RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

RMEL’s 2019 Fall Convention - Market Influencers and Opportunities:  Leading Our Industry in Times of Change

We are making final preparations for RMEL's 116th Annual Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention, 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.

Our Convention topics focus on the challenges we face as leaders in our respective organizations. From the global influencers, to the customer solutions driving new technology. And of course, leading in times when we are finding solutions in doing more with less, and doing it differently.   

If you can only attend one event this year, THIS IS THAT EVENT!  Get full details with the Interactive Convention Grid and Brochure: The Fall Convention includes 9 strategic, senior-level presentations that RMEL members designed to comprehensively examine the power industry and provide solid, thought-provoking advice for your organization.

Day 1 Keynote Speaker: John Doggett, Entrepreneurship, Global Competition and Sustainability Expert, will help us maximize on the new energy paradigm with insights and perspectives on global energy markets

Day 2 Keynote Speaker: Clifton L. Taulbert, Pulitzer Nominated Author, International Lecturer and Entrepreneur, will explore leadership initiatives (takeaways) that are important for your leadership mindset in this changing industry

CEO Panel: This is a great opportunity to hear from our association's key leadership and understanding the challenges their organizations face in the current utility world. This year’s panel features 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

The Fall Convention is your opportunity to:

Explore the origins of the U.S. energy abundance and implications to power markets in the western U.S.; gain insights on how Berkshire Hathaway Energy has negotiated difficult agreements with environmental groups and regulators; get new strategies to manage and optimize performance in a time of historic and monumental industry change...a time when the very essence of how, when and where people work and the value they place on ­work are shifting; discover how customer experience changes in the Energy Cloud, and how utilities and energy providers can begin to navigate the customer experience transformation in their organizations; learn about the multifaceted, unique and successful South Texas Project leadership culture, which emphasizes the value that the workforce brings to the table and how leadership takes on many forms; leverage the RMEL professional network with 300 electric energy executive attendees, and so much more.

Check out RMEL’s Fall Lineup of Events That will close out the 2019 Training Calendar

Planning Session: 2020 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference
October 3, 2019, Denver Marriott South, Lone Tree, CO

The entire membership is invited to help plan the 2020 RMEL Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference. The planning session is October 3, 2019. By attending the planning session on October 3rd, you help direct the education provided at the conference. Have a story to tell? All members are invited to suggest topics and/or speakers for the Conference. Presentations should be technical and engineering focused. There will be a few general industry interest topics as well. Suggest your topics and speakers or just help brainstorm ideas for the Conference. Bring your topics and/or speakers, appropriate for the Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference venue, to this meeting. Please RSVP with the name of the person that will attend from your company. There is no registration fee.

Distribution Engineers Workshop
October 9-10, 2019, Denver Marriott South, Lone Tree, CO

Preliminary Topics (Subject to Change):

• The Future of the Electric Utility
• Identifying Solutions in the Field
• Measurement Technology
• Best Practices for Primary Cables
• Specifying Cables
• Utility Emergency Reaction Response Panel
• Arc Flash Considerations with Distribution Overcurrent Protection
• DERMS Overview
• Load Factors for EV
• Finance Justification Fundamentals
• Line Design Software
• Leveraging Communication Network at Company

Renewable Planning and Operations Conference
October 16-17, 2019, Denver Marriott South, Lone Tree, CO

Preliminary Topics (Subject to Change):

• EPRI Renewables Presentation
• Lithium Ion Battery Safety
• SPP Ancillary Market Study on Accommodating Higher Penetration of Renewables
• Key Aspects to Repowering a Wind Farm
• Interconnection of Batteries at Substations
• Wind Farm Maintenance
• Community Solar
• Energy Storage

Electric Utility Financial Decision Making Workshop
October 28-29, 2019, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Westminster, CO

This two day course focuses on electric utility decision making and will cover the following topics:

• Business Building Blocks
• Generation and Energy Market Fundamentals
• Cash-Based Financial Decision Making
• Valuation of Cash Flows (Net Present Value)
• Handling Uncertainty
• Capstone Case Study: Blastoff

Safety Roundtable – November 2019
November 1, 2019, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Fort Collins, CO

Roundtables offer a unique forum for peer-to-peer sharing of experiences, critical issues and expertise. The roundtable is a discussion group, open only to RMEL members. Discussion is based on topics brought by attendees. Typically one or two presentations are given, followed by attendee discussion and sharing. Roundtables are focused on the open discussion period and provide each attendee the opportunity for participation and dialogue on their particular issue. Roundtables are held in conjunction with a conference and many topics presented at the conference are discussed further in the roundtable setting. The roundtable is a good opportunity to share experiences, troubleshoot problems and network with peers in a smaller, informal setting. Each participant is offered a chance to pose questions and share information. All attendees are encouraged to bring issues for discussion and materials for sharing.

Call for Presentations: Thinking Ahead to 2020 and Beyond: Send Us Your Training Needs, Questions and Ideas

We are so excited about another big year of RMEL member collaboration and sharing of experiences. RMEL’s five Education Section Committees for Safety, Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Vital Issues are hard at work planning the remaining 2019 events and a full calendar of 2020 events, and they would love to hear from you! Whether you have a quick question or a specific topic and speaker you’d like to share, you can use the Electric Energy Topics Submission Form. Submissions will be sent to the appropriate committees. You are always welcome to email me directly with questions and/or ideas.

RMEL Board of Directors and staff are looking forward to seeing you this month in Kansas City!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
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)
Electric Utility Financial Decision Making Workshop — October 28-29, 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
Chevron Australia and the Gorgon Joint Venture participants have announced the safe start-up and operation of the carbon dioxide injection system at the Chevron-led Gorgon natural gas facility on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
Ameren Missouri, a unit of Ameren Corp., filed plans with the Missouri Public Service Commission to build three solar storage facilities across Missouri. 
Florida Power & Light reported Thursday that it has restored power to all of the more than 160,000 customers impacted by Hurricane Dorian, which is now barreling north along the Atlantic Coast to the Georgia and Carolina coasts.
Natural gas spot prices at the Waha hub in western Texas, located near Permian Basin production, settled at $1.55/million British thermal units (MMBtu) on August 15, the highest price since March 2019. 
Since 2012, lineworkers across the state of Nebraska have showcased their skills at an annual Rodeo competition. This year, the event took place on Aug. 24 on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. 
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced a congressionally mandated Notice of Sale of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee wants Congress to take up a large energy-focused legislative attempt, he told an industry crowd at the nonprofit Resources For the Future on Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is all in on new nuclear energy. More than 50 U.S. companies are developing advanced technologies that will make nuclear energy more efficient and affordable to build and operate.
The Department of Energy has decided to preserve choice in half the U.S. lighting market, not restrict Americans to light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
This is the second in a four-part series based on the Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Report, produced by Navigant Research for Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association. For the Market Report, Navigant tracks global and U.S. advanced energy revenue in seven market segments, including advanced electricity generation, electricity delivery and management, and advanced transportation, using strict definitions that distinguish advanced energy from conventional energy products.
CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
Member Announcements
Austin Energy, the City's community-owned electric utility, will receive up to an additional 200 megawatts (MW) of Texas wind power from an agreement with E.ON Climate & Renewables. 
The Pinnacle West Capital Corp. Board of Directors announced that after 16 years with the Company, Pinnacle West Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Don Brandt will retire effective November 15, 2019.
Basin Electric Board of Directors approved the 2020-2029 long-range engineering plan, as presented by Matt Ehrman, Basin Electric Manager of Mechanical Engineering.
CPS Energy is ranked in the Top Quartile in the 15th Annual Energy Utility Benchmark Report by IVR Doctors on Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems.
On Monday, August 26, 2019, El Paso Electric Company (EPE) customers set a new peak demand of approximately 1,986 megawatts (MW), 2.9% or 57 MW higher than the peak established on June 26, 2017. This preliminary indication is still subject to final verification.
KCP&L and Westar Energy will launch a customer education campaign to introduce the companies’ new brand name, Evergy. The campaign highlights the utility’s continued focus on communities it serves.
The Nebraska Power Association (NPA), consisting of Nebraska public power utilities from across the state, provided hands-on activities at its Public Power booth at the 2019 Nebraska State Fair as well as hosted the annual Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo to showcase the skill and expertise of the state’s electric lineworkers.
Targa Resources Corp.; NextEra Energy Pipeline Holdings, LLC, an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC; WhiteWater Midstream, LLC, a portfolio company of Denham Capital Management and Ridgemont Energy Partners; and MPLX LP, announced the execution of a letter of intent (and associated term sheets) for the joint development of the proposed Whistler Pipeline Project, which will provide an outlet for increased natural gas production from the Permian Basin to growing markets along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Omaha Public Power District is mapping out its 10-year strategic plan. Five new strategic initiatives will lead the way, while maintaining a strong focus on OPPD’s mission of providing affordable, reliable, environmentally sensitive energy services.
PacifiCorp has acquired sole ownership of the Foote Creek I wind generation facility, a 41.4-megawatt renewable energy project in Carbon County, Wyoming, and is proceeding to repower the project with new turbine technology that will increase energy output of the entire facility by 60 percent.
The innovative coal ash management system, installed at Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station (Unit 1) in 2018, recently earned the Best Project Winner in the Energy/Industrial category from Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mountain States.
As Navajo Generating Station owners prepare to close the coal-fired power plant later this year, former NGS employees such as Skyler June are making the transition from an industrial to office setting, and getting accustomed to city life.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has made tariff application filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Tri-State expects the FERC to accept the filing in 60 days. When the filing is accepted, Tri-State will be fully rate regulated by the federal commission. 
United Power has been named as one of a select group of utilities that connected the most energy storage capacity to the grid in 2018, earning it a spot on the annual Top 10 utility industry list compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).
A team of Tucson Electric Power employees is available to provide business customers with specialized, proactive service on a wide variety of issues – from energy-efficiency programs and new projects to advice about pricing plans and regulations.
On June 4 Sierra Nevada celebrated the successful energization of the new Folsom transformer, on time and under budget. The new transformer supports the reliability of the grid and Folsom Dam in northern California and also helps avoid future maintenance costs associated with the old transformer.

White Paper
Learn why load banks are the heart of grid emulation. This white paper explains how wind turbine load testing works, the benefits, and why choosing the right load bank partner to help you make your deadlines and maximize performance makes all the difference.
At Skyward and Verizon, we’re working to connect drones to wireless networks in order to unlock their transformative capabilities in ways that we’re only just beginning to imagine. In particular, innovative companies that want to leverage autonomy, artificial intelligence, and beyond visual line of sight flights can benefit from connected drones.