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From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki

I hope that you all have had a wonderful start to the new year! I’m anxious to see where this year takes us. With the continued rollout of the vaccinations and, as always, the transition to a new administration, we will find new challenges as well as opportunities. After what we all endured in 2020, I am confident we will succeed. Together, once again, we will figure it out!

Education Planning, Spring Conference & Fall Convention

RMEL’s Education Committees have already completed their January committee calls and they all have some great plans for timely and relevant content coming soon. You’ll see more updates in the coming weeks on complimentary webinars for RMEL members, as well as low cost workshops.  All indications are that virtual will remain with us through, at least, the majority of 2021. We’ve already begun planning the Fall Convention program, and will have more details about the Planning Session for the Spring Conference soon! You will receive a short Spring Conference Survey.  We understand "content is King”! Your feedback allows our planning team to provide timely and relevant educational programing.  And it goes without saying, when the opportunity presents itself to serve our membership with face-to-face programing or events, we will be ready. 

Mark your calendars and get registered for these upcoming events:

Webinar: FERC Order 2222 - Overview & Potential Impacts to T&D Networks
Thursday, February 4, 2021, 10-11 a.m. MST

The first webinar of 2021 will focus on FERC Order 2222 - Overview & Potential Impacts to T&D Networks, and will be on Thursday, February 4, 2021, 10-11 a.m. MST. This webinar will provide an overview of FERC Order 2222 that requires ISOs/RTOs to allow DER to participate in the wholesale markets they administer. This ruling will impact both distribution and transmission networks and how they are operated traditionally. Clear frameworks should be defined to enable effective coordination between the stakeholders. The webinar will provide an overview of the order and discuss some of the coordination requirements.

Webinar: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Asset Management
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 10-11 a.m. MST

This webinar will take a look at how Western Area Power Administration’s GIS program has been supporting the Asset Management’s mission in the management of data, maps, and other AM applications. WAPA’s GIS program provides support and products to almost all departments within the agency which include, but are not limited to, Natural Resources, Engineering, Public Relations, Maintenance, and Safety and Security.

Virtual Workshop: Lithium Ion Energy Storage Systems -  Failures, Fires and Explosions – Application of Best Practices

March 3, 10-11:15 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
Part 1: Lithium Ion ESS 101 – Unintended Consequences – Process failures, will review large scale fire test and real world case studies to understand how ESS systems fail and the consequences of those failures. Understanding Thermal Runaway, Propagation and gas production.    Look at reasonable anticipated events from fire to explosion. Review of what to expect from UL 9540A fire testing.  A look at the McMicken event and consequences.

March 10, 10-11:15 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
Part 2: Lithium Ion ESS 201 – Mitigation Methods and Options for Safety systems, will take the lessons learned and testing information from the unintended consequences to apply practical solutions to mitigate the failure modes of ESS.  What we can do to protect lives and safety for operators and first responders.  A silver bullet does not exist but using a phase approach we can limit the path ways to further failure.

March 17th, 10-11:15 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time
Part 3: Lithium Ion ESS 301 – Code requirements  - Then, Now and in the Future, will discuss early codes and what is currently expected from NFPA 855 and the IFC. Take a look at upcoming changes to NFPA 855 and the recommendation from the McMicken reports.  Provide recommendations on what the client should expect from the Battery manufacture, integrator, fire system and appropriate engineering studies.   

Member Programs and Benefits Continuing in 2021

As a reminder, the following new, virtual member benefits will continue in 2021:

  • Complimentary Webinars for ALL RMEL members! We will continue to provide complimentary webinars (and PDH certificates) in 2021 to engage all of your employees.
  • Discounted Workshops Available! A more intensive dive into virtual technical training offerings at a discounted rate.
  • Relevant and Timely Content - The RMEL Education Section Committees, Board of Directors and the RMEL membership will stay engaged and focused on keeping content and educational venues timely and relevant to what’s happening in the industry, so you can be sure that RMEL programing is a solid investment of your time.
  • Spring Conference and Fall Convention Corporate Registration Packages - In addition to the discounted Fall and Spring registration fees, all RMEL members will be able to purchase Corporate registration packages for the Spring Conference and Fall Convention. This seemed to work really well for the 2020 Virtual Fall Convention, so we want to keep that going.
  • Library of recorded webinars and other useful videos (complimentary for RMEL members) - we are going to continue to add to the library of On Demand Webinars; additionally, we are going to start posting helpful technical videos from members - more on that soon!
  • PLUS MORE when we are allowed to meet in person again. We will be READY!

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

Please 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!

I look forward to having a great year with you all! Here’s to the future!  Stay SAFE!


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