RMEL eNews
RMEL Report

From the Desk of RMEL Executive Director Rick Putnicki

Virtual Fall Convention Registration is Now Open – Corporate Registration Package and Individual Registrations are Available!
Join us October 19-21, 2021 for a Review of our Industry’s Swift Actions and a Look Forward as our Resiliency Challenges Continue! 

Registration is now open for RMEL’s 118th Fall Convention, which will be held virtually October 19-21, 2021. In the true spirit of this longstanding convention - a cornerstone of RMEL - you are invited to gather with your trusted community of RMEL peers and high-level speakers from inside and outside the industry. This will be a relaxed opportunity to turn off the day-to-day noise and uncertainty, pool your RMEL resources and discover solutions together as an industry. It is the determination and perseverance of our membership that have always been the secret weapons to combat uncertainty. Bold actions instill confidence throughout the electric energy community, and you can find those stories of success, best practices and lessons learned at RMEL’s Fall Convention.

I encourage you to take advantage of the Company Registration Package for member companies, which allows ALL your employees to participate in the event (for the price of 10 registrations). The virtual platform gives more of your employees access to a lineup of keynote speakers, CEO Panelists, electric energy leaders and speakers from outside the industry. We will begin making announcements on the speakers we’ve secured soon. We will provide opportunities for members to find and share solutions to the critical issues that electric utilities are facing. The educational focus will include timely presentations on vision and forecast trends, current and future industry projects, lessons learned, new technology, public policy, fuel strategies, workforce challenges and other relevant topics selected by RMEL’s leadership.

Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your organization through Sponsorship opportunities throughout the event. Get details about these opportunities, including:

  • Sponsorship of Keynote Speakers, CEO Panel and Other General Sessions
  • Banner Advertising
  • App Sponsorship
  • Networking Event Sponsorship
  • Technology Showcases
  • Dedicated Company Landing Page
  • And More (we are open to additional customized sponsorship ideas)

Download the sponsorship prospectus for more details and please contact us at info@rmel.org if you are interested in a Fall Convention sponsorship.

Help Grow the Industry by Donating to and Participating in the 2021 RMEL Foundation Auction

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 2021 Fall Convention with a virtual RMEL Foundation Auction!  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 scholarship dollars to students pursuing electric energy careers. Over the past 21 years the Foundation has awarded 461 scholarships totaling more than $1 million. Your support is needed to continue the Foundation's scholarship efforts, especially through these unusual times. The RMEL Foudnation is now accepting auction items and cash donations!

Upcoming Hybrid, In-Person and Virtual Programs

While a convention or conference is not yet in our immediate future, we are actively planning smaller in-person events. We are also looking at the feasibility of hosting regional events to bring relevant and timely content out to various member locations. Please contact us if you’d like us to bring an event to your region. We will continue to provide complimentary webinars, roundtables and low cost workshops to our members.

Hybrid Generation Workshop: Winding Down Coal While Bridging to the Future
September 30, 2021, 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. MDT, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Westminster, CO

RMEL will be hosting a workshop at Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association to discuss Coal Wind-Down within the industry and at our coal-fired assets. This event will be of interest to anyone working within generation planning, engineering and operations. We are pleased to announce that this will be the first in-person event in over a year. It will be an exciting opportunity for networking and reconnecting. Attendees will also have the ability to participate remotely through an online conference. The power generation industry is rapidly transitioning toward low-carbon resources. Careful planning is necessary to ensure our current assets provide a reliable bridge to the future vision. E3 will provide insight on the potential for decarbonization through clean and renewable energy sources coupled with the electrification of traditional fossil fuel based market segments such as transportation. Tri-State Generation will discuss their strategies to maintain coal assets (and minimize expenditures) once a decommissioning date has been set. Colorado Springs Utilities will discuss their recent decommissioning projects and timeline. 

Hybrid RMEL Safety Roundtable
October 28, 2021, 10:00 a.m. - 2 p.m. MDT, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Westminster, CO

Chris Ukowich, Region Safety Officer for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), will share his extensive knowledge of traffic control and commercial vehicle operations and licenses to lead a discussion of situational and traffic awareness best practices. He will speak to move-over laws for utility workers, load securement, inspection issues, helpful checklists and the amount of time electronic inspection should take, electronic inspection logs. From there, he will go into more of an in depth discussion on specific items including CDL, pre/post-trip inspections and traffic control.

See You Soon – In Person and Virtually!

As we continue moving forward with our large virtual events and smaller hybrid/in-person, I appreciate all of the ways members help us connect in a ways that prioritize the health and safety of all RMEL members. The RMEL Education Section Committee members continue to stay flexible on event plans and monitor how the pandemic is impacting the industry, their individual organizations, and family and friends. My heart goes out to everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19. Thank you all for being part of the RMEL community and being there for each other.

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Education and Upcoming Events

Hybrid Generation Workshop: Winding-Down Coal While Bridging to the Future – September 30, 2021, Westminster, CO
RMEL's 2021 Virtual Fall Convention – October 19-21, 2021
Hybrid Safety Roundtable – October 28, 2021, Westminster, CO

RMEL Member Information
RMEL's trusted network is now accessible on Facebook, LinkedIn 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. Thank you 2021 RMEL Champions!
   
Burns & McDonnell
   
Industry Information
Battery modules at the utility-scale Moss Landing Energy Storage site in coastal central California overheated this past weekend but did not cause a fire or do any harm to outside systems or any people, system owner Vistra Energy reported.
 
  
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, in line with President Biden’s national goals and a decade earlier than the city originally planned.
  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $25 million to a new public-private consortium dedicated to the development of grid-forming inverters powerful enough to distribute renewable energy across multiple states.
  
They go by many names: outlet, low level outlet, sluice outlet, pressure relief outlet, river outlet, bypass outlet, diversion outlet, emergency outlet. But these conduits that release water from a reservoir have one thing in common: a valve for controlling the flow of water.
  
The Biden administration on Wednesday outlined an ambitious plan for wind and solar energy to provide 90% of U.S. electricity by 2050.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to conduct an exchange with ExxonMobil Baton Rouge to alleviate any logistical issues of moving crude oil within areas affected by Hurricane Ida to ensure the region has access to fuel as quickly as possible as they continue their recovery. 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Solar Futures Study detailing the significant role solar will play in decarbonizing the nation's power grid.
U.S. energy expenditures, or the amount of money spent by consumers to purchase energy, fell to $1.2 trillion in 2019, down 5% in real terms compared with 2018, according to the latest data in our State Energy Data System (SEDS). 
  
Global engineering and consultancy group DMT GROUP said it has been appointed to support two critical elements of the construction of SuedLink, the longest underground power cable in the world.
Freshly emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chesapeake Energy announced a deal to acquire publicly traded Vine Energy for $2.2 billion, or $15 per share. In the deal, Chesapeake gets nearly 100,000 acres in the shale gas basin of Louisiana known as the Haynesville. 
Hundreds of thousands of people are counting on these crews to get the power flowing again so that they can begin to rebuild their lives and find some sort of normalcy.
Member Announcements
Basin Electric joined more than 160 labor unions, conservation and environmental groups, and industry organizations from around the nation in a letter to congressional leaders urging the inclusion of a comprehensive suite of bipartisan carbon management policies in any larger legislative vehicle.
During the last year, El Paso Electric (EPE) established a new mission to transform the energy landscape though new generation, a modernized grid, transportation electrification and enhanced customer options.
Evergy, Inc. announced Lesley Elwell will join the Company as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Greg Greenwood, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, has been named as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.
  
PacifiCorp filed its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan with its six state utility commissions. The biennial long-term resource plan builds on PacifiCorp’s strong reliability as it accelerates its clean energy future by leveraging the abundant diversity of resources that are available across its vast multi-state transmission network. 
As a not-for-profit, community-based utility that serves more than one million energy customers in America’s fastest growing region, SRP announced it is seeking Board approval to expand its Coolidge Generating Station, a quick-start natural gas power plant located in the Southeast Valley. 
With a theme of Leading the Charge, not-for-profit wholesale power supply cooperative Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association highlighted the significant and accelerating accomplishments of its Responsible Energy Plan to nearly 300 members and guests in attendance at its 69th Annual Meeting this week in Westminster, Colo.
United Power switched to a demand rate in January 2019 as a way to more fairly charge its members for their electric usage and impact on the cooperative’s system.
  
As fall classes begin, TEP is helping to make sure local schools have the equipment and infrastructure they need to operate efficiently and effectively.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm issued the following statement announcing Tracey A. LeBeau as Administrator and CEO of Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). 
Xcel Energy announced that Bob Frenzel has been appointed president and CEO of the company.
White Paper
In this paper we discuss the limitations of conventional online monitoring technologies for underground cable systems. We highlighted the need for earlier warning of more failure modes in more locations which can be missed by online DTS or PD monitoring, but are now visible through DES over fibre. This passive sensor technology is capable of monitoring electrical and thermal stresses at vital locations which lead to asset degradation and failure, seen only later by conventional online techniques.