RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki

What a great time of year! The time of the year when the sports seasons converge, the anticipation and excitement of the upcoming holidays and, of course, buttoning up another year. For RMEL, it is the start of 2020. It all begins at our Fall Convention – the energy gained from the conversations about what lies ahead. Our committees framing up topics, content, and speakers for the upcoming educational calendar, and the critical work performed at the planning sessions to assure RMEL’s signature events, the Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference and Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention, provide valuable, relevant and timely topics to promote the educational networking opportunities that we are known for.

Preliminary speakers and sessions were drawn up for the 2020 Spring Conference, and all I can say is that it’s shaping up to be a solid event. The 2020 Spring Conference will take place May 11-13 in Austin, TX. Registration is now open, and you can expect more details soon.

Regarding “buttoning up,” the committees were also finishing their educational commitments for 2019. The Distribution Engineers Workshop on October 9-10th focused on distribution engineering best practices and technology, including EV charging, DERMS, EV-AUD, emergency DG/DER and emerging technologies. With EV and distributed generation trends driving so many changes for energy markets, attendees engaged in our roundtable discussion where ideas, best practices and lessons learned were shared with their fellow utilities and service providers. The Renewable Planning and Operations Conference covered the gamut of technology to safety on October 16-17. Battery storage and battery safety were focal points of discussion in presentations and during the attendee roundtable. We wrapped up a busy October with Richard Peña leading an Electric Utility Financial Decision Making Workshop, which provided valuable financial skills training for our industry. Topics included business building blocks, generation and energy market fundamentals, cash-based financial decision making, valuation of cash flows and handling uncertainty. Thank you to Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association for hosting this workshop at their facility in Westminster, CO. I want to also thank all of the fantastic speakers and the RMEL Education Section Committees that made October such a productive month!

Last week, we held RMEL’s November Safety Roundtable at Poudre Valley Electric Association in Fort Collins, CO. Randy Nieman, ART Corporate Solutions, and Nina Patterson, BSMe, MPT, OCS, ART, CSCS, Instructor, FuelingYou LLC, discussed Active Release Techniques (ART®) and how they can help reduce costs and increase employee retention. Thank you Randy and Nina, and thank you Poudre Valley Electric Association for hosting!  We closed out the year with the 2020 Fall Planning Session. Thank you Zachry Group for hosting. 

Upcoming RMEL Events

Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop
February 4, 2020, Denver, CO

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.

Safety Roundtable - February 2020
February 21, 2020, Denver, CO

Tom Severino, Tyndale, will kick off the roundtable with a presentation on AR/FR Clothing. Roundtables offer a unique forum for peer-to-peer sharing of experiences, critical issues and expertise. Discussion is based on topics brought by attendees. 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.

Power Supply Planning for Modern Energy Solutions Conference
March 11-12, 2020, Denver, CO

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.

Look for full details soon on the entire 2020 slate of RMEL events for Safety, Generation, Transmission, Distribution & Vital Issues. The preliminary list of events is below, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Send Us Your Training Needs, Questions and Ideas

As the RMEL community is hard at work planning the full calendar for 2020 events, we 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 for consideration. You are always welcome to email me directly with questions and/or ideas.

Wishing All a Blessed Thanksgiving

As we get ready for the holiday season, we are thankful for how you all help facilitate member discussions and share your experiences through RMEL.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends!

Education and Upcoming Events

Introduction To the Electric Utility Workshop --- February 4, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - February 2020 --- February 21, 2020 (Westminster, CO)
Power Supply Planning for Modern Energy Solutions Conference --- March 11-12, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Transmission Planning and Operations Conference --- March 18-19, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Distribution Technologies for Engineering and Operations Workshop --- (March 24-25, 2020 (Phoenix, AZ)
Safety Conference --- March 25-26, 2020 (Austin, TX)
2020 Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference --- May 11-13, 2020 (Austin, TX)
Plant Cycling & Flexibility Symposium & Tour --- June 11-12, 2020
Transmission Resiliency, Response & Restoration Symposium --- June 17-18, 2020 (Denver, CO)
2020 RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament --- June 24, 2020 (Littleton, CO)
Project Management Workshop --- July 8-9, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Grid-Scale Storage Workshop & Tour --- August 5-6, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Leadership Workshop --- August 12-13, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - August 2020 --- August 21, 2020 (Golden, CO)
2020 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention --- September 14-16, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Planning Session: 2021 Spring Conference --- October 1, 2020 (Lone Tree, CO)
Renewable Planning and Operations Conference --- October 21-22, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Transmission & Distribution Asset Management Workshop --- November 4-5, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - November 2020 --- November 6, 2020 (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
  
More than 120 Southwest Power Pool (SPP) stakeholders gathered in Little Rock on Oct. 28-29 for the annual meeting of members, held in conjunction with the board of directors and Regional State Committee (RSC). The board approved the 2019 Integrated Transmission Plan, requiring SPP members to construct 44 new projects, including 166 miles of 345-kV transmission.
The California Public Utilities Commission published a proposed order on Monday directing load serving entities (LSEs) to procure 4 GW of capacity beyond baseline resources already set for 2022, in order to meet a potential resource adequacy shortage beginning in 2021.
  
E.ON has developed a blockchain technology that says will allow its customers to have transparency and complete control over their own energy data. Developed by engineers at the E.ON Future Lab, E.ON has registered the IT-system for a patent and the European Patent Office has now made the application public.
 
 
 
While calls mount for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to become a public utility, Governor Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., said he would welcome a sale of the bankrupt company to investor Warren Buffett.
 
  
Exelon Generation has reached a settlement agreement with the state of Maryland that will protect the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay and preserve Maryland’s largest source of renewable energy, the 572-MW Conowingo hydroelectric plant.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative will issue its third joint solicitation in fall 2019 for High Performance Computing for Manufacturing and High Performance Computing for Materials.
After another unprecedented series of Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS) and historic wind events creating red flag warnings throughout much of the state, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week announced it was taking additional urgent actions focused on public health and safety to drive down risks of ignitions from utility infrastructure, risks that result from power loss, and the disruption to communities and commerce.
Hawaii was one of four states selected by the National Governors Association to participate in a state-focused technical assistance project to enhance their experiences in the GridEx V energy security exercise.
  
Denmark's Ørsted issued a statement alongside its Q3 results explaining that it was downgrading its anticipated internal rate of return for several projects in Europe and Taiwan, from 7.5 to 8.5 percent down to 7 to 8 percent.
 
 
 
Most of the utility-scale battery systems used for energy storage on the U.S. electric grid use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are known for their high-cycle efficiency, fast response times, and high energy density. Nearly all of the utility-scale battery systems installed in the United States in the past five years use lithium-ion technology.
 
   
CopperLeaf Technologies Inc.
   
Member Announcements
Austin Energy is hosting the 9th Annual Community Connections Resource Fair on behalf of all City of Austin Utilities. The resource fair serves customers who are struggling to make ends meet in their households.
  
TDA’s system is sized to capture carbon dioxide from the flue gas at about the emission rate from a plant generating 50 kilowatts of electricity, or about a ton of carbon dioxide per day.
 
 
 
 
Our Board of Trustees has endorsed the CAAP that was presented to them in August of 2019.   In turn, the Board has instructed me, as CPS Energy’s President & CEO, to work towards the new 2050 net zero emission goal, through the careful implementation of our Flexible Path strategy.  Through this strategy, we will balance real implications to our community’s energy security, safety, reliability, resilience, environmental sustainability and customer affordability.
  
The Texas Department of Transportation El Paso District is partnering with the El Paso Police Department, the El Paso Electric Company and the Socorro Independent School District for a pedestrian safety campaign that launched ahead of Halloween and the end of daylight saving time. 
 
 
Electrical Consultants, Inc. (ECI) is proud to announce we have significantly strengthened our capabilities in system protection design and integration through the acquisition of Relay Application Innovation, Inc. (RAI).  This brings significant growth in system protection design, integration, protection settings, customized software and hardware.
The City of West Plains, Mo., will partner with Evergy to provide solar power to the community. Evergy will build a new solar array in West Plains that will generate 9.6 megawatts of energy, enough to power 1,200 homes.
Lincoln Electric System employees accepted three awards at the 2019 Nebraska Safety Council Conference and Trade Show in York, Nebraska, Oct. 16, 2019. The honors were a Governor’s Wellness Award, Workplace Safety Award and Workplace Health Achievement Index recognition. The event was hosted by Nebraska Safety Council and WorkWell.
Nebraska residents and travelers will notice electric vehicle (EV) stations emerging across Nebraska Public Power District’s service territory.
  
Omaha Public Power District is committed to engaging its customers and sharing how the utility works to serve its communities. The utility’s efforts were recently honored at the American Public Power Association’s Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards.
 
 
 
PacifiCorp released a draft of its long-term energy plan that continues investments in new wind generation and transmission, while adding significant new solar and storage resources. 
 
Platte River will host a second round of community listening sessions to update residents and businesses on the status of the organization’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
  
At the La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter, the goal is to provide more than a bed and a meal to struggling families. At this Mesa-based shelter operated by nonprofit A New Leaf, families are provided with safe housing and support services for up to 120 days. And that costs money.
 
 
Sunflower has chosen to support the United Way because of the positive impact the organization has in the Sunflower service territory.
The Liberty Utilities team performed well at the 36th annual International Lineman’s Rodeo Competition held on Saturday, October 19 in Bonner Springs, KS.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association joins the national Beneficial Electrification League (BEL), the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and others today to announce establishment of the BEL’s first state chapter, which will advance beneficial electrification in Colorado.
As a microbiologist and cofounder of Tucson’s Borderlands Brewing, Mike Mallozzi wants to do his part to help save the planet – and ultimately, his beer.
 
Employees across WAPA set aside the day of July 11 to attend the fourth annual Inclusion, Innovation and Technology Summit, or I2T Summit.
After setting a company record for continuous power plant operation – 681 days – workers at the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant began a month-long refueling and maintenance effort on Friday, Oct. 4. 
White Paper
Next-generation solar cells that mimic photosynthesis with biological material may give new meaning to the term "green technology." Adding the protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) to perovskite solar cells boosted the efficiency of the devices in a series of laboratory tests, according to an international team of researchers.