RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

We Are Ready for the Spring Conference in Arizona

Just two weeks away!  We are so excited about the upcoming Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference coming to Phoenix, Arizona, on May 20-22, 2019! If you are trying to decide whether or not to attend, I encourage you to check out the 25+ timely and relevant industry presentations you get to choose from. Take a look at the electric utilities and services and supplier companies who will be joining us at the event. RMEL members are Making it Happen by Putting the Pieces Together, as we share our insights and experiences on the challenges we face in our industry. As a former colleague of mine used to say, “All of us, are better than any one of us!” Don’t miss this opportunity!

Here’s What Last Year’s Attendees Had to Say About the Conference:

“Diverse participation by large numbers of utilities and vendors.”

“RMEL is very unique in its community of members. I appreciate how open and welcoming everyone is and how willing people are to share lessons learned.”

“I really value that RMEL is able to bring together industry leaders that are willing to be honest with others on what they see, feel and experience.”

“This conference has industry-leading representatives and a good blend of the technical, policy and economics.”

“The educational content provided me some ideas and insights to bring back to my organization.”

Retired NFL Running Back Merril Hoge to Keynote Spring Conference

Find. A. Way. Three simple words, yet when composed in a sentence, Merril Hoge has proven that these can be the most powerful words in the English language. "Find. A. Way.” helped Merril beat cancer, overcome family tragedies, triumph childhood traumas and conquer his personal demons.

A retired NFL running back and former ESPN analyst, Merril inspires audiences with his story of prevailing over life''s hurdles through strength and determination while achieving success through hard work and perseverance. He began his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, eventually joining the Chicago Bears before retiring due to post-concussion syndrome. During his tenure as an ESPN analyst and host, he was well-known for his sharp insights and knowledge of the game.

In 2003, Merril was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin''s lymphoma, which he fought – and beat – using the same tenacity he demonstrated on the field. He shares his moving story in his memoir Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life.

Merril’s empowering message provides people with strategies to "find a way” as they pursue their own goals.                

Electric Energy Senior Leadership Panel

One of my favorite sessions at the Spring Conference is the Electric Utility Executive Leadership Panel. The 2019 Panel will feature John Coggins, Associate GM & Chief Power System Executive, SRP; Daniel Froetscher, Executive VP, Operations, Arizona Public Service; Susan Gray, Sr. VP & Chief Operating Officer, UNS Energy Corporation; and Ken Wilmot, Sr. VP & Chief Operating Officer, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. Moderator Tom Kent, VP & COO, Nebraska Public Power District, & Past President, RMEL, will lead a discussion focusing on strategies for moving forward with today’s biggest industry challenges. You will not want to miss these executive insights on emerging issues and future planning.   

Upcoming June and July Events

Power Supply Planning for Modern Energy Solutions Conference 
June 19-20, 2019 – Lone Tree, Colorado

Evolving RTO markets, renewables, distributed resources, and calls for increased grid resiliency present power supply planners with significant challenges to ensure flexibility and reliability while remaining cost competitive. This conference will explore current trends, relevant projects and market perspectives to gain insight to this changing industry. A roundtable discussion will provide an invaluable opportunity for open dialogue regarding challenges and best practices in meeting these challenges.

RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament 
June 26, 2019 - Littleton, Colorado

The 2019 Golf Tournament benefits the RMEL Foundation Scholarship Program. Contact our office to find out all the ways you support the future of our industry, not to mention enjoy a wonderful round of golf with your industry colleagues at the beautiful scenic Arrowhead Golf Course. Call us to get registered! The foursomes are going fast! The RMEL Foundation provides scholarships to deserving and qualified university/college students focused on engineering or curriculum related to the electric energy industry with the intent of encouraging students to pursue a career in the electric energy industry. The Foundation also provides scholarships to those pursuing an electric industry position certificate or associate degree at a college (community college, two-year college or a four-year university). 

Project Management Workshop
July 10-11, 2019 – Golden, Colorado

The 2019 Project Management Workshop will review the basics, build on the methodologies, and share tools and apply them to new case studies to assist you with continuing down the path of successful project management. Regardless of the types of projects you work, they all require you and your team to have sound project management skills and understanding in order to successfully plan, manage and control the projects. This workshop will further the in-depth discussions and applications to help you become a more disciplined, well-organized and highly effective project manager.

It’s going to be an awesome Spring Conference kicking off a productive summer together! I am excited to continue working together toward RMEL's mission: Preparing the electric energy industry for the future through education and networking.

See you soon!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference — May 20-22, 2019 *NEW MONDAY-WEDNESDAY DATES* (Phoenix, AZ)
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 (Golden, CO)
Transmission Symposium — August 13-14, 2019 (Golden, CO)
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 16-17, 2019 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable — November 1, 2019 (Fort Collins, CO)

RMEL Member Information

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.

RMEL Champions is a prestigious group of RMEL supporters with access to useful and beneficial promotional opportunities. Get more details, and see a list of 2019 RMEL Champions!

   
Burns & McDonnell
   
Industry Information
Energy storage has been described as the Swiss Army knife of the electric industry. Others call it the killer app of the smart grid, or they say it is the empowering technology. Whatever it is called, energy storage has proven to be a valuable multifaceted technology.
 
  
The widespread application and use of electricity, which may now seem like a simple commodity, is considered one of the greatest technical developments of all time. However, keeping up with today’s demand for power is anything but simple: a vast amount of resources goes into maintaining a reliable infrastructure.


The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday approved a $273.3 million rate increase, an electric vehicle (EV) pilot and distributed generation program for DTE Energy, though it denied the utility's proposed system access charge for solar customers.
 
  
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has Issued an Original 50-year License for the 393.3-MW Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in Klamath County, Oregon.






First Solar swung to a first-quarter loss due to lower project revenue and escalating costs at its engineering, procurement and construction business, but reassured investors that the roll-out of its critical Series 6 modules is proceeding as planned.
  
As part the Energy Department's (DOE) recent announcement of project selections for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research program, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced 11  projects will receive Phase II (9 SBIR and 2 STTR) funding, totaling approximately $11 million. 

Utilities and other energy experts convene each year at DISTRIBUTECH International (DTECH) to discuss the future of energy and this week Clarion Energy, organizer of the event, announced that the call for abstracts for the 2020 event is open.
  
The first liquified natural gas-fueled (LNG) power plant owned by Hokkaido Electric Power Co. (HEPCO) has started commercial operation.
Member Announcements
Austin Energy announced it has reached an agreement with Southern Power to acquire the Nacogdoches Generating Facility, a wood waste biomass-fueled power plant in East Texas, for $460 million.
The event was held to showcase the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project, led by the University of Wyoming (UW) and other partners to determine the feasibility of establishing a commercial-scale geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage complex in Wyoming.
Black Hills Corp. announced financial results for the first quarter of 2019. Net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018 was: Three Months Ended Mar. 31, 2019 2018 (in millions, except per share amounts) Income EPS Income EPS GAAP: Net income from continuing operations $103.8 $1.73 $135.3 $2.50
CPS Energy has been designated a 2019 Environmental Champion utility for the 3rd year in a row by Market Strategies-Morpace. 
  
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has announced the results of recent officer elections for the nonprofit’s Board of Directors. Mary Kipp, President and CEO of El Paso Electric (EPE), will be the Board’s new Chair for a one-year term, becoming the first sitting utility president and CEO to serve as Chair of the SEPA Board. 
 
 
 
 
KCP&L and Westar Energy dispatched approximately 100 linemen to St. Louis to assist Ameren, Missouri with restoring power to thousands of residents in the St. Louis, Missouri area. 
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and Lincoln Electric System is working with Electrical Safety Foundation International to launch its annual effort to help reduce electrically related fatalities, injuries and property loss. This year’s theme, “Electrical Safety during Natural Disasters,” focuses on the importance of preparing, weathering and rebuilding after natural disasters. 
Approval was given on an agreement by the Norfolk City Council for the state’s largest community solar project with Nebraska Public Power District, that will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020.
PacifiCorp has released an updated economic study of its coal fleet that will inform how the company meets the long-term customer energy needs of its customers. 
  
The Omaha Public Power District has entered into a contract with EnergySolutions, an industry-leading nuclear services company, to provide technical support for the safe, efficient decommissioning of OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station (FCS).
Alongside New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, PNM announced they are the nation's 1st large investor-owned utility to set a goal of ensuring all our electricity is 100-percent emissions-free by 2040, dependent on regulatory approval, which is 5-years ahead of the state’s goal of 2045.
  
Salt River Project has been recognized by the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program for achieving the Gold level of excellence in worksite wellness.
Liberty Utilities wheld a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Bolivar Service Center on Thursday, April 25, 2019.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association held its 67th Annual Meeting on April 3-4 in Broomfield, Colorado, with 525 electric cooperative representatives and invited guests in attendance. 
Some of our customers may not realize that TEP provides solar energy to their homes on a daily basis. But at public events, they can see firsthand how solar energy can power a TV, a stereo, video games and even a grill.
 
United Power was founded in 1938 to provide electric service to Colorado’s growing northern front range. Today, the service area isn’t the sparse, rural territory that farmers rallied together to energize. It’s a mix of historic farmlands, growing metropolitan suburbs and new commercial and industrial development, intersected by some of the Denver area’s busiest transportation corridors.
  
Dawn Roth Lindell, senior vice president and Rocky Mountain regional manager at Western Area Power Administration, has been selected as one of Colorado’s Top Women in Energy for 2019. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Xcel Energy has completed the purchase of two wind energy projects that add to its growing Upper Midwest wind energy portfolio. The 200 megawatt Blazing Star 2 wind project in southwest Minnesota and the 300 megawatt Dakota Range 1 and 2 projects in eastern South Dakota will allow Xcel Energy to continue to be a national leader in wind energy. 
White Paper
  
Coal-derived graphene quantum dots, when modified with a polymer, are effective antioxidants. They could lead to a therapy for people who suffer traumatic brain injuries, strokes or heart attacks