A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Sept. 14, 2009
FMPA Files Brief in Transmission Credits Case
FMPA filed a reply brief Sept. 1 with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the latest development in a long-running case against Florida Power and Light. FMPA’s case attempts to change a discriminatory policy that denies municipal electric utilities credits for the transmission assets they contribute to the transmission system.
FMPA’s contract compliance auditors visited Florida Gas Utility (FGU) on Sept. 9. The team interviewed FGU staff and pulled sample data as part of an audit of the utility’s billings to All-Requirements. Results of the audit will be presented at the Audit Risk Oversight Committee meeting in December. Contact: Rich Popp
Smart Grid Investment Grant
The U.S. Department of Energy notified Fort Pierce, Homestead and Ocala last week that their joint application for a Smart Grid Investment Grant was compliant and will receive further consideration. The cities are seeking a grant for half the cost of a $15.6 million Smart Grid project. The application will now be forwarded for merit review. Contact: Ann Beckwith or Mike Siefert
Line of Credit
Mark Larson and Janet Davis met by conference call last Tuesday with representatives from Wachovia to discuss renewing FMPA’s line of credit. The bank requested more information. A response is anticipated sometime this week.
Public Gas Partners
Public Gas Partners (PGP) met by conference call last Thursday and Friday to discuss the renewal of a management service agreement with Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. The PGP Finance Committee also met Tuesday and discussed upcoming plans to issue long-term debt to pay off PGP’s line of credit. FMPA is not involved in this financing, as the Agency has already issued bonds to repay its portion of the debt. Contact: Mark Larson
Several financial representatives visited FMPA last week. Mark Larson, Janet Davis and Ed Nunez met last Wednesday with representatives from Regions Bank and Morgan Keegan. Representatives from Barclay’s visited last Thursday to discuss the bank’s response to a recent bank loan request for proposals issued by FMPA. Bank of America representatives visited last Thursday to discuss refinancing a pooled loan and other capital needs of the Agency. John Rodstrom from Stee Agee also visited last Friday. All of the meetings included discussions about market conditions, as well as FMPA’s current financing calendar of activities and line of credit needs. Contact: Mark Larson
Joint Purchase Project
Joint Purchase Project participants met last Thursday. A residential meters contract was extended one year and now expires in October 2010. Contact: Sharon Samuels
Carrying Cost of Cane Island 4
Jim Atz, Janet Davis and Jamie Noon are working to calculate the carrying cost of interest on Cane Island Unit 4.
FGT Rate Case
TECO Peoples Gas hosts a meeting Tuesday to discuss an upcoming Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) rate case that will go before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. All FGT shippers, including FMPA, were invited to participate. FMPA plans to take an active role in these discussions. Contact: Richard Montgomery
FMPA presents its All-Requirements 101 seminar Tuesday and Wednesday in the Board room. All-Requirements 101 is a one and one-half day free seminar designed to give participants a thorough understanding of FMPA’s largest wholesale power supply project, All-Requirements. 28 participants are registered to attend this popular event. Contact: Diane Nelson
Utility Education & Trade Show Days
Mike Siefert will attend Florida Municipal Electric Association’s Utility Education & Trade Show Days this Tuesday and Wednesday in Gainesville and Jupiter Beach. The event brings together professionals from the energy industry for top-notch speakers and a review of the latest in utility products and services. Topics covered will include customer service, safety and training, transmission and distribution and lineworker skills.
Year End Closing
The Finance Division meets Thursday to review FMPA’s financial data in preparation to close the books Sept. 30 on the fiscal year. Contact: Mark Larson
RCRA/DOT Annual Training
Friday is the deadline to register for FMPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) annual and refresher training. The class will be held Sept. 30. This one-day training course covers a variety of topics, including: 1) general provisions of the DOT training requirements, 2) hazardous materials, 3) specific requirements for electric utility hazmat employees, 4) emergency response information, and 5) accident prevention methods and procedures. To register, FMPA’s” rel=”nofollow”>http://fmpa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=63>FMPA’s Web site. Contact: Bree Balchunas
Business Model Working Group
The ARP Business Model Working Group meets Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. in the Board room to discuss fuel hedging. Rich Popp has requested suggestions from members on hedging-related topics that the group would like to discuss.
Florida Municipal Power Pool (FMPP) will hold its annual seminar Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 at Orlando Utilities Commission’s (OUC) Camp Down. Attendees include representatives from OUC, Lakeland and FMPA. FMPP is looking for two guest speakers to present on topics of their expertise. To sign up, contact Hector Mesa.
Integrated Resource Plan
FMPA’s System Planning Department finished documenting the Integrated Resource Planning process. FMPA is now in compliance with Florida Public Service Commission and Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act standards, as well as the Agency’s risk management policy. An overview of the process will be presented to the Executive Committee on Sept. 24. Contact: Michele Jackson
Energy Auditors Roundtable
Mark your calendars: the next Energy Auditors Roundtable will be held Nov. 11 at FMPA. More information will be available soon. Contact: Sharon Samuels
Invitations will soon be sent for FMPA’s annual Purchasing Roundtable. Participants will meet Nov. 19 at Kissimmee Utility Authority. Contact: Sharon Samuels
NRC Reviews FPL Nuclear Plant Application
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review the combined license application for two nuclear reactors at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) Turkey Point site located south of Miami. FPL submitted the application June 30, and it was accepted Aug. 8. Acceptance is one step in the process and does not indicate whether the Commission will approve or reject FPL’s application. The utility is seeking approval to build and operate two new reactors that would each generate 1,100 MW of electricity.
TECO Seeks Lower Fuel Costs
TECO Energy (TECO) submitted a request to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking a reduction in its fuel rates. TECO proposed the reduction due to a decline in what the utility expects to pay for coal and natural gas. The fuel rate reduction comes on the heels of a base rate increase that was approved by the PSC in March. If the decrease is approved, both rate changes will become effective in January. TECO estimates that the net effect of the changes will be a savings of $1.46 on a 1,000 kWh bill.
TECO Eliminating Jobs
TECO is shedding 225 jobs from its electric and natural gas companies, with most coming from voluntary buyouts during the past couple weeks. Of the affected workers, 165 have accepted buyouts. The remaining 60 will be laid off this month. The cuts are part of a reorganization TECO started in July, when the company combined its Tampa Electric Co. and Peoples Gas operations. The job losses have come from both subsidiaries. The reorganization is only part of the reason for the cuts, however. Until last year, TECO had seen about a 2.5% annual growth in its customer base, but since 2008, growth has been flat. The cuts are expected to cost TECO $25 million to $30 million in severance packages but will ultimately lower its payroll costs.
Califoia Utilities Sign Deal for Natural Gas
Three Northe Califoia municipal utilities entered into a $901.6 million agreement Sept. 9 to purchase natural gas at a discounted rate over the next 30 years. Silicon Valley Power (Santa Clara’s municipal utility), Modesto Irrigation District and Redding Electric Utility are projected to save more than $200 million over three decades, according to the utilities.
Clewiston’s New City Manager
The Clewiston City Council voted unanimously Aug. 7 to hire Steve McKown as City Manager. McKown, a certified public accountant, served as Finance Director and Assistant City Manager of Commerce, Ga., for four years. He began work Aug. 21.
Correction: Missouri Utilities Call for Changes to Climate Bill
A joint analysis by several utilities shows that climate change legislation would cause residents of Missouri to pay rate increases averaging between 12% and 26% starting in 2012 and possibly as high as 50% should utilities be forced to switch from coal to natural gas for a significant portion of their fuel. The year that rates will increase was incorrectly reported in last week’s FMPA Weekly.