and gas operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has more than 25 years of utility experience, joining TVA in 1990 as an electrical engineer. He has also worked in transmission maintenance and customer service and system operations for the utility. His most recent position was vice president of gas operations.


Maria Jones


Jamestown, N.Y., Councilwoman Maria Jones has been appointed to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. She will succeed Vince DeJoy, who resigned after being named director of development for the city. Jones has represented Ward 5 on the City Council for six years and has worked at Cummins, Inc. for 36 years where she is now a machining team manager.

Mike McDowell




Mike McDowell
, general manager and CEO of Heartland Consumers Power District in Madison, S.D., will retire at the end of the year. His career in the electric industry spans nearly 30 years. He joined Heartland in 2004. Prior to that, he headed the Southwestern Power Resources Association, an Oklahoma-based regional association of municipal and cooperative utilities. He has served on the board of directors for APPA, the National Association of Municipal Utilities and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


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The board of directors of APPA's Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency (DEED) program approved grants and scholarships totaling $599,418 at its spring meeting in Kissimmee, Fla., in March.

New grants were approved for:

•    Omaha Public Power District, Neb., $117,768 for "2013 SmartStructure Lite™Collaborative Pilot";
•    Florida Municipal Electric Association, $48,000 for "Biopower Project Assessment and Decisionmaking Best Practices Guide";
•    Holyoke Gas & Electric, Massachusetts, $125,000 for "CloudPower Residential Energy Storage Demonstration";
•    American Public Power Association, $16,000 in additional funding for "Distribution System Performance Improvement Guide; (Earlier, the DEED board awarded $12,000 for this project; the additional grant brings project funding to $28,000.)
•    Silicon Valley Power, Santa Clara, Calif., $65,000 for "The Potential Effects of Increasing Use of Solid-State Lighting with Lighting Controls";
•    American Public Power Association, $33,650 for enhancements to eReliability Tracker
•    City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., $125,000 for "S&T Microgrid Demonstration Employing Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuel Sources"; and
•    ElectriCities of North Carolina, $21,000 for "E-Tracker Project: Tracking Daily Electric Energy Use and Weather Data".

The DEED board awarded  $4,000 scholarships to 12 projects:

•    Dakota Huddleson, Tennessee Valley Authority, "Clinch River Small Modular Reactor Project";
•    Jabez Meulemans, River Falls Municipal Utilities, Wis., "Community Energy Emissions Offsetting and Economic Opportunities from Carbon Sequestration";
•    Hamed Babazadehrokni, Platte River Power Authority, Colorado, "Design HESS for Wind Turbine Generators";
•    Mehrdad Yazdanian, Seattle City Light, Washington, "Distributed Control Strategy for Microgrids";
•    Michelle Stalker, Loveland Water & Power, Colo., engineering internship;
•    Abiodun Iwayemi, Princeton Electric Department, Illinois, "Leveraging Smart Meter Data For Near Real-Time Residential Energy Audits";
•    William Plaxico, City of Palo Alto Utilities, Calif., "Methodology to Evaluate Volt/VAR Optimization Implementation";
•    Charles Bauschard, Coldwater Board of Public Utilities, Mich., "Minimize Reactive Power Financial Penalties: Medium Size Midwest Utility";
•    John Maclaga, City of Rocky Mount, N.C., "New Point of Delivery Construction";
•    C. Michael Foote, City of Gillette Utilities, Wyoming, "Optimizing Municipal Utility Operations";
•    Iman Mazhari, ElectriCities of North Carolina, "Reconfigurable Solar Converters for Capacity Firming of PV Power Plants";
•    Gary Allred, Town of Thatcher, Ariz., "Utility System's Mapping."

Information about the DEED program is posted on the APPA website.

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Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., last week blasted a proposal in President Obama's recent budget that contemplates a possible sale of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

At a May 15 hearing on the Energy Department's budget request for fiscal year 2014, he said the decision to float the idea of selling the federal power provider "caused TVA bonds to lose about $500 million in market value and increased utility bills among the public utility's customers," reported E&E Publishing.

DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, the sole witness at the hearing, said no decisions had been made and called the language in the budget request no more than "the opening of a conversation." He said DOE and other agencies will be consulted if the plan is pursued farther. —J.A.

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The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator has changed its name to Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

"Because of the recent growth of MISO operations, 'Midcontinent' better represents our expanding footprint, said the grid operator.

On May 8, MISO said it would  expand its presence in Arkansas by adding a regional operations center in Little Rock. The facility will serve as the hub for MISO’s new Southern Region. —J.A.

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On Thursday, May 23, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, APPA will hold a webinar on "Cybersecurity: Legislation, Regulation and Executive Orders." The webinar will provide a legislative and policy overview, as opposed to a technical review, on how to ensure that your utility is cyber-secure.

APPA staff members from three departments will lead this webinar: Will Coffman, senior government relations representative; Puesh Kumar, director of engineering and operations; and Nathan Mitchell, director of electric reliability standards and compliance. They will provide a review of cybersecurity issues from a legislative and regulatory standpoint, including actions taken outside of those frameworks (such as executive orders).

The speakers will discuss what the future holds for the electric sector in this area, and how individual utilities should engage with their legislators and others to educate them on steps the utility industry is taking on cybersecurity.

Specific topics will include:
  • Mandatory CIP standards – Versions 3 and 5, including which entities and cyber systems are covered and what is not covered for distribution and business systems
  • Information-sharing, including through the Electricity Sector Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ES-ISAC)
  • Executive order process and outcomes, with a focus on the cybersecurity framework
  • Cybersecurity essentials, such as what is a threat, what is a vulnerability and how will I know?
  • Legislation
This webinar 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 for the webinar, visit www.APPAAcademy.org or contact Meghan Riley at MRiley@PublicPower.org or 202/467-2919. —MEGHAN RILEY

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The APPA Fall Institute and Public Power Leadership Workshop will be held the week of Oct. 7 at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, Texas.

The Fall Institute features 16 in-depth training courses on the following topics:
•    Accounting,
•    Key accounts,
•    Safety training,
•    Executive leadership,
•    Conducting a financial check-up, and
•    Cost of service and retail rate design.

There is a $100 discount for those who attend more than one course or who attend with a colleague.

The institute includes a week-long certificate program tailored to key accounts representatives and those who manage key accounts programs. The program was launched in 2002 and, to date, more than 200 public power professionals from across the nation have completed the required coursework and over 100 have graduated from the program. To earn a "Key Public Power Account Executive" certificate, participants must complete the required coursework and, within two years, pass an online exam and successfully file a key accounts business plan and customer marketing plan with APPA.
 
The Key Accounts Certificate Program consists of four classes:
•    Electric Utility Industry Overview
•    Implementing a Customer-Focused Key Accounts Program 
•    Developing Your Key Accounts Representative
•    The Effective Key Accounts Toolbox

For personnel involved in safety within transmission and distribution systems, a new track of safety training will be offered at the Institute:
•    Overview and Practical Applications of the APPA Safety Manual
•    Establishing a Safety Culture at Your Utility
•    Accident Investigation and Near Miss Reporting
•    Practical Field Application of the 2012 National Electrical Safety Code

Also in conjunction with the Fall Institute, APPA is holding its ninth annual Public Power Leadership Workshop, Oct. 9-11. The program is designed for general managers and CEOs (particularly those new to their jobs) as well as senior managers and those on track for executive leadership positions. The workshop brings together thinkers and practitioners to address the skills, knowledge and techniques public power leaders need to guide their organizations and governing boards.

Attendees also can earn credits toward their professional certifications by attending these events. APPA offers continuing education units, professional development hours and continuing professional education credits for participating in courses.

For more information, visit www.APPAAcademy.org under "Courses and Workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or MRiley@PublicPower.org. —HEIDI LAMBERT

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Classifieds
Plant operations manager—Platte River Power Authority seeks a plant operations manager to provide vision, direction and supervision to the Operations Department to ensure that the department meets its mission of providing the safest, most cost-efficient and environmentally-responsible production of power, along with maximizing unit availability and reliability. Qualifications: The candidate must be able to successfully lead, motivate, organize and direct the assigned Operations Department supervisors and the employees in plant operations and fuel handling at the Rawhide Energy Station. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university and minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in a fossil-fired plant or other industrial facility; a minimum of five years of experience in supervision; and a comprehensive knowledge of the theory, operating practices and problems and procedures for operating equipment and systems in a coal-fired electric generating station or other industrial facility are required. Apply: To apply, complete a Platte River employment application located on the website at www.prpa.org under "Careers/Platte River Job Openings" and email it, along with a cover letter and resume, to applications@prpa.org by the end of the day Monday, May 27.

Electrical planning engineer—The Utilities Commission, city of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., seeks an electrical planning engineer to support electric utility operations. Description: The position is responsible for planning/executing electrical engineering requirements of the commission’s operating systems and represents UC at regulatory agencies, trade organizations and to other utilities. The position reports to the manager of the Engineering Department. Qualifications:Experience with PSS/E and MILSOFT is required. P.E. is preferred. The candidate must have experience in analysis, design and construction/operation of transmission, distribution, substations, generation and NERC regulations and compliance. Compensation: The salary range is $68,868.80 to $79,747.20, based on experience. Apply: For the complete description of this position, please visit our website. EEOC/DFW.

Check out APPA's career services on the Web

Visit the Career Center at PublicPower.org. Our career center allows job seekers to upload resumes, and recruiters to obtain resumes from job seekers. Classified ads in Public Power Daily and Public Power Weekly cost 70 cents per word for APPA members, and 80 cents per word for nonmembers, for a one-week run. Job posting subscriptions are available in packages of five, 10, or unlimited for a full year. The weekly deadline for placing a classified ad is every Thursday at 12 p.m. (Eastern time). If you have questions about classified ads, please write to jobs@publicpower.org, or call 202/467-2958.

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Naylor, LLC
Events Calendar

Webinar – Cybersecurity: Legislation, Regulation and Executive Orders
May 23


Safety Webinar – Safety in Confined Spaces
June 4

Webinar Utility Governance: Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils
June 11

APPA National Conference & Public Power Expo
Nashville, Tenn.
June 14-19

Webinar – Regional Transmission Organizations: RTO 101
June 26

Webinar – Using Regulatory Accounting in Developing Rate Structures
June 27

Webinar  Regional Transmission Organizations: RTO 201
July 10

Webinar Utility Governance: Strategic Planning for Utility Boards and City Councils
July 16

Webinar Information Technology Governance for Auditors and Accounting & Finance Personnel
July 23

Webinar – Pole Attachment Issues
July 30

Webinar Electric Rate Designs: Rate Structures that Reflect Utility Costs
August 20

Safety Webinar Fall Protection: Methods, Programs and Policies
August 27

Webinar GASB 68: Pension Accounting
September 10

Webinar Performance Monitoring and Accountability for Boards
September 17

APPA Business & Financial Conference
Orlando, Fla.
September 22-25


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


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