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Well done, RMEL members! You all planned, delivered and engaged in an outstanding 2018 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention that ignited our collective energy in "Building Our Future Toward the New Energy Paradigm.” The vision and thought leadership delivered by the speakers, along with the innovative discussions among attendees are important catalysts as we finalize plans for 2019 RMEL events and set our sights on industry priorities of tomorrow. A repeated comment we received was an appreciation for the diversity of topics and quality of presenters.  I have to agree!  Attendee feedback on the program content indicated the planning team and RMEL Board of Directors hit the mark. From Jim Carroll’s big-picture presentation, to current data and analytics strategies, to ERCOT''s future grid reliability strategies, along with electrification initiatives that electric utilities are employing through new utility business models, and of course, leadership strategies to maximize career growth. Hearing the essential branding and culture impacts of Southwest Airlines’ journey from Ginger Hardage closed day one on a powerful note. Day 2 of the Convention picked right back up with a fast-paced presentation from Dr. Michael Webber full of trends, analysis, predictions and a thought-provoking perspective on how we best harness the future of the industry. In tradition, the Fall Convention closed with the its signature session, the CEO Panel, allowing our industry leaders to share their energetic look at how our industry CEOs are driving these challenges for their respective organizations and for the entire industry. We have put together a quick recap of the Convention for you to view.

Please check out the Fall Convention highlight reel! 

(FOR BEST VIEWING: Turn up your speakers!)

One of the highlights of the Convention for me is when we take a moment to honor those people who have made an impact on the industry with the presentation of the RMEL Awards by 2018 President, Tom Kent. Congratulations to Anthony Montoya, Retired, Western Area Power Administration, who received the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award. Tony has dedicated more than 35 years to furthering the reliability, safety & security of the bulk electric system and he served as President of RMEL as a part of his nine years of service to the Association . Thank you for your contributions, Tony! Kelly Harrison, Retired, Westar Energy, received the 2018 Honorary Life Membership Award. Kelly has enthusiastically promoted the electric energy industry and RMEL and has served as a mentor to many emerging leaders. He served as RMEL’s President in 2011, and Board representative on the RMEL Foundation Board for many years. Two Industry Leadership Awards were presented for their contributions to their respective organizations. The 2018 awards went to Steven Cobb, Director, TGO, SRP, and David Tomczyszyn, Manager, Transmission, Substation & Relay Engineering, Austin Energy.  Steven is dedicated to reliability and he is a leader in improving the western interconnection. He has presented for RMEL in the past and is a great asset to the RMEL community. David embraces new technology and drives developments and innovation in the industry. RMEL’s Distribution Section has seen tremendous participation growth thanks to David serving as a member of RMEL’s Distribution Section Committee. Again, congratulations to all 2018 Award Winners, and thank you for your dedication to the electric energy industry.

We would be remiss if we did not extend our appreciation to our outgoing President, Tom Kent, VP & COO, Nebraska Public Power District, for his outstanding leadership throughout the year. During Tom’s presidency, RMEL saw record-breaking utility attendance at this Fall Convention and continued growth of the RMEL Emerging Leader program, which is developing high-potential individuals into tomorrow’s senior level executives. He led an invigorating RMEL market research study, conducted by Westgroup Research, which shined a light on future direction and initiatives you the members would like to see from RMEL. Thank you, Tom! RMEL is a better association because of your service to the industry. The Fall Convention also provides an opportunity to usher in our new President. Scott Fry, Managing Director, MyCoff, Fry & Prouse, LLC, became RMEL’s 2018-2019 President. Scott joined the RMEL Board of Directors in 2010 and has served as a member of the Executive Committee and held the positions of VP of Member Services, and President-Elect. I am looking for a successful year working  with Scott and his Board.

As RMEL’s Board leadership and convention topics change with the industry each year, it’s impressive to see how the conversation evolves at the Fall Convention and how those discussions influence the direction of RMEL. During the Vital Issues Forum, executives further discussed how they are making trends and analysis actionable at their company. They shared strategies around security, innovation, microgrids, customers, communication, changing transmission RTOs, and of course the workforce and the people it will take to revolutionize the electric energy industry. Incorporating ideas from Fall Convention presentations, these industry leaders also touched on areas where they’re seeing change at their utilities, including:

2019 EVENTS AND CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

Look for these topics and so much more at RMEL’s 2019 Events. New for 2019! You can submit your topics and speaker ideas for 2019 events! This is your association and your opportunity to help drive RMEL programming. RMEL Section Committees have a pulse on the industry and work very hard to deliver valuable member programs. When you submit topics and/or speakers, your ideas will be shared with RMEL Section Committees so we can all work together to share best practices through the trust RMEL forum. Remember that you can share your critical topics and vital issues at the 2019 Fall Convention Planning Session on November 2. This is great opportunity to work with fellow RMEL members to build the direction of RMEL for 2019.

REMAINING 2018 EVENTS

Transmission Asset Management and Maintenance Conference
October 25, 2018 in Lone Tree, CO

As budgets continue to tighten and regulations increase, RMEL members will share asset management, health and maintenance best practices that are working to manage risks, optimize costs and maximize performance. Attendees will work together to find the highest return on new and existing asset investments. Presentations will combine emerging trends and successful case studies, including topics like: risk-based asset management decision-making, large transmission line construction, metrics (performance vs. cost), Asset Health Centers, energized line maintenance best practices, equipment diagnostics programs, power system maintenance program drivers and failure modes and effects.

November Safety Roundtable
November 2, 2018 in Fort Collins, CO

John Olaechea, Compliance Assistance Specialist, OSHA, will cover how employers are selected for inspection and the types of inspections conducted by OSHA. Procedures for accident and complaint investigations as well as emphasis program inspections and how to prepare for them will be discussed in detail. 

Planning Session: 2019 Fall Convention
November 2, 2018 in Denver, CO

The entire membership is invited to help plan the topics and speakers for the 2019 RMEL Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention. The planning session is November 2, 2018. The 2019 Fall Convention will take place September 16-18, 2019, at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza in Kansas City, MO.

The inventive spirit at the 2018 Fall Convention is a great sign of what’s to come for our industry in 2019 and beyond. Thank you for engaging in the RMEL member community as we work together toward RMEL’s mission:

MISSION: Preparing the electric energy industry for the future through education and networking.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
Transmission Asset Management and Maintenance ConferenceOctober 25, 2018 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable - November 2018 — November 2, 2018 (Fort Collins, CO)
Planning Session: 2019 Fall Convention — November 2, 2018 (Denver, CO)
Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop --- January 17, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Security Conference --- February 6-7, 2019
Steam Generation Cycling Symposium --- February 20, 2019
Safety Roundtable --- February 22, 2019 (Westminster, CO)
Transmission Conference --- March 6-7, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Distribution Conference --- March 13-14, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety  Conference --- March 27-28, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference --- May 20-22, 2019 *NEW MONDAY-WEDNESDAY DATES* (Phoenix, AZ)
Transmission Symposium --- June 12, 2019
Power Supply Planning for Modern Energy Solutions --- June 19-20, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament --- June 26, 2019 (Littleton, CO)
Project Management Workshop --- July 10-11, 2019 (Golden, CO)
Plant Management, Engineering and Operations Conference --- August 7-8, 2019
Leadership Workshop --- August 14-15, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable --- August 23, 2019 (Golden, CO)
Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention --- September 16-18, 2019 *NEW MONDAY-WEDNESDAY DATES* (Kansas City, MO)
2020 Spring Conference Planning Session --- October 3, 2019
Distribution Engineers Workshop --- October 9-10, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Renewable Planning & Operations Conference --- October 23-24, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable --- November 1, 2019 (Fort Collins, CO)

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RMEL''s trusted network is now accessible on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter. These are forums intended for RMEL members only. Working side-by-side in a cooperative manner, RMEL members band together for the common goal of bettering the industry and improving service for utility customers. For more than 100 years, these key principles have proven successful, and more importantly, are tried and true methods for building strong business relationships.

   
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Industry Information

Entergy Louisiana customers are being served by a stronger, more resilient electric grid following the completion of major transmission projects, including one of the largest in the company’s history.

 

The PJM Interconnection on Tuesday filed a pair of options to reform its capacity market with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), recasting a capacity repricing plan that the agency threw out when it invalidated the grid operator''s market rules in June.

  

Andy Davis can think of 42 reasons not to take out the dams of the upper Mississippi River. That is the number of megawatts generated by hydroelectric generators between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

 

After many months of deliberation and input from stakeholders, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission adopted a framework for the state’s newly required investor-owned utilities’ Distribution Resource Plans, which will determine what resources and grid upgrades the utilities will need to make to meet consumer demand for electricity. 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing up to $30 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) under the second closing of the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE’s) Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologiesfunding opportunity announcement.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today  (10/2) announced plans to establish a new 20 megawatt (MW) battery project in Northern New York that will demonstrate the operation of a large-scale energy storage system. 

  

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing awards of up to $28m to support the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of next-generation tools and technologies to improve the cybersecurity of the country’s critical energy infrastructure.


Energy-related CO2 emissions decreased by 47 million metric tons (MMmt), from 5,189 MMmt in 2016 to 5,142 MMmt in 2017.

 
  

Utility regulators are approving a plan for Mississippi Power Co. to upgrade facilities at a Gulf Coast oil refinery that is its largest customer.



   
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Member Announcements
  

Austin Energy is completing the next step in its efforts to Repower Downtown with the delivery of a third transformer to the Seaholm Substation. 




  

Monday, Sept. 17, the Colorado Springs Utilities Board voted to offer the energy supply general manager, Aram Benyamin, a contract as the new CEO of the $2 billion enterprise.





CPS Energy staff made a request to the Board to vote to declare several CPS Energy properties as surplus properties. This surplus property determination allows CPS Energy to offer them up for sale in anticipation of the company’s move to its new headquarters on McCullough Avenue in 2020.

Holy Cross Energy, the electric cooperative serving the Colorado counties of Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin, including the resort towns of Aspen and Vail, today announced that it has formally adopted SEVENTY70THIRTY; its new clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals for its future power supply resources.

Funding for battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project is being sought by the Nebraska Public Power District and the City of Norfolk that would be tied to a proposed community solar project planned for that community in 2019.

Due to the great strides made by Omaha Public Power District employees in the decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), the utility will consider a timely, more economical approach.

  

As a part of the company’s Energy Vision 2020initiative, last week Rocky Mountain Power began testing the process of replacing wind turbine nacelles and blades at the Seven Mile Hill wind farm.







  

Monsoon 2018 proved to be a powerful one with SRP’s Distribution Operation Center (DOC) declaring six Level 1 storms from June to September, the National Weather Service issuing eight Excessive Heat Warnings and SRP engaging its free bagged-ice distribution plan on two occasions to assist customers affected by storm-related outages

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Cybersecurity is a never-ending battle, with online criminals constantly adapting their tactics to outsmart the latest patch or protocol.

Tucson Electric Power is providing even bigger savings to businesses and schools that make energy efficiency upgrades through a fall promotion.

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