From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki
As always with this time of year, we take an opportunity to "finish strong” and get a head start on setting our sights on what the new year will hold for ourselves, our companies and our industry. Our association is only as good as the folks we surround ourselves with. We have certainly been blessed! The RMEL Board and Education Committees have guided the association in the right direction with those critical topics that will drive our industry in 2020. That same sentiment is evident with our membership as well. Changes in the industry that seemed so challenging or nearly impossible are now something that you all deal with every day. You all make it look seamless! I am continuously amazed at how your organizations are able orchestrate the fast-paced technology influences and are able to create a true "Vision 2020” throughout your workforce. The future is absolutely bright because of how this industry has collectively answered the call and taken on every challenge safely, cost-effectively and strategically. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead!
Start your year off right! Take a look at the upcoming opportunities we have for you.
Nominate a Next-Generation Leader for a 2020 RMEL Emerging Leader Award
Who are the future leaders in your organization? Recognize them by submitting their names for consideration for the 2020 RMEL Emerging Leader Award. Recipients are provided development opportunities through a variety of interactions with past and current Emerging Leader Award recipients, the RMEL Board and exclusive workforce strategy sessions with Spring Keynote Speakers, all to hone their leadership skills and experiences. The nominee must have a minimum of 5 years of experience, and no more than 10 years’ experience within the industry. Click here for the nomination form and complete eligibility requirements. Submit your nomination by February 6, 2020. Let your employees know that what they do matters!
Promote the 2020 RMEL Foundation Scholarship Opportunities
Application Deadline is February 6, 2020
Share the RMEL Foundation Scholarship Application with your industry colleagues and university contacts to help deserving students through financial support, and assist in drawing young talent to your company. The RMEL Foundation is currently accepting applications for baccalaureate degree, associate degree, or certificated programs that serve our utility industry. Applicants must be a high school senior or college/university undergraduate with the intent to enter the electric energy industry. Access the application and download the flyer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your company through the sponsorship of an RMEL Foundation Named Scholarship. Contact the RMEL office at (303) 865-5544 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Upcoming RMEL Events
I extend a special thanks to our RMEL Section Education Committees for once again pulling together relevant and timely educational content. Please take a look at what is coming to RMEL membership in early 2020.
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, Westminster, CO
Tom Severino, National Account Executive, Tyndale, will kick off the February Safety Roundtable with a discussion on AR/FR Clothing. 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.
Power Supply 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.
Transmission Planning and Operations Conference
March 18-19, 2020, Denver, CO
The grid is a lot less predictable due to changing markets, microgrids, energy storage dynamics, renewable integration and aging infrastructure. The entire planning process of the electric energy industry has shifted. Electric utilities are the power innovators, integrating new technologies and renewables onto the system while prioritizing reliability and regulatory compliance. You won't want to miss this opportunity to work together with RMEL's diverse membership (representing all different types of electric utilities) to collectively address the power industry's biggest transmission challenges. The conference is structured with presentations and also two roundtable sessions that give attendees time to discuss what's keeping you up at night and put everything from the conference together in a unique and tangible way. This isn't just a set of topics, but an interactive forum that allows you to benchmark your organization and continue to drive your company and the industry forward.
Distribution Technologies for Engineering and Operations Workshop
March 24-25, 2020, Tempe, AZ
Engineers and designers involved in distribution will find this course helpful. In addition, supervisory or management personnel who desire a review of distribution practices and standards, or who are new to power distribution, will benefit from this course. Preliminary topics include fire mitigation, emergency operations, drone technology, processing data analytics of inspections, mobilization of workforce, renewable integration standards, customer behavior case study and 5G best practices.
RMEL Board of Directors Transitions
As I mentioned earlier, RMEL members have experienced the value of being represented by outstanding individuals and contributors to our industry. These individuals put in hours of volunteer time dedicated to the representation of their respective organizations and work collaboratively to share solutions to pressing issues in our industry for our members. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with these outstanding individuals and feel extremely appreciative of their time and commitment to the Association. With that, it is always difficult for me to say goodbye to those individuals who have left the Board of Directors. I wish to acknowledge almost 25 years of RMEL Board experience that has stepped down from the Board this past Fall. Stuart Wevik, Black Hills Corporation, has actively served our membership as a Board of Director for the past 10 years. During that time, he served as President and on the Executive Committee in a variety of capacities. Stuart was recently named Senior Vice President of Utility Operations for Black Hills Energy Corporation. Tim Brossart, Xcel Energy, joined the RMEL Board in 2009 and served a term on the Executive Committee as VP of Education. Susan Gray, Tucson Electric Power, joined the RMEL Board in 2016 and actively participated as a Director. Susan has been named President of UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy Services. On a personal and professional note, I wish to extend my deepest appreciation to Stuart, Tim and Susan for their contributions and friendship while serving on the RMEL Board.
With those departures, we wish to welcome our newest RMEL Board of Directors. Representing Black Hills Corporation, Nick Gardner joined the RMEL Board. Nick is the Vice President of Electric Utilities. Representing Xcel Energy, Kyle Williams has joined the RMEL Board. Kyle is a General Manager of Public Service Company of Colorado. Welcome to both Nick and Kyle. We look forward to your continued success and contributions. We will announce the representative from TEP/UNS soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Thank you to all RMEL members and participants who have made 2019 a wonderful year for your Association. From my family to yours, may each of you have a Blessed Christmas Holiday and a Happy New Year!