A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Feb. 29, 2016
Mayfield Bill HB 579/SB 840
A bill in the Florida Legislature to regulate FMPA has not been heard by all of its committee references in the House and Senate, so at this point in the legislative session, the bill is not likely to move forward. Rep. Mayfield (R-Vero Beach) said last Thursday that her bill will not pass. House Bill 579 would have required: 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 Senate companion bill (SB 840) sponsored by Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) was approved 7-1 last Tuesday by the Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee, although several Senators expressed conce about the bill’s “fair market value provisions. The bill has two more committee references in the Senate and one more in the House. This Tuesday is the last day for regularly scheduled committee meetings. In the remaining days of session, the Legislature will tu its attention to the budget and other high-priority matters. The regular session is scheduled to end March 11. Contact: Mark McCain
The 38th anniversary of FMPA’s first official meeting was last Wednesday. Locally owned electric utilities in Florida met Feb. 24, 1978, to take control of their wholesale power supply destiny for the benefit of their customers. Through FMPA, locally owned utilities of all sizes worked together to capture economies of scale in power generation and to diversity their power supply resources. Nearly four decades later, FMPA continues to help Florida’s public power utilities provide the home power advantage, including local reliability, personal service, community investment and public accountability. Contact: Mark McCain
Member Relations Survey
FMPA’s biennial Board of Directors Member Relations Survey is now underway. A link to the seven-question online survey was emailed to Board of Directors representatives last Thursday by Nick Guarriello. As a member-owned organization, the relationship between members and staff is essential to our mutual success. It is so important that FMPA’s Board of Directors designated “foster a positive communication culture as one of four major strategic goals and approved conducting this survey as a strategy to reach that goal. Responses are due March 10. The results of the survey will be shared with members and staff in May. Contact: Mark McCain
3 Phase Times
FMPA’s Power Resources Division published the January 2016 edition of 3 Phase Times. This monthly report provides information about the All-Requirements Project’s (ARP) system peak, hourly loads, resource fuel mix, natural gas usage, natural gas pricing and more performance information. The report shows that natural gas represented 85.5% of FMPA’s total energy sources in January, a 1.4% increase from December. ARP sold 128,157 MWh to the Florida Municipal Power Pool (FMPP) at an average price of $20.55 per MWh, which was higher than the estimated short-term forecast of 120,792 MWh. The FMPP Average Monthly Gas Dispatch Price in January was $2.526 per MMBtu, 47 cents higher than December’s average. For more information, download 3 Phase Times from the Member Portal. Contact: Frank Gaffney
Electric Utility Tax Seminar
Jody Finklea and Amanda Swindle presented a tax seminar last Tuesday in Orlando as part of the Florida Municipal Electric Association’s Utility Tax Institute. Discussion topics included recent changes to tax law and how taxes on electricity are structured. FMPA’s Legal Department also publishes a guide on how state tax laws impact municipal electric utilities. If you would like a copy of the new Florida Tax Guide for Municipal Electric Utilities, contact Amanda or Jody.
T&D Construction and Maintenance Services Bid
FMPA’s Member Services Department is preparing a bid/Request for Proposal for Transmission and Distribution Construction and Maintenance Services. Several members have asked FMPA to prepare a joint bid on their behalf. To participate, contact Sharon Smeenk.
Human Resource Roundtable
Friday is the deadline to register for the Human Resources Roundtable scheduled for March 9 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. Participation via teleconference is available for those unable to attend in person. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
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. 28. Contact: Jim Arntz
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 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
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.
Lawmakers to D.C. Circuit Court: Overturn Clean Power Plan
More than 200 U.S. Senators and House members filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the rule until the circuit court rules and any lawsuits can be settled. In the brief, the legislators say that Congress has repeatedly rejected plans for a cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions and that the power to enact such a plan has not been conferred to EPA. They say the Clean Power Plan usurps Congress’s authority to set policy. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for June.
Lawsuit Seeks Return of $2 Billion Charged for Nuclear Projects
A class-action lawsuit was filed last Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southe District of Florida claiming a state law that authorized Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy Florida to advance recover $2 billion for developing nuclear power facilities is unconstitutional. The suit filed by the Seattle-based law firm of Hagens Berman accuses FPL and Duke of overcharging its ratepayers. The suit claims that a 2006 state law authorizing the Nuclear Cost Recovery System has allowed utilities to tu 6.4 million ratepayers into “involuntary investors in nuclear projects, charges them interest on their own money, and never retus their ‘investment.’ When the projects are abandoned, the utilities keep the money and collect even more. The suit states that the money was used for site selection and acquisition, licensing, pre-construction, construction and carrying costs. The lawsuit seeks a refund with interest, damages and attoeys’ fees plus a court order declaring the surcharge unconstitutional.
Solar Industry Installed 7.3 GW of Solar Power in 2015
The U.S. solar industry installed 7.3 GW of solar power in 2015, a 17% increase from 2014 and the largest total ever, according to data released last Monday by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The U.S. Solar Market Insight report shows that solar projects made up 29.5% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. for 2015. This was the first time solar surpassed natural gas capacity additions. Cumulative U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) installations have now topped 25 GW, up from 2 GW in 2010. Residential solar grew 66% over 2014, eclipsing 2 GW dc for the first time. Residential solar now represents 29% of the U.S. solar market, its largest share since 2009. Utility solar PV increased 6% over 2014 with more than 4 GW installed. Califoia had the most solar photovoltaic installations in 2015, followed by North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York. Florida ranked 16th. The full report is scheduled to be released March 9.
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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