RMEL eNews

Rocky Mountain Electrical League

RMEL Report

From the Desk of Richard Putnicki, Executive Director, RMEL

Building Our Future Toward the New Energy Paradigm

What do you get when you put together a Futurist and Innovation Expert, an Energy Institute Visionary Leader, Electric Energy CEOs, a Southwest Airlines Culture Guru, Data Expert, Leadership Coach, and Environmental Advocate all in the same room?

That’s easy….you get RMEL’s 115th Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention

Join us in Building Our Future Toward the New Energy Paradigm at RMEL’s 2018 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention, September 16-18, 2018, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with your industry network, as well as build new relationships to prepare for this journey ahead. Don’t take it from me though, our Speaker Jim Carroll, has put together some exciting videos that will introduce his Keynote presentation on what he sees that lies ahead for our industry.

These videos should get your mind accelerating to the world of fast paced change coming to our industry – Give them a watch!   Be sure to turn up your speakers!

Video #1:

Fall Keynote Speaker Preview

Video #2:

If you can only attend one event this year, THIS IS THAT EVENT! Register, download the brochure and view the interactive convention grid.  

In case you need any more reasons to attend…

  • Day 1 Keynote Speaker Jim Carroll, one of the world's leading global futurism, trends and innovation experts, is going to help us ride critical fast-paced trends in order to achieve dramatic market success.
  • Day 2 Keynote Speaker Michael Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, will discuss research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization.
  • Leverage the RMEL professional network with electric energy executive attendees
  • Learn from CEOs sharing their insights and vision for the future (CEO Panel is now on Tuesday!)
  • Hear about the latest industry technology, competitive market and reliability, impacts of electrification and data analytics strategies
  • Create "Unstoppable Cultures" with insights from a former Southwest Airlines culture innovation executive
  • Discover electric utility business model possibilities
  • Hear how to prepare for your own success during these challenging times
    and much more... 

RMEL Foundation and upcoming Silent/Live Auction

In addition, the RMEL Fall Convention is an exciting time to continue growing the industry through the RMEL Foundation. Many students don’t realize the exciting opportunities available in the electric energy industry. As your organizations, high schools, colleges and universities partner together to showcase power careers, the RMEL Foundation is a resource for scholarships. The biggest fundraiser is the RMEL Foundation Auction, which takes place during the Fall Convention on September 17, in San Antonio. You can donate an item and participate in the Auction at the Fall Convention.

Donations raised will fund the 2019 Scholarships  Scholarship applications for interested students will be available this November. Please share the scholarship application with friends, colleagues and university/college contacts who can help us spread the word.

RMEL has Packed August Full of Great Events Leading up to the Fall Convention - There’s Something for Everyone

Project Management Workshop
August 8-9, 2018 – Golden, Colorado

The 2018 Project Management Workshop will review the basics, build on the methodologies, and share tools and apply them to new case studies to assist you with continuing down the path of successful project management. Regardless of the types of projects you work, they all require you and your team to have sound project management skills and understanding in order to successfully plan, manage and control the projects. This workshop will further the in-depth discussions and applications to help you become a more disciplined, well-organized and highly effective project manager.

Future Utility Emerging Leaders (FUEL) Workshop
August 15-16, 2018 – Lone Tree, Colorado

This workshop will feature Keynote Speaker Mark Eaton, Former NBA All-Star & President, 7ft4.com LLC. He’ll discuss The Four Commitments of a Winning Team and Nine Steps to Winning Leadership. RMEL’s Future Utility Emerging Leaders Workshop is focused on those first time and early leaders who want to develop their leadership abilities, make career plans, and create their own development path. What are you doing to manage your career development and preparing yourself for future leadership opportunities?

Safety Roundtable – August 2018
August 24, 2018 – Golden, Colorado

At RMEL’s August Safety Roundtable will kick off with a presentation by Matthew Hallowell, Presidential Teaching Scholar and Endowed Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder. He’ll introduce the topic of precursor analysis and field safety engagements. Based upon three years of research, this talk will cover: the objective and purpose of precursor analysis; definition of key terms; description of research conducted to identify and validate precursors; lessons learned from 100 field engagements;  method to employ field safety engagements as a way to identify precursors and perform pre-accident root cause assessments; and a description of the present EEI research being conducted to customize precursor analysis and field safety engagements for electrical generation, transmission, and distribution.

It’s been quite a summer with RMEL, and we are excited about the rest of 2018 and beyond. Look for some exciting new developments that came out of the RMEL Market Research Project and RMEL Board Retreat discussion in July. I’ll have more details soon. Thank you for your continued engagement!

Education and Upcoming Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming RMEL Events
Transmission Project Management Workshop --- August 8-9, 2018 (Golden, CO)
Future Utility Emerging Leaders Workshop — August 15-16, 2018 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable - August 2018 — August 24, 2018 (Golden, CO)
Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention — September 16-18, 2018 (San Antonio, TX)
Planning Session: 2019 Spring Conference — October 4, 2018 (Lone Tree, CO)
Distribution Engineers Workshop — October 10-11, 2018 (Lone Tree, CO)
Renewable Planning and Operations Conference — October 18, 2018 (Lone Tree, CO)
Safety Roundtable - November 2018 — November 2, 2018 (Fort Collins, CO)

Visit https://www.rmel.org/RMEL/Events/List/RMEL/Events_Info/List_of_Events.aspx?hkey=caf67ebf-969d-42dd-815f-43eab06040da to view the full article online.

WEBINAR: How to Address Your Aging URD Cable
Circuit owners across the region are faced with increased electrical faults in their aging, underground XLPE cable. Utilities often ask, “What is the best approach to address the problem?” Learn how to implement a balanced, cost effective, asset management strategy to solve the issue.
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.

Burns & McDonnell
Telcom Marketing Ltd.
Utility Workforce Survey Sponsored by Southwire
Southwire Company
This survey and report analyzes the state of the utility industry engineering workforce to help companies better prepare for impending shifts and attract new talent. Learn what companies are doing to appeal to millennial engineers, bridge the gap between established and new engineers, and motivate and retain young engineering talent.

Download the results!
Industry Information

Honda recently introduced a new program that allows electric vehicle (EV) customers to find the best time to charge their cars based on electric grid conditions.

Visit https://www.energycentral.com/news/honda-unveils-program-adjusts-ev-charging-times-grid-conditions to view the full article online.

Alliant Energy issued its Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR), revealing a plan to eliminate coal use and cut emissions 80% by 2050. The company will spend more than $2 billion on new renewable energy.

Visit https://www.utilitydive.com/news/alliant-plans-to-eliminate-coal-cut-emissions-80-by-2050/529267/ to view the full article online.

The Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. has approved a transmission line and a water pipeline project associated with the 1,300-MW Eagle Crest Energy Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project in California.

Visit https://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2018/08/blm-approves-transmission-line-water-pipeline-project-for-1-300-mw-eagle-crest-pumped-storage.html to view the full article online.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected seven projects to receive approximately $2.8 million in federal funding for research and development projects that support fossil energy research at colleges and universities nationwide, including minority institutions. 

Visit https://www.energy.gov/fe/articles/energy-department-invests-28m-support-fossil-energy-research-universities to view the full article online.


PG&E Corp. is considering a company restructure to shelter some of its units from the large amount of liability related to damage from the destructive California wildfires last year, Reuters reported Wednesday, based on anonymous sources.

Visit https://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-pge-considers-breaking-up-company-to-avoid-wildfire-liability/529198/ to view the full article online.

The 661 million short tons (MMst) of coal consumed in the electric power sector in 2017 was the lowest amount of coal consumed since 1983, and 2017 was the fourth consecutive year that U.S. coal consumption and coal shipments by all transport modes declined.

Visit https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=36812 to view the full article online.

Nuclear contractor giant Westinghouse Electric Co. is now owned by Brookfield Business Partners LP and has emerged from a nearly 17-month bankruptcy reorganization, rebounding from a financial fall that threatened to collapse the already feeble U.S. nuclear plant construction future.

Visit https://www.power-eng.com/articles/2018/08/westinghouse-electric-emerges-from-financial-winter.html to view the full article online.


To better serve its customers, NV Energy has constructed two new substations--Mason Valley and Smith Valley--to serve 4,000 businesses, schools, homes and farms. 

Visit https://www.tdworld.com/substations/nv-energy-constructs-new-substations-and-lines-improve-voltage-and-reliability to view the full article online.

Naylor Association Solutions
Naylor Association Solutions
Member Announcements

Children often imagine their future across a range of different careers before ever deciding what they truly want to do for a living, but APS Lineman Brian Alston got his professional calling early.

Visit https://www.aps.com/en/ourcompany/news/latestnews/Pages/aps-celebrates-lineman-appreciation-day-and-one-familys-story.aspx to view the full article online.

Black Hills Energy was recently named by Forbes to its America’s Best Midsize Employers 2018 list alongside national brands like TripAdvisor, Lego Group and Johns Hopkins University. 

Visit https://www.blackhillscorp.com/node/118031#.W2SLiNVKi70 to view the full article online.

El Paso Electric Company (EPE) (NYSE:EE) today released its first Corporate Sustainability Report, a compilation of the Company’s recent energy and environmental accomplishments. 

Visit https://www.epelectric.com/about-el-paso-electric/article/el-paso-electric-releases-first-corporate-sustainability-report to view the full article online.

Evergy announced its first major corporate gift today with a pledge of $2.5 million to development of a plaza in downtown Topeka, building on the legacy of its predecessor companies, Westar Energy and KCP&L.

Visit https://www.kcpl.com/about-kcpl/media-center/2018/july/evergy-contributes-two-and-a-half-million-to-plaza-downtown to view the full article online.

A nationwide study found Lincoln Electric System’s 2018 rates rank among the lowest in the nation. Out of 100 cities surveyed nationwide, LES’ annual National Electric Rate Study determined that the utility’s average rates are the eighth lowest.

Visit http://www.les.com/about-les/news/view?article_id=111687 to view the full article online.

Nebraska Public Power District is taking another step forward in the carbon world with a second Department of Energy (DOE) study.

Visit http://www.nppd.com/2018/nppd-part-doe-study-develop-integrated-co2-collection-transportation-storage-infrastructure/ to view the full article online.

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) is a big topic in the power industry. And this week, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors received an update on the utility’s efforts in this area.

Visit https://www.oppd.com/news-resources/news-releases/2018/july/oppd-updates-board-on-distributed-energy-resources-initiative/ to view the full article online.

PacifiCorp is proceeding with plans to significantly expand its wind energy production after receiving the final two state approvals needed to move forward with the company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative.

Visit http://www.pacificorp.com/about/newsroom/2018nrl/energy-vision-2020-approvals.html to view the full article online.

Salt River Project has filed an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) with the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee seeking to permit new power lines that will enable the utility to meet growing energy needs in the Southeast Valley.

Visit https://www.srpnet.com/newsroom/releases/080118.aspx to view the full article online.

Liberty Utilities – Empire District announces commission support of its
Customer Savings Plan. An order approving portions of the plan was issued by the Missouri Public
Service Commission (MPSC) in Jefferson City, MO, on July 11, 2018.

Visit http://www.naylornetwork.com/rme-nwl/pdf/07_11_2018_Liberty_Utilities_-_Empire_District_Approval_of_Customer_Savi.._.pdf to view the full article online.

With transmission lines stretching through remote forests and deserts, Tucson Electric Power employees must stay vigilant during wildfire season to make sure electric facilities are safe.

Visit https://www.tep.com/news/tep-protects-facilities-during-wildfire-season/ to view the full article online.

Westar Energy announced retirement dates for generation units earmarked for closure in the merger agreement announced last year between Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy.

Visit https://www.westarenergy.com/content/about-us/news/2018-news-releases/kansas-plant-dates to view the full article online.

High Voltage Electrician Randy Hammit saw the fruits of his labors take flight. Hammit, a major in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, participated in an important flight orientation event that he helped to organize.

Visit https://www.wapa.gov/newsroom/NewsFeatures/2018/Pages/Navajo-civil-air-patrol.aspx to view the full article online.

White Paper

Washington State University researchers have created a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete using coal fly ash, a waste product of coal-based electricity generation.

Visit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100513.htm to view the full article online.