RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

I hope you all had a very safe and Happy 4th of July! We kicked off our summer with a couple great events. Our Generation Committee hosted the Power Supply Planning for Modern Energy Solutions Conference focusing on various generation strategies in a transforming market. The program was well attended and we received very positive feedback from our participants. Look forward to continuing the conversation on those critical generation topics at our upcoming Plant Management Conference next month, and our Renewables Conference slated for the Fall. 

Last week, golfers took to the links to raise money for scholarships at the 2019 RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament. New this year, to entice the fundraising opportunities, RMEL partnered with Josh Cassaday, a professional Longest Drive Competitor, who finished third in this year's national competition. His longest drive ....448 yards! After some entertaining demonstrations with each foursome, teams could "purchase" Josh's drive off the tee and replace their own drive for a donation. If they chipped in that hole for a double eagle, they would have won a 3 Day trip to Pebble Beach in Monterey, CA (valued at $5,000). Some of the golfers did come close. All donations were split 50/50 between the RMEL Foundation and Josh's company, Charity Golf International. RMEL received more than $2,000 from donations for using Josh's drive, which resulted in a record tournament amount raised of just over $21,000. It was fun to watch Josh in action...check out this video for just some of what he showed us on the course. Thank you to Josh, all of the players and sponsors for their generosity and support in making this a record year!

Register for the 2019 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention

As we finalize our speakers, staff is working diligently to prepare for RMEL's 116th Annual Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention  coming up September 16-18, 2019 (NEW for 2019! Monday-Wednesday dates) at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza, in Kansas City, MO. Register and look for more details soon at RMEL.org/fall. The electric utility industry is at a crossroads of change and moving towards a new paradigm. We will explore what's happening in the energy world markets and take a peek at what our future might hold.

The Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is the venue for leadership to discuss new ways to deliver solutions that are more aligned with evolving customer expectations. This is an opportunity to hear from those in our industry, as well as those that serve our industry and gain from the best practices and perspectives shared by our presenters, as well as the group of attendees that will join us in Kansas City!

The Fall Convention is your opportunity to:

  • Leverage the RMEL professional network with 300 electric energy executive attendees
  • Get an energy pricing outlook for the rapidly changing industry, including commodity markets, global fuel demand outlook, future of coal/nuclear and renewables
  • Gain insight on "the opposing viewpoint" perspective, 100% renewable goals and stakeholder pressure
  • Discover new culture and employee engagement/direction strategies
  • Get trends and technology awareness/planning tactics for artificial intelligence, block chains, bitcoin and the business case around technology
  • Hear about the changing value of the customer experience and the drivers, how disruptive technology empowers the customer and how to take the customer experience to the next level
  • and much more...

Our keynotes have been instrumental in setting the tone for our event. This year will be the same, kicking off the Convention with renowned lecturer John Doggett, who will share his 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, and coal, manufacturing, retail, transportation, software and non-profit. John was a competitive strategy and marketing consultant with McKinsey & Company in Washington, D.C., 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 people side of any business is so critical. As we know, not everyone gets a trophy. Our Day 2 Keynote Speaker, Clifton L. Taulbert, noted author and entrepreneur businessman, shares his story on how 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, Taulbert 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.

The Convention will also include the popular CEO Panel on Wednesday, September 18, featuring Terry Bassham, President & CEO, Evergy; Nick Brown, President & CEO, Southwest Power Pool; David Tudor, General Manager & CEO, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Kevin Wailes, CEO, Lincoln Electric System.

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

A Look at What's Ahead From RMEL This Summer

Project Management Workshop
July 10-11, 2019 - Golden, Colorado (This event is SOLD OUT, but you can still get on the waiting list by contacting RMEL)

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, response and restoration. Attendees will strategize on powering through hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, snow storms, floods and more.

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?

Do you have topic to share? Or is there a training topic that you would like to see? Let us know! Send your white papers to us or share that training need. We will share your feedback with the appropriate RMEL Section Committees for review.   

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
Project Management Workshop — July 10-11, 2019 (Golden, CO)
Plant Management, Engineering and Operations Conference — August 7-8, 2019 (Golden, CO)
Transmission Resiliency, Response & Restoration 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
Offshore wind and battery storage are about to come into the Northeastern power mix in a big way.
 
The California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee will consider AB 1054, aimed at helping utilities pay wildfire damage liabilities, so long as they are not found responsible for sparking the blaze.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has issued an order approving long-term contracts for 9,554,940 MWh annually of hydropower between H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc. and the Commonwealth’s electric distribution companies through the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (NECEC Hydro).
  
Dominion Energy has begun construction on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, which will feature two 6-MW wind turbines and power about 3,000 homes.
 
 
 
 
 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $24 million in funding for 77 projects supported by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF).
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $17 million in funding for nine energy research projects under the federal Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. 
Electric utility companies Florida Power & Light and Lee County Electric Cooperative have been making improvements in customers' service reliability to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.
Fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have accounted for at least 80% of energy consumption in the United States for well over a century. 
  
Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are joining the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), several national residential solar companies and other nonprofit organizations to develop new automated permit software for distributed solar and storage, reducing the cost of solar installations and saving resources for local governments and taxpayers.
 
 
  
A new research project is studying the feasibility of using carbon capture technology at biomass CHP plants in Denmark.
 
 
 
 
 
By all outward appearances, the transmission grid and distribution network have not changed much over the last 100 years.
 
   
CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
   
Member Announcements
  
Basin Electric class C member, Capital Electric Cooperative, hosted an electric vehicle (EV) tailgate party at the North Dakota state capitol building on June 17.
 
 
 
 
 
The Sierra Club released a report prepared by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. on June 25, 2019. Click below for CPS Energy’s response to this report.
  
El Paso Electric Company (EPE) announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Adrian Rodriguez, EPE’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, as interim Chief Executive Officer.
 
 
 
 
 
Westar Energy and KCP&L wind farms recently passed 50 million megawatt hours of wind electricity production. That’s enough electricity to power all the company’s residential customers for more than a year.
Lincoln Electric System’s 2019 rates ranked 11th lowest among 100 cities surveyed in a nationwide study, said Emily Koenig, LES director of Finance & Rates.
Interest continues to grow among consumers when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle - specifically an electric vehicle (EV).
As the utility industry evolves, Omaha Public Power District continues to lead the way the future is powered. At their monthly board meeting, the OPPD Board of Directors received a strategic planning update from President & CEO Timothy J. Burke.
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) filed its application to retire the San Juan Generating Station coal-fired plant in 2022, giving state regulators four separate replacement scenarios.
 
Liberty Utilities – Empire District (“Liberty-Empire”) is pleased to announce that its efforts to bring 100% renewable energy generation to customers moved one step closer to reality.
WAPA’s new employee onboarding is a yearlong, highly integrated process that includes ongoing interaction from supervisors, leaders and Human Resources.
White Paper
Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air.