RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki

As we all get ready to celebrate our great country’s birthday this weekend – which looks and feels much different than previous years – I want to thank all of our members for navigating the challenges and keeping this country powered ON in a safe and reliable fashion! 

As we watch our industry provide the best solutions for tomorrow, RMEL is right there with you all. I’ve got a lot of information to share, so I’ll get right to it.

Download Webinar Recordings Today

First, I know schedules and commitments do not always allow members to participate in certain events and activities. Did you miss a webinar you were wanting to see? No worries! All members can sign up for our COMPLIMENTARY downloads from the webinars we’ve already provided this year. You can do that today, and share those resources with colleagues at your company. Remember, you're a member if your company is a member (see the list of RMEL member companies). 


2020 VIRTUAL Fall Convention Details Coming Soon!

Second, look for some big, exciting announcements about the VIRTUAL 2020 Fall Convention soon! This convention has been a longstanding RMEL tradition since our beginning in 1903! We are looking forward to taking this event into its next era of virtual education and networking as we continue to address the top, executive-level strategic challenges of today and the future of electric energy!

Recognize Leadership with an RMEL Award
Nomination Deadline: July 31, 2020

Great people, hard work and leadership have been rising up over these past few months. Recognize someone who is leading the way for others! You can nominate a colleague to receive a 2020 RMEL Award! There are several different types of awards to check out here

Help Grow the Industry by Donating and Participating in the 2020 RMEL Foundation Auction
Donation Deadline: Aug. 28 (exact Auction times to be announced at a later date)

It wouldn’t be an RMEL Fall Convention without an Auction! This year is no different! We are going to continue the tradition and accompany the 2020 Fall Convention with our first VIRTUAL RMEL FOUNDATION AUCTION!  Like any year, the Foundation Auction is only successful through the generosity of the RMEL membership. That starts with the donation of quality items from our members to be auctioned off. This allows the RMEL Foundation to annually provide students pursuing electric energy careers with deserving scholarship dollars! Over the past 20 years, 407 scholarships have been awarded totaling more than $935,500. Your support is needed to continue the Foundation's scholarship efforts, especially through these unusual times! It would be GREAT to hit that $1M mark on the Foundation’s 20th anniversary! RMEL is now accepting auction items and cash donations! Look for more details to come!  

Sign Up for COMPLIMENTARY Webinars This Summer
More Events are Being Added – Stay Tuned!

We’re adding more events to the RMEL virtual pipeline every day! Take a look, and keep an eye out as we continue to announce new topics – all complimentary for RMEL members, all include PDH certificates for participating! Special thanks to the RMEL’s Education Section Committees and to RMEL Members for keeping the training content relevant and timely! 

WEBINAR SERIES: Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security Maturity Journey Series
July 15, July 29 & Aug. 12
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. MDT  

In this three-part series, you will learn how to make significant improvements in your overall cyber security maturity through a programmatic approach. This series will "begin at the beginning" and explain a step-by-step process over three hour-long sessions on how to reduce your exposure to potential attacks and share best practices to drive efficiency. The series will be relevant for those members who have been working on NERC CIP compliance for years as well as those who are just beginning their overall cyber security program.

Sign up for one, two or all three webinars!

*Webinar #1: Defining the Threat Landscape and Developing an Overall Roadmap
*Webinar #2: Building the Foundation With a Robust Asset Inventory and Assessment
*Webinar #3: Defining and Executing the Roadmap

WEBINAR: Wildfire Risk and Mitigation Efforts at Rocky Mountain Power - Fundamentally Changing How the System is Operated in High Risk Areas 
July 16, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. MDT

This webinar will cover Rocky Mountain Power's Utah Wildland Fire Protection Plan. Wildfire risk and mitigation efforts are a rapidly evolving area for utilities that will fundamentally change how systems are operated in high risk areas. Joshua will provide an overview of Rocky Mountain Power's journey to develop the Utah Wildland Fire Prevention Program focusing in on the areas of the company's risk based planning approach, changes to operational practices, new inspection and correction programs, system hardening efforts, changes to vegetation management, situational awareness and the company's public safety power shutoff program. Joshua will also cover lessons learned as they have deployed non-traditional equipment like covered conductor and non-expulsion protective devices as well as new technology like weather station and wildfire cameras. 

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: Safety Roundtable – August 2020
Aug. 20, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. MDT

Roundtables offer a unique forum for peer-to-peer sharing of experiences, critical issues and expertise. Discussion is based on topics from 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. 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.

Thank you again, everyone, for all of your support and everything you’ve been doing for the industry and for our great country!

Have a SAFE and HAPPY Independence Day!

Education and Upcoming Events

WEBINAR SERIES - Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security --- July 15, July 29 & August 12 WEBINAR - Rocky Mountain Power's Wildfire Mitigation Efforts --- July 16, 2020
POSTPONED - Grid-Scale Storage Workshop & Tour --- Aug. 5-6, 2020 (Denver, CO)
POSTPONED - Leadership Workshop --- Aug. 12-13, 2020 (Denver, CO)
VIRTUAL Safety Roundtable - August 2020 --- Aug. 20, 2020 (Golden, CO)
2020 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention --- Sept. 14-16, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Planning Session: 2021 Spring Conference --- Oct. 1, 2020 (Lone Tree, CO)
Renewable Planning and Operations Conference --- Oct. 21-22, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Transmission & Distribution Asset Management Workshop --- Nov. 4-5, 2020 (Denver, CO)
Safety Roundtable - November 2020 --- Nov. 5, 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 2020 RMEL Champions!

Burns & McDonnell
Power Contracting, LLC
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Industry Information
Power grid operators are perpetually walking a tightrope, trying to balance the supply of generation and the capacity to deliver it with customer needs at any given moment and location within the service territory.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday published a notice of inquiry (NOI) on cybersecurity issues, including how "a coordinated cyberattack on geographically distributed targets" could disrupt the grid and potential measures to counter the threat.
California regulators approved new rules that would force automakers to sell more electric work trucks and delivery vans, a first-of-its-kind rule aimed at helping the nation’s most populous state clean up its worst-in-the-nation air quality.
Customer-owned renewable energy nearly doubled in 2019 as investor-owned utilities are required to offer expedited interconnection agreements, according to the Florida Public Service Commission's (PSC) annual net metering report released on Monday.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R Simmons has announced the launch of the Innovations in Advanced Manufacturing for Hydropower (I AM Hydro) Prize, a competition designed to lower costs and improve the performance of hydropower components and facilities by using advanced manufacturing. 
Wildfire and hurricane season is here and with it comes an influx of weather-related power outages. Experts are warning that natural disasters and extreme weather events will be more frequent and severe this year and that this summer will be hotter than average. 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected 11 projects to receive $3.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development.
On July 1, 2020, representatives of the Polish government and Polish wind energy industry signed a "Letter of Intent on cooperation for development of offshore wind power in Poland." The letter lays out the foundation for the development of offshore wind in Poland.
American Electric Power's AEP Energy subsidiary has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an affiliate of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) for the output of 400 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy from Panther Grove Wind Energy Facility in Woodford County, Illinois.  
Overall energy consumption in the United States totaled 100 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2019, only slightly less than the record set in 2018 and the third-highest level of annual U.S. energy consumption ever. 
Forbes Bros LTD.
Member Announcements
This authority is required for utilities to make wholesale power sales in the market (as opposed to regulated cost-based retail sales).
Black Hills Corp. announced plans to combine the management of its electric and gas utilities in Colorado under a single strategic leader. 
CPS Energy understands the importance of keeping the power on during these unprecedented times.
El Paso Electric (EPE) customers who reside in Texas will see a decrease on their electric bills during the peak usage season of the summer as EPE files to issue a temporary fuel refund.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has seen a rise this spring in the number of power line contacts by farm equipment causing a power outage and raising the potential for electrocution to the operator or damage to the equipment.
Omaha Public Power District is working hard to keep rates low and affordable for its customers. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Javier Fernandez shared the latest on those efforts with the OPPD board of directors during their committee meetings this week. 
After several weeks of testing, the 225-megawatt Roundhouse Wind Energy Kinetic energy present in wind motion that can be converted to mechanical energy for driving electric power generators. 
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for any and all forms of electric generation and innovative technologies to power our customers and transition our energy mix to 100 percent emissions-free.
Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, today announced that the 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility in Osage and Lyon Counties, Kansas, is now operational.
With Arizona’s COVID-19 cases still on the rise, and a global shortage of N95 masks, Salt River Project (SRP), along with the help of local and national partners, developed state-of-the-art, 3D-printed mask solutions for its employees in the field as an added measure to keep the community safe.
Duane Highley, CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, sits down with our host, Bazi Kanani, to discuss how his cooperative has responded to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID19 pandemic has impacted many of our local small business members, and we wanted to take a moment to provide resources to help you. Whether you're operating with modified business practices or trying to re-open on a shoestring budget, your electric co-op is here to help connect you with information and to be your trusted energy advisor.
Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to provide more than 70 percent of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035.
Around two years ago, I started as a biologist in WAPA's Upper Great Plains region. My supervisor challenged me to come up with a regionwide biological strategy, similar to that which has been pursued for archaeology resources.
Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, today was elected chairman of the board of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the national association of investor-owned electric companies. 
Wanzek Construction, Inc
White Paper
Scientists have successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen using light and meticulously designed catalysts, and they did so at the maximum efficiency meaning there was almost no loss and undesired side reactions. This latest breakthrough in solar hydrogen production makes the likelihood of scalable, economically viable hydrogen production more than likely, paving the way for humanity to make the switch to clean energy.