A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Feb. 20, 2012
Joint AROC and ARP Executive Committee Workshop
FMPA’s Audit and Risk Oversight Committee and the ARP Executive Committee held a joint workshop last Wednesday to discuss options for smoothing energy rates, such as the GANT Plan and a physical natural gas purchase structure. The committees agreed to have the Business Model Working Group develop the GANT Plan further and provide a recommendation to the Executive Committee. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Board of Directors
FMPA’s Board of Directors met last Thursday and approved a proposal to extend the term of the employment agreement for FMPA’s General Manager and CEO through Sept. 15, 2013. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
ARP Executive Committee
The ARP Executive Committee met last Thursday and approved Resolution 2012-EC1 to amend the fiscal 2012 Agency budget. The resolution authorizes funds to upgrade the Board room audio and to purchase Microsoft SharePoint. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
FMPA Goveance Committee
FMPA’s Goveance Committee met last Thursday to discuss weighted voting. The Committee narrowed down its options to three and will continue the discussion at its next meeting scheduled for March 22 following the Executive Committee meeting that day. In addition, ARP Executive Committee Chairman Howard McKinnon and Newberry Mayor Bill Conrad were appointed to the Goveance Committee. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Key West Transmission Line Improvements
Phase one construction of the Dynamic VAR Compensation System is on schedule to be completed in June. Foundation work is complete at the Big Pine Substation, all equipment is on site and 70% is installed and connected to the system. At the Stock Island substation, 50% of the foundation work is complete, and 10% of the equipment is installed and connected. When complete, the VAR system will increase the transmission import capacity from 234 MW to 320 MW along the 120-mile line that spans the length of the Florida Keys. Contact: Frank Gaffney
Nick Guarriello, Fred Bryant, Mark Larson, Tom Reedy and Bud Boudreaux travel to Bushnell on Monday to present All-Requirements 101 to the City Council.
Member City Visits
Fred Bryant and Bud Boudreaux travel to Newberry on Monday to meet with Mayor Bill Conrad, City Manager Keith Ashby and Utilities Director Blaine Suggs. Bud and Fred also travel to Leesburg on Tuesday to meet with Electric Director Paul Kalv and City Commissioner Bill Polk.
Free Online Job Postings for Members
FMPA renewed its contract last week with EnergyCentralJobs.com, which allows FMPA’s members to post utility jobs online for free. EnergyCentralJobs.com is a prominent online job resource specialized in the power industry. Jobs posted on EnergyCentralJobs.com often are picked up and advertised for free by other aggregated job boards. More than 300 jobs were posted last year for FMPA members. Contact Terry Bus if you are interested in posting an open position at your utility.
Donations Accepted for Ryan Ruano Aviation Foundation
The Ryan Ruano Aviation Foundation, named in honor of Bushnell City Manager Vince Ruano’s late son, is now accepting donations to provide assistance for the advancement of flight training and flight experiences. The foundation was created honoring Ryan’s memory and his love of aviation to help those who yea for the freedom of flight but are burdened by financial circumstances, those who are terminally ill, or those who are otherwise unable to fully participate in a pilot training program. To donate, visit the Foundation’s registrationhttp://www.fmpa.com/index.php/component/registrationpro/?view=event&did=40>registration; is requested to obtain a count for lunch. Contact: Mike Siefert
High Bill Complaint Training and Roundtable
FMPA hosts a High Bill Complaint Training and Roundtable on March 8 at 10 a.m. in the Board room. Florida Municipal Electric Association’s (FMEA) Cheryl Anderson will discuss the types of high bill complaints, how to interact with angry customers, high bill best practices and complaint prevention strategies. Customer service representatives, call center representatives, collection specialists and counter clerks are encouraged to attend. The registration fee is $50, which includes lunch, and the deadline is March 1. Visit IEEE’s” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.ieeet-d.org/>IEEE’s website for more information on the conference.
EPA Will Hold the Line on Mercury Rule Compliance, McCarthy Indicates
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) anticipates only minimal, localized reliability problems as a result of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), according to EPA Assistant Administrator for Air Gina McCarthy at a recent forum on reliability hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. EPA expects most utilities will be able to comply within four years but proposed a process for those that need a fifth year. The fifth year extension requires a utility to demonstrate to EPA satisfaction that a unit must keep running for critical reliability purposes and would require a utility to admit noncompliance, potentially exposing it to lawsuits, so some utilities view this as an improbable alteative. EPA has estimated that the MATS rule will result in the retirement of 4.9 GW of coal-fired plants, but FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller said this is hard to believe since FirstEnergy recently announced that it will retire more than 3 GW. McCarthy said the industry has been moving away from coal for some time and that many of the plants being retired are old and inefficient. EPA counted only retirements directly attributable to the rule, she said. McCarthy also stood by the agency’s estimates of the regulation’s costs and benefits during a grilling by Republicans on the House Energy and Power Subcommittee. Nationwide, electricity prices are expected to rise 3% by 2015 as a result of the rule, which is well within the normal range of fluctuation, she said. EPA has not calculated the total cost of the rule but projects that the annualized cost will be $9.6 billion in 2016, she said.
PSC to Hold Hearing on Progress Energy Crystal River 3 Settlement
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a hearing beginning Monday and continuing Wednesday, if needed, to consider a Progress Energy Florida Settlement Agreement. The agreement addresses outstanding issues with Progress Energy’s nuclear plant at Crystal River, which was closed for repairs in 2009 and hasn’t opened since. The settlement details include: 1) over the next five years, Progress can collect $350 million from its customers, which amounts to $3.45 per 1,000 kilowatt hours, 2) Progress is prohibited from seeking any additional cost recovery dollars prior to January 2018, 3) the Crystal River plant must refund $288 million to customers over the next four years, and 4) the Office of Public Counsel waives its right to challenge the repair plan, unless that plan is found to be fiscally irresponsible or has any outright inappropriate charges in it. One possible penalty included in the settlement is that if Progress Energy does not start its repairs by the end of 2012, the company will owe $100 million for costs of replacement fuel, to be charged over the next four years. That money would be owed to the consumers.
FMPA Weekly is published by FMPA for employees and goveing boards of FMPA member utilities. Questions or comments about this newsletter may be directed to Ryan Dumas or Carina Miles in FMPA’s Public Relations Department.
Want more background on the names and terms used in this newsletter? Check out FMPA’s Glossary, which features some of the most frequently mentioned committees, companies, places and terms, or contact the person named in each FMPA story to lea more. (Click here for the Staff Directory.)
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