RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

Thank you again to attendees, speakers, exhibitors, RMEL Champions and everyone who made the 2019 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference a success...Making it Happen and Putting the Pieces Together.

Please take a minute and check out the Spring Conference Highlight Reel!

(FOR BEST VIEWING: Turn up your speakers!)

Keynote Merril Hoge, Former NFL Star & Cancer Survivor, Set an Inspirational Tone with his “Find A Way” Message

COOs Spoke About Making it Happen Operationally at Their Organizations

Each year, RMEL volunteers work feverishly to provide the membership with a quality educational event at the Spring Conference. This year’s conference experience, created by RMEL members, truly “Found A Way” to make that happen. One utility attendee summed it up perfectly, saying “Merril Hoge was really a fantastic way to open the conference. The presentations are always so valuable and on-point for the issues that we are facing. The collaborative environment that all members of the industry bring to this conference makes it so valuable and a fantastic experience. It is honestly recharging to come to these events.”

Numerous attendees came up to tell me, “Great Conference!” Some even noted they thought it was the “Best Spring Conference yet!” Merril’s keynote inspired each of us to “Find A Way” to succeed! Our Senior Executive Leadership Panel framed up the challenges that lay ahead. The educational breakout tracks collectively proved to be a solid target on the direction our industry is trending with a collection of timely presentations. The recognition of another quality group of Emerging Leader Award winners, along with the Foundation’s announcement of 47 scholarships for 2019, resulting in a record $100,000 in awards, builds our confidence in the future of the industry’s workforce. Our RMEL Champions-sponsored networking receptions allowed the conversations to keep flowing. There was a positive, energetic and deliberate spirit of collaboration and problem solving. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated. You have truly raised the bar for our Spring event! Mark your calendars to join us next year in Austin, TX, May 11-13, 2020!

Past and Current Emerging Leader Award Winners Dive Into Career Development Strategies with Merril Hoge

RMEL Emerging Leader Awards were bestowed during the Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference. The 2019 Emerging Leader Award winners are Vale Anderson, Electrical Engineer, Salient Power Engineering; Matt Bult, Senior Manager, Operations Technology, KCP&L and Westar, Evergy Companies; Jennifer Carron, Transmission Construction Field Representative, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association; Dr. Daniel Haughton, Manager of Distribution Engineering, Arizona Public Service; Thomas Reid, Manager of Engineering, TG Advisers, Inc.; Jenny Reitmeier, Department Manager: Networks, Integration, Automation, Burns & McDonnell; and Jose Trevino, Director, Customer Engineering Services & Scheduling, CPS Energy. The Emerging Leader Award recognizes RMEL members with 5-10 years of experience who have made significant contributions within their organization and have demonstrated the potential for leadership and continuing service within the electric energy industry. Get more details about this year's winners

RMEL is very focused on continuing the partnership with these future leaders and helping them succeed. Past and current RMEL Emerging Leader Award winners had a unique opportunity to sit down with Merril and dive further into his story and apply his methodologies for success to their quickly advancing careers. Now is the time to start thinking about who you'd like to nominate for the Emerging Leader Award next year - the 2020 Emerging Leader Award nomination deadline will be in early 2020.

RMEL Foundation Scholarship Program's Incredible Record-Breaking Momentum Continues

There is nothing more energizing than hundreds of students expressing an interest in this industry through the RMEL Foundation Scholarship program. And the RMEL Foundation and Named Scholarship sponsors were able to respond with more scholarships than ever before! The dollars raised each year are increasing, scholarships given each year are growing, and the Named Scholarship Program is reaching a record high.

The RMEL Foundation has provided 366 scholarships totaling over $850,000 since its inception 19 years ago. Get full details on these amazing students who received scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year. This is an exciting time to grow our industry. Please attend or sponsor the 2019 RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament, taking place at the incredible Arrowhead Golf Club on June 26, 2019, and donate an item to the RMEL Foundation Auction, taking place at the Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention September 16-18, 2019, in Kansas City, MO.

2019 Summer of Solutions Leading Up to a Fall Convention of Global Proportions

It’s going to be a summer full of RMEL member-driven events. The road to the Fall Convention is paved with many other great topics and speakers at conferences, workshops and roundtables this summer. Take advantage and sign up for these educational events:

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

(This event is quickly filling up and may sell out – register today!)

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.

Plant Management, Engineering and Operations Conference 
August 7-8, 2019 – Golden, Colorado

Get details on construction, operations, maintenance, emissions, water quality, plant personnel, fuels, planning, security, safety, technologies, regulatory and policy issues and strategies and procedures that plant personnel can use to optimize plant operations and performance. RMEL members will share best practices to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and extend the life of their existing plants.

Transmission Resiliency, Response and Restoration Symposium 
August 13-14, 2019 – Golden, Colorado

This symposium will explore different aspects of preparing for and responding to natural disasters from the perspectives of resiliency (examples: California wildfires, southeast hurricanes, Nebraska tornadoes and ice storms), response (examples: U.S. Virgin Islands lessons learned, Hurricane Harvey air response and staging, mutual assistance programs) and restoration (example: transformer relocation during restoration efforts).

Leadership Workshop: Preparing Today’s Leaders for Tomorrow’s Utility
August 14-15, 2019 – Lone Tree, Colorado

This is an essential workshop for anyone navigating a successful career in the electric energy industry, especially those in middle management (new or seasoned). The workshop will feature industry specific leadership and technical topics.

August Safety Roundtable
August 23, 2019 – Golden, Colorado

Switching - A Human Action
Kyle Conroy, EPTC Manager, Western Area Power Administration
As an industry there is certainly many variations of Power System Switching Operating Procedures, Guidelines, and Protocols developed to minimize the potential for the human element to error. In doing so, ideally our priority is/was concern for human safety. Of course, this is followed very closely with our concern for system reliability. Yet, with all these various efforts designed or intended to guide the human through switching, errors (incidents) still occur. What seems to work well vs. what doesn’t? Can process driven protocols lead to complacency? The answer is… What is the question again? There is much discussion on how we as an industry should proceed to mitigate switching errors; these often include but are not limited to discussions regarding; improved processes and job aids, improved situational awareness, more effective root cause analysis, near miss reporting, more automation, integrating virtual or augmented reality, integrating artificial intelligence. And the list goes on…I am curious, have we actually really defined the question we should be addressing?

RMEL Fall Convention – Save the Date and Mark Your Calendars

All this impactful education and networking leads up to RMEL’s 116th Annual Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention. Join us September 16-18, 2019, in Kansas City, MO. Register and look for more details soon at www.rmel.org/fall.

The Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention gives senior leaders a unique opportunity to strategize about industry vital issues of today and what the power industry will look like in 5, 10 and maybe even 30 years from now. As our electric energy industry faces new pressures, influences and competition, join us at RMEL’s 2019 Fall Convention to hear renowned lecturer John Doggett’s insights and perspectives on global energy markets. He has extensive, global experience working with companies and trade associations in a wide range of industries, including electric utilities, oil, gas, coal, manufacturing, retail, transportation, software and non-profit. John was a competitive strategy and marketing consultant with McKinsey & Company in Washington, DC, and Copenhagen, Denmark, and he created an international economic development consulting firm that helped governments, private sector organizations, universities and firms around the world.

The Fall Convention Day 2 Keynote Speaker is Clifton L. Taulbert, noted author and entrepreneur businessman. According to Taulbert, he could have failed had he not encountered community builders and entrepreneurial thinkers early on in his life. Taulbert was born on the Mississippi Delta during the era of legal segregation where he completed his secondary education. Though opportunities were few and barriers were plentiful, he managed to dream of being successful, not knowing the shape that success would take. Today Taulbert is the President and CEO of the Freemount Corporation (a human capital development company) serving clients nationally and internationally-Fortune 500 Companies, small businesses, federal agencies, professional organizations, community colleges and K-12 leadership.

Look for more details on the full slate of 2019 Fall Convention speakers soon.

I hope you have a fantastic start to your summer, and we hope to see you soon!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
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
      
Evluma LED Lighting
   
Industry Information
As the smart home market heats up, digitalization, changing customer demand, and innovation in home energy management technology has opened the door for electric utilities to get in on the game.
 
  
U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Angus King (I-Maine), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), have reintroduced The Marine Energy Research and Development Act, intended to increase production of low-carbon, renewable energy from the natural power in ocean waves, tides and currents.
 
 
 
 

The electric utility industry is increasingly challenged by external drivers such as regulatory obligations and mandates as well as competitors who want to disintermediate utility customers from their current energy provider. 
  
Iowa economic development officials are tentatively endorsing a tax credit for battery storage to complement the state’s wind and solar generation.
 
 
 
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected 17 projects to receive approximately $39 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants.
The power demand from the 20 million electric vehicles (EVs) expected to be on U.S. roads by 2030, up from today's 1.1 million, could overwhelm the nation's grids.
 
Energy efficiency helps families save money, makes businesses more competitive and creates a cleaner environment for future generations. That's why Canada is investing in technology to make our electrical systems more efficient and prepare us for a clean energy future.
Japan imported more than 210 million short tons (MMst) of coal in 2018, making it the world’s third-largest coal-importing country after only India and China. 
The United States in 2019 will become the world’s largest market for grid-connected battery energy storage, as solar-plus-storage and peaking capacity requirements drive increased procurement, according to IHS Markit.
  
Target plans to power 100% of its US operations with renewable generation by 2030, including stores, distribution centers and offices.
 
 
Kevin G. Wailes, chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric System, received the Alan Richardson Statesmanship Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Austin, Texas, on June 11, 2019. This award honors public power leaders who work to achieve consensus on national issues important to public power utilities.
   
CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
   
Member Announcements
The 23rd annual Cool House Tour was June 9, with some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes in Austin. This year’s tour features three remodels, three new homes, an Accessory Dwelling Unit built using a shipping container and a wildlife sanctuary residence. 
The employees of Wyoming Lime Producers earned the Certificate of Achievement from the Wyoming State Mine inspector for working nearly 35,000 hours, a perfect record of no lost-time accidents, for the calendar year 2018. In total, the plant went nine-and-a-half years without a lost-time accident.
Powered by CPS Energy, Electrify America is offering its most updated and high-powered electric vehicle charging stations for the San Antonio community installed at the Walmart Supercenter located at 4331 Thousand Oaks.
We want to share with you an important update about El Paso Electric (EPE). On June 3, 2019 we announced a significant, long-term investment in our service area. Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF), an investment vehicle advised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., has agreed to acquire EPE. 
The National Safety Council, Nebraska Chapter (NSC, NE) is once again recognizing several Nebraska companies for outstanding safety initiatives and performance; among those being honored for many consecutive years of outstanding safety performance is Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD).
Omaha Public Power District is leading the way the future is powered. The district has a number of customer program offerings to support that vision and provided an update to the OPPD Board of Directors.
  
Sandy City leaders celebrated the opening of 45 new electric vehicle charging stations installed at municipal facilities.
 
 
 
 
Platte River Power Authority’s owner communities signed an extension to the organic contract extending the life of Platte River through 2060. New power supply agreements (PSAs) were also executed, running concurrently with the organic contract.
  
The SRP Board of Directors approved changes to further improve the SRP 2035 Sustainability Goals that will now include more aggressive measures to reduce carbon emissions, strengthen the grid to allow more customer choice and improve water resiliency.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has issued its sixth request for proposals (RFP) for renewable energy resources.
Tucson Electric Power knows teachers are the backbone of our schools – and we show appreciation for what they do.
 
Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Mineral Resources Committee’s Water and Power Subcommittee on issues and opportunities facing WAPA as it continues to invest in a connected energy future. 
Xcel Energy reported that it reduced carbon emissions 38% from 2005 levels – well ahead of industry reductions – as it aims by 2050 to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity. 
White Paper
One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost. Engineered electroactive microbes could be part of the solution.