A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Feb. 8, 2016
ARP Bond Refinancing
FMPA staff, along with FMPA’s financial advisor and underwriters, met via conference call last Monday with representative of Moody’s Investors Service to discuss the All-Requirements Project (ARP). The credit rating update is part of refinancing activities for the Series 2008A and 2009A revenue bonds. The economics of the refunding have recently improved even further. Based on interest rates as of Feb. 4, the estimated gross savings is approximately $60 million, or 13.3% of the par value of the refunded bonds. Moody’s plans to issue its updated credit rating this week. A similar update with Fitch Ratings is scheduled for Wednesday. If the Executive Committee approves moving forward with the advance refunding at a meeting this Tuesday, FMPA is aiming to price the refunding by Feb. 18 and close on April 5. Contact: Mark Larson
FPL Market-Based Rate Filing
Several Florida utilities, including FMPA, filed interventions Jan. 29 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding a filing by Florida Power & Light (FPL) to sell power in peninsular Florida at market-based rates. Other utilities that filed included Homestead, JEA, Orlando Utilities Commission, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Seminole Electric Cooperative and Tampa Electric. FPL is seeking authorization to sell energy and capacity at market-based rates within certain balancing authorities, including Duke Energy Florida, JEA, Seminole, Tampa Electric and the City of Tallahassee. In a joint filing, FMPA and Seminole said a full and complete investigation is required before the Commission considers the unprecedented step of granting FPL authority to sell at market-based rates. FMPA and Seminole voiced the obvious that Florida is a peninsular market electrically isolated from other regional markets by water and has extremely limited interface transfer capability. The transmission ties with Georgia are currently constrained to 3,700 MW and will be further limited by 500 MW when FPL’s Port Everglades power plant begins commercial operation on April 1. Also, FPL is by far the largest supplier of capacity and energy in Peninsular Florida, giving it market power. Seminole and FMPA said these facts alone, plus other facts details in their protest filing, warrant a full evidentiary investigation by the Commission that compel rejection of FPL’s application. Contact: Michele Jackson
Member City Visit
Nick Guarriello and Mark McCain travel to Ocala on Tuesday for a member city visit with City Manager John Zobler and other members of the city’s executive and utility staff.
ARP Telephonic Rate Workshop
The ARP Executive Committee meets Tuesday at 2 p.m. via conference call for the monthly All-Requirements Project Rate Workshop. The agenda includes: 1) an update on natural gas markets and liquidity, 2) an overview of January operations, loads, costs and rate calculations, and 3) estimated rates for February and March. Contact: Jim Arntz
ARP Executive Committee
The ARP Executive Committee holds a special-called meeting Tuesday via conference call at 2:10 p.m. or immediately following the ARP Telephonic Rate Workshop. The Committee will discuss approval of refinancing a portion of the All-Requirements Project’s Series 2008A and 2009A revenue bonds. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Executive Search Committee
The Executive Search Committee meets Thursday at 2 p.m. via conference call to consider approval of a contract with the executive recruiting firm Mycoff, Fry & Prouse. This was the top-ranked firm in FMPA’s competitive selection process to assist in the search for FMPA’s next General Manager and CEO. Contact: Nick Guarriello
All-Requirements Project Weekly Load Statistics
The weekly update of the All-Requirements Project historical load graph has been posted on the Member Portal. The graph is updated through Feb. 7. Contact: Jim Arntz
Human Resource Roundtable
FMPA hosts a Human Resources Roundtable on March 9 at 10 a.m. at FMPA’s Orlando office. The roundtable provides a forum for participants to discuss HR topics, such as benefits, recruiting, employee retention, training, policies and more. The roundtable is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by March 4. Participation via teleconference is available for those unable to attend in person. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Meter Tech Roundtable
FMPA will host a Meter Tech Roundtable on March 31 at 10 a.m. in Leesburg. The roundtable provides a forum for meter technicians and meter maintenance staff to discuss topics such as operating procedures, equipment, safety, training and more. The roundtable is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by March 23. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Leadership Conference for Women in Energy
Florida’s inaugural leadership conference for women in energy is being organized by the Gunster law firm on April 14 and April 15 in Orlando. The forum will highlight how the energy industry is leading in economic and workforce development. Confirmed speakers include many women in senior leadership positions at electric utilities. The conference is being organized by Lila Jaber, leader of Gunster’s govement affairs practice and a former commissioner and chairwoman of the Florida Public Service Commission. Registration information is available online. Florida Municipal Electric Association is a conference co-sponsor.
One of Two Solar Initiatives Qualify to Appear on 2016 Election Ballot
A constitutional amendment that would allow consumers to own or lease solar equipment installed on their property to generate electricity for their own use received enough valid petition signatures and will be placed on the 2016 election ballot. The Florida Division of Elections website reported last Friday that Consumers for Smart Solar submitted 720,395 valid petition signatures, which was more than the 683,149 required signatures. A separate group called Floridians for Solar Choice had proposed a competing solar amendment that would allow businesses to generate and sell up to 2 MW of solar power to customers on the same or neighboring properties. However, it only received 288,003 valid signatures, which was not enough to have the measure placed on the ballot. Floridians for Solar Choice said it will work to get its amendment on the 2018 election ballot and that it has appealed to the Florida Supreme Court to throw out the Consumers for Smart Solar amendment. The Supreme Court still must approve the measure’s language. A court review is scheduled for later this month. The amendment will need approval from 60% of Florida voters to pass.
FPL Electric Rates May Go Down, Up and Up Again
Florida Power & Light (FPL) filed a request last Tuesday with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to decrease fuel rates beginning April 1. If approved, the monthly bill of a typical FPL residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would decrease $1.65 to $91.73. FPL said the decrease is due to lower fuel prices and increased fuel efficiency. FPL also said Tuesday that its $1.2 billion Port Everglades power plant is expected to come online April 1, approximately two months ahead of schedule. When the plant comes online, a previously approved base rate increase of $1.57 will take effect per FPL’s 2012 rate settlement agreement. As announced last month, FPL notified the PSC that it plans to request a series of base-rate increases from 2017 through 2019 totaling 24%. In March, FPL plans to file a $1.325 billion base rate increase, equal to $13 per 1,000 kWh, to include three base-rate hikes during the period from 2017 through 2020.
Ukraine Power Outage Still Not a Confirmed Cyber Attack
While media outlets are reporting that the late-2015 power outage in Ukraine was a cyber attack, official U.S. govement sources said last week they have not confirmed this finding as they continue to analyze information from the U.S. delegation that visited Ukraine to assist in the investigation. Representatives of the U.S. electric utility industry say they recognize the seriousness of any attack against critical infrastructure and remain vigilant against all threats to the North American grid. In addition, they say they will monitor the investigation to better understand the cause of the Ukrainian power outage and apply lessons from the incident. The possibility that a cyber attack could impact grid operations is something the North American electric power sector has been preparing for over many years, said the North American Electric Reliability Corporation through its Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center. These preparations include employing technologies and rigorous security standards, forging close partnerships to protect our systems and respond to incidents, and engaging in active information sharing about threats and vulnerabilities.
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 Joscelyn Bivins 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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