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Market Influencers and Opportunities:  Leading Our Industry in Times of Change

RMEL's 116th Annual Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is just around the corner, September 16-18, 2019 (NEW for 2019! Monday-Wednesday dates) at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza, in Kansas City, MO. Register and get more details at RMEL.org/fall. The electric utility industry is at a crossroads of change and moving towards a new paradigm. We will discuss what's happening in the energy world markets and explore those critical elements in leading during these times. 

If you can only attend one event this year, THIS IS THAT EVENT! Register and view the interactive convention grid.

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 insights on how Berkshire Hathaway has built agreements with new industry interveners
  • Discover new culture and employee engagement/direction strategies
  • 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...

You won’t want to miss this premier lineup of speakers:

Day 1 Keynote
John Doggett, Entrepreneurship, Global Competition and Sustainability Expert

Renowned lecturer John Doggett will share his insights and perspectives on global energy markets. He has extensive 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.


 Day 2 Keynote – Visionary Leaders – The Future is Now
Clifton L. Taulbert, Pulitzer Nominated Author, International Lecturer and Entrepreneur

For 21st century utility leaders, an innovative approach remains key to facing the future. In his conversation, he will address fourteen of the many issues your leadership faces on an ongoing basis-from INNOVATIVE RETENTION to RENEWABLE ENERGY. He will explore five leadership initiatives (takeaways) that we feel to be important for your leadership mindset when addressing these issues and others.


CEO Panel

Panelist #1: Terry Bassham, President & CEO, Evergy Panelist #2: Nick Brown, President & CEO, Southwest Power Pool Panelist #3: David Tudor, General Manager & CEO, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. Panelist #4: Kevin Wailes, CEO, Lincoln Electric System  

The power industry is transitioning to a new electric energy paradigm. Electric utilities are leveraging new and existing technology to minimize costs and maximize operations while delivering solutions that are more aligned with changing customer expectations. This popular panel will focus on the diverse strategies CEOs are employing to usher their utilities into the new power industry frontier. There will be brief discussion from each CEO, followed by questions from the moderator and collected questions fielded from the audience.     

Facing an Energy Abundance
Michael Zenker, Managing Director, NextEra Energy Resources
The U.S. is facing an abundance of energy in almost all forms. Growing U.S. oil and gas production will transform the U.S. from the largest global importer, to a net exporter by 2020. At the same time, a boom or renewable energy construction is occurring despite the fact that electricity demand is not growing in the U.S. The presentation will explore the origins of this abundance, and then turn to implications to power markets in the western U.S.  
Berkshire Hathaway Case Studies Presentation with Interview and Q&A
Cathy Woollums, Senior VP, Chief Sustainability Officer, Berkshire Hathaway Energy
State of the American Workplace
Faith Gaines, Gallup
"The workplace is changing." Leaders hear this declaration or some variation of it frequently. It's a common refrain that, in the past, has carried little weight. After all, change is a constant in the business world. The workplace certainly was changing when we released past State of the American Workplace reports. So why does it feel different now? Why does "change" feel so heavy, pervasive and notable? Because the changes that are affecting organizations today are coming fast and furious. They are overlapping and colliding in ways they haven't before. They are historic and monumental. These changes are forcing organizations to reconsider how they manage and optimize performance in a time when the very essence of how, when and where people work and the value they place on work are shifting.

South Texas Project Leadership Culture
Dennis Koehl, Former CEO, South Texas Project
This presentation will cover the business achievements and leadership attributes of the STP team, and will provide a better understanding of the nuclear business. Dennis will describe the process of constantly discussing where STP stood in the ERCOT market and its true profitability to its owners. It required constant reinforcement in order to gain alignment and achieve the financial goals demanded by owners.
The Changing Value of Customer Experience in the Energy Cloud
Ted Walker, Managing Director, Navigant
Utilities are experiencing a paradigm shift as they move from regulated commodity providers to sophisticated total energy solutions providers. Customer experience (CX) sits at the heart of this transformation. The pressure is on for incumbent utilities to transform how they interact with their customers to find their place in this evolving market, but what is missing for many utilities today is a top-tier CX.

Trends & Technology
To be Announced 

RMEL Foundation and upcoming Silent/Live Auction

In addition, the RMEL Fall Convention is an exciting time to continue growing the industry through the RMEL Foundation. Many students don’t realize the exciting opportunities available in the electric energy industry. As your organizations, high schools, colleges and universities partner together to showcase power careers, the RMEL Foundation is a resource for scholarships. The biggest fundraiser is the RMEL Foundation Auction, which takes place during the Fall Convention on Tuesday, September 17, in Kansas City. You can donate an item and participate in the Auction at the Fall Convention.

Donations raised will fund the 2020 Scholarships. Scholarship applications for interested students will be available this November. Please share the scholarship application with friends, colleagues and university/college contacts who can help us spread the word.

RMEL has Packed August Full of Great Events Leading up to the Fall Convention - There’s Something for Everyone

Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop (2 dates to select from)
August 6, 2019 – Fort Collins, Colorado
August 7, 2019 – Fort Collins, Colorado

This course is designed to acquaint non-technical utility employees with the basics of their industry from the generation to the distribution of electricity. The workshop will focus on five areas: an overview to electricity and electrical power systems, information on conventional production methods, alternative technologies, transmission and distribution systems and customer service. In the overview, you will learn about the basic theory of electricity, how it is produced, and delivered to your home. In the conventional production methods section you will learn the role of primary energy sources: water, gas, oil, coal, and nuclear. You will also hear about power conversion processes, system application, capital and operating costs and grid connection considerations. 

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?

I look forward to seeing you soon! 

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop
— August 6-7, 2019 (Fort Collins, 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

In April 2016, the first official peer to peer (P2P) energy transaction occurred between neighbors in a residential neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. 
Expanded training and education programs are needed to meet future hydropower industry workforce needs, according to a new report produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Center for the New Energy Economy.
The Berkeley, California, City Council unanimously voted this week to ban natural gas infrastructure in new low-rise residential buildings, beginning Jan 1. 2020.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling on Thursday directing the PJM Interconnection not to conduct "a major feature" of its market, its capacity auction planned for August.
Energy generation and consumption is rapidly transforming into a decentralized, decarbonized, and digitized model due to a number of market forces.
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry today announced that the Department of Energy will award 113 grants totaling $121 million to 103 small businesses in 29 states.  
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, joined by former Vice President Al Gore, executed the nation's largest offshore wind agreement and the single largest renewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history - nearly 1,700 megawatts - with the selection of two offshore wind projects, that will create enough energy to power over 1 million homes, create more than 1,600 jobs, and result in $3.2 billion in economic activity. 
Between 2010 and the first quarter of 2019, U.S. power companies announced the retirement of more than 546 coal-fired power units, totaling about 102 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity.
Jacksonville Electric Utility, the 125-year-old Florida-based municipal which lately has engaged in a legal battle over its agreement to buy power from the financially troubled Vogtle nuclear expansion, announced it has hired financial and legal advice in what looks like a move toward privatizing the electric and water services.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (the NDRC) issued a Circular on Policies of Improving the Electricity Price for On-Grid Wind Power (the Circular) at the end of May 2019. 



CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
Member Announcements
The City of Austin hosted its 11th Annual Affordable Energy Summit with more than 130 representatives from community service providers, who work with low- to mid-income Austinites in attendance.
Construction on equipment to further control emissions at Basin Electric’s Laramie River Station located near Wheatland, Wyoming, was recently completed. The emission control technology, selective catalytic reduction (SCR), was added to Unit 1 at Laramie River Station.
CPS Energy President & CEO, Paula Gold-Williams announced another step in the company’s Flexible Path, called the Power BundleFlex.
El Paso Electric (EPE) in partnership with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) named a hospital room in honor of EPE’s $25,000 donation that will assist in the expansion of pediatric surgical services.
KCP&L customers seeking new and innovative ways to manage their energy and support renewable options now can sign up for the company’s Solar Subscription program.
On July 16-17, 2019, nearly 20 middle and high school science teachers from Lincoln Public Schools joined Lincoln Electric System for the first-ever emPowering Energy Educators workshop.
Upgrading of electric meters for residences and businesses in Rushville, Clinton and Merriman by Nebraska Public Power District will began July 22. In 2019, approximately 24,500 meters in 33 communities will be replaced, as part of a three-year project by NPPD.
NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Trans Bay Cable, LLC from affiliates of Steelriver Infrastructure Fund North America. 
Omaha Public Power District works hard to be a trusted energy partner that our customers and communities can count on for value, caring and excellence. The utility wants to meet customers’ needs and expectations now, and in the future.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is pursuing an aggressive Responsible Energy Plan to transition to a cleaner energy portfolio, while ensuring reliability, increasing member flexibility and with a goal to lower wholesale rates.
When United Power instituted the demand charge, there was a corresponding REDUCTION in the cost of energy. When United Power moved to a demand rate we uncoupled costs that had previously been blended into the rate. 
Tucson Electric Power marked a milestone this year by sponsoring its 100th internship for students from a local high school, one of the many internship opportunities at our company.
WAPA, on behalf of the Department of Energy, will solicit proposals for a long-term renewable energy contract or contracts for up to 50 megawatts of energy located in the California Independent System Operator territory.
Hale County landowners, civic leaders and elected officials are joining Xcel Energy today in celebrating the completion of the new Hale Wind Project near Plainview, Texas – a clean energy resource that is now serving Texas and New Mexico customers with low-cost energy as it strengthens the local economy.
White Paper
Researchers have discovered a new high performance and safe battery material (LTPS) capable of speeding up charge and discharge to a level never observed so far.