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From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki

In June, how many of you all thought the end of the year would NEVER get here? Now, here we are, on our final countdown and ready to say goodbye to the infamous 2020, a year unlike any other. Though we close the year with many uncertainties of what lies ahead, we are able to see some light at the end of the tunnel (and I am confident it won't be a train)! With a vaccine on the near horizon, and the election pretty much behind us – along with the increased focus on inclusion and collaboration – there is hope we are getting closer to the next "new normal." Let us never lose sight of what our industry has accomplished. We were able to shift work practices to serve our communities reliably and efficiently, and we continue to implement new technologies to meet customer needs and expectations – all accomplished while maintaining a safe work environment!

RMEL has felt the impacts of 2020, made adjustments and will continue to discover new ways to serve its membership. We'll continue offering complimentary webinars to members in 2021, and we are working through our Education Committees to identify and provide more skills-based virtual workshops (like the one we are hosting next week on Project Management). Members will receive significant discounts on those workshops. We understand that relevant and timely content is everything, and we will continue to find inspiring keynote speakers and technical experts to help make you and your employees' jobs easier during these uncertain times. One thing the virtual venue provides is an opportunity for more employees to connect, and we saw that at the 2020 Fall Convention, where attendance tripled from previous years. We want to make this the most effective and collaborative experience possible, and we want to help you connect with other utilities to get your questions answered. We will once again offer group packages to both the Spring Conference and the Fall Convention in 2021, offering unlimited registrations for your employees.

Surveys & Planning Sessions for the 2021 Spring Conference and 2021 Fall Convention

All indications are that virtual will remain with us through, at least, the majority of 2021. When the opportunity presents itself to serve our membership with face-to-face programming or events, we will be ready. For now, we are preparing for the virtual format for our 2021 Spring Conference and 2021 Fall Convention. We will be hosting virtual planning sessions for each of these events in January. We will first focus on the Spring Conference. You will receive a short survey from us next week. We want to know what engineering and/or operational challenges you anticipate in 2021, and what solutions can we help provide in the upcoming new year. We understand "content is king!" PLEASE take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your feedback is important to us. 

December 2020 RMEL Events

As we round out 2020, I want to make sure you can take advantage of the remaining RMEL events this year!

December 8-10, 10-11:30 a.m. MST
Virtual 3-Part Workshop  –  Project Management Essentials: Initiation, Execution, and Delivery
This 3-part workshop will cover project initiation and planning, including specifics on project initiation and project planning and the major tasks and specific steps a project manager should take to effectively plan for and initiate a project. It will also cover execution monitoring and controls, including essential, basic methods of successful project management for clients and subconsultants alike. No matter the work type, every project requires a concentrated set of project management skills to successfully plan and execute. Part 3 will cover and delivery models, including engineering services vs. EPS contractor management. Specifically, instructors will touch on different types of delivery models, including design-bid-build, EPC, open book GMP, progressive and lump sum design-build, and integrated project delivery. Get full details on each day of the workshop.

December 10, 9:00-10:30 a.m. MST
Complimentary Webinar/Roundtable: How Thermal Storage Can Extend the Life of Your Plant While Enabling a Low Carbon Future
Finding long-duration bulk energy storage solutions will be the key to addressing intermittency issues of renewable generation. While Li-Ion batteries has become established as a viable solution for short-duration storage, there is a lot of effort and creativity taking place in identifying options for longer-duration options. RMEL's Generation Committee will be hosting a series of four monthly virtual roundtables to explore some of the most promising alternatives that are currently being developed. Each session is scheduled for 1 hour and 30 minutes and will consist of a 30-40 minute presentation, followed by an open-ended discussion by all participants. Due to the desired participant involvement, we may need to limit the attendance to ensure the discussion is productive for everyone.

Promote the 2021 RMEL Foundation Scholarship Opportunity by Sharing the Application With Industry and Academic Contacts

Help spread the word about RMEL Foundation Scholarship opportunities! The 2021 RMEL Foundation Scholarship Deadline is February 26, 2021. RMEL member companies are the primary avenue by which these scholarships are promoted. The Foundation encourages all RMEL members to share this opportunity throughout your company and your community.

Students from all parts of the RMEL service territory are encouraged to apply. Recipients are chosen by the RMEL Foundation selection committee. Access the Application on the RMEL Foundation Scholarship Page and Send us Your University and College Contacts. We appreciate you helping to build the future of the industry!

Holiday Wishes from RMEL to You!

Thank you again for all that you've done this year. More than ever before, I wish you and your family a Blessed and Merry Christmas! Have a very happy and safe holiday season!


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