A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Feb. 22, 2016
ARP Credit Rating
Fitch Ratings assigned an A+ credit rating to FMPA’s All-Requirements Project (ARP) on Feb. 12 and indicated the rating outlook was stable. Fitch pointed to the stable nature of FMPA and its operations as part of the reason for the high rating. Fitch noted that FMPA and its members are able to “make timely rate adjustments to recover variable fuel and other operating costs. Importantly, rate adjustments are not regulated by the State’s Public Service Commission. Fitch also commented that FMPA’s steady rate competitiveness and satisfactory financial performance helped it lower power costs to the 13 municipal utilities in the ARP by 19% in fiscal 2015 compared to fiscal 2014. This has allowed a number of the utilities to maintain retail rates among the lowest in the state, Fitch commented. Contact: Mark Larson
ARP Bond Refinancing
FMPA issued $424.120 million in All-Requirements Project (ARP) Refunding Revenue Bonds last Wednesday. The proceeds will refund a portion of ARP’s outstanding Series 2008A and Series 2009A bonds. The refinancing netted $63.7 million in gross savings, which exceeded original projections when the ARP Executive Committee approved the refinancing on Jan. 21. The savings will reduce future costs for the 13 cities in ARP. In the coming three fiscal years, savings are expected to be approximately 57 cents per Megawatt hour increasing to approximately 87 cents through the final maturity in October 2031. The final maturity date for the refunding bonds is the same as the original issues being refunded. When FMPA offered the bonds, it had nearly $2 billion in orders for the $424 million issue. The five-to-one demand ratio is a positive statement on FMPA’s desirability as an investment and aided the issue’s cost effectiveness. The bonds were underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities in a negotiated sale. Closing is scheduled for April 5. Contact: Mark Larson
Mayfield Bill HB 579/SB 84
A committee in the Florida Senate will hear on Tuesday the companion bill to Rep. Debbie Mayfield’s (R-Vero Beach) proposed legislation regulating FMPA. Senate Bill 840 will be heard in the Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities at 1:30 p.m. This is the first of three committee references in the Senate. It is not clear if the Senate sponsor, Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-New Port Richey), will propose the bill in its current form or offer an amendment. The amendment deadline is Monday at 1:30 p.m. In its current form, the Senate bill subjects FMPA to oversight by the Florida Public Service Commission, which would likely result in a credit rating downgrade and higher electric bills to FMPA member cities and their customers. The amended House version of the bill, which has passed two committees, requires: 1) additional financial reporting for each individual generating asset of FMPA, including an annual “fair market value of each asset as determined by a “willing buyer and willing seller, and 2) that members of FMPA’s goveing body be elected officials. The House bill still has one more committee of reference. Contact: Mark McCain
National Engineers Week
This week is National Engineers Week. Engineers play an important role in public power. At FMPA, our engineers work with power plant staff to generate and transmit clean, reliable power for customers. Our engineers monitor air and water conditions to ensure we comply with state and federal regulations for a clean and safe environment. And, engineers help plan our power supply for the future so that we have the generating resources to power homes and businesses for years to come. Overall, they help shape our future in important ways. Join us this week in recognizing the great work of engineers at FMPA and its member cities.
APPA CEO Roundtable
Nick Guarriello is attending the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) CEO Roundtable on Monday and Tuesday in Phoenix, Ariz. Discussion topics will include: 1) the energy evolution, 2) cyber and physical preparedness, and 3) global energy markets, geopolitics and national security.
APPA Legislative Rally
FMPA and the Florida Municipal Electric Association host a free webinar on Friday at 10 a.m. for members attending the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Legislative Rally. Representatives from 13 Florida cities will participate in the Rally on March 7 through March 9. While in Washington, D.C., they will meet with Florida’s Congressional delegation to discuss federal legislative issues related to electric utilities, including EPA regulations, cyber security and tax-exempt financing. Registration is required to participate in the webinar. Contact: Mark McCain
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. 21. 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. Leesburg Electric also will provide a tour of its operations center and discuss its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) implementation. The roundtable is open to anyone who has an interest in metering or meter-related topics, including meter techs and meter shop staff. The roundtable is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by March 23. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments for Solar Amendment
The Florida Supreme Court is expected to schedule oral arguments in the coming months about whether a constitutional amendment that would allow consumers to own or lease solar generation on their property for their own use should be allowed on the November ballot. The proposed amendment is backed by a group called Consumers for Smart Solar. The amendment needs Supreme Court approval of the ballot wording. A separate group called Floridians for Solar Choice 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. That amendment language was approved by the Supreme Court, but the proposed amendment did not obtain the required 683,149 signatures from Florida voters by Feb. 1. Floridians for Solar Choice said it would re-propose its amendment for the November 2018 ballot. Meanwhile, the group has filed an opposition brief against Consumers for Smart Solar.
Nevada PUC Stands Firm on Revamping Net Metering Rules but Eases Transition
Nevada regulators stuck to their guns Feb. 12 in plans to revamp the state’s net energy metering rules but eased the transition by tripling the length of a phase-in period. In late December, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) made several key changes to the state’s net metering rules that were designed to address what it found was roughly a $16 million annual subsidy that net metering customers received from other utility ratepayers. The PUC decided last December to change the reimbursement rate for the excess generation produced by net metering customers from the full retail rate to the wholesale rate. The rate change was to be phased in over four years. On reconsideration, the PUC upheld all aspects of its decision, except it decided to extend the phase-in period to 12 years with the shift towards wholesale rates and an increased fixed charge coming in three-year steps.
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.)
Florida Municipal Power Agency
8553 Commodity Circle
Orlando, FL 32819-9002
Tel 407 355-7767
Fax 407 355-5794
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