FMPA Weekly | March 14, 2016 | Member Edition

FMPA Weekly


A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members


March 14, 2016






Fitch Affirms Project Credit Ratings

Fitch Ratings affirmed the credit ratings of FMPA’s Stanton, Stanton II, Tri-City and St. Lucie projects last Wednesday and confirmed that their credit outlook is stable. Fitch rates as “A+ FMPA’s Stanton, Stanton II and Tri-City projects and rates the St. Lucie Project as “A. Fitch said the credit strengths include strong contract obligations, sound credit quality of participants, independent rate-setting authority and satisfactory financial metrics. Contact: Mark Larson


Moody’s Upgrades Tri-City Credit Rating

Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the credit rating of FMPA’s Tri-City Project last Friday to A1 from A2 and confirmed that their credit outlook is stable. Moody’s pointed to the improved weighted average credit rating of the project participants as the primary reason for the upgrade. Moody’s said the credit strengths also include FMPA’s strong contract obligations, sound operating history and Florida’s improving economy. Contact: Mark Larson


Florida Legislative Session

Florida’s 2016 regular legislative session came to a close last Friday as lawmakers approved an $82.3 billion budget, a tax-cut package a fraction of the size suggested by Gov. Rick Scott and a raft of other legislation. Some key bills of interest to municipal electric utilities had the following results: 1) the Mayfield bill (HB 579/SB 840) to regulate FMPA failed because it did not complete all committee references, 2) a public records exemption for cyber and physical security information (HB 1025/SB 776) passed, 3) a local bill requiring a referendum whether to create a utility authority for Gainesville Regional Utilities (HB 1355) passed, and 4) a bill to lower the cost of renewable energy projects for businesses to install solar panels on their buildings (HB 193/195 and SB 170/172) passed. Bills that passed must still be signed by Gov. Rick Scott before becoming law. Contact: Mark McCain


Board of Directors Appointment

St. Cloud appointed Finance Director Javier Gonzalez to serve as the city’s representative to FMPA’s Board of Directors. Javier replaces Senior Accountant Donna Cooley as the city’s representative. Contact: Nick Guarriello


Florida Lineman Competition

Electric utility lineworkers from Ocala and JEA won a trip to participate in a national lineworkers’ competition courtesy of FMPA for winning the annual Florida Lineman Competition held last Friday and Saturday in Orlando. Judges selected Kyle Cupal from Ocala as the top-rated apprentice, and the winning joueyman team from JEA included Robert Hess, Clay Cook, Brian Gregg and alteate Deryl Basford. Kyle will receive $750 and the joueyman team will receive $3,000 to pay for travel expenses to participate in a national competition. Mark McCain presented the winners with their prize at a banquet held Saturday evening.


APPA Legislative Rally

Nick Guarriello, Fred Bryant, Mark McCain and 24 representatives from 13 Florida municipal electric utilities attend the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Legislative Rally in Washington, D.C., last week. While in the nation’s capital, they met with 19 Senate and House members or staff to discuss utility-related issues, including EPA regulations, energy legislation and tax-exempt financing. A copy of the Federal Legislative Issues Summary is available on


FEMA Advisory Council

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking individuals interested in serving on FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply to be considered for appointment. A representative of Sen. Bill Nelson’s office contacted FMPA last week to see if any representative from Florida’s municipal utilities might be interested in applying. NAC advises FEMA’s Administrator on all aspects of emergency management and plays a role in the evaluation and improvement of FEMA. Contact: Mark McCain






Management & Leadership Training

The third module of Series I of the Management Development Program is Tuesday and Wednesday at FMPA’s Orlando office. Discussion topics will include gaining power and influence and motivating others. Series II will begin April 19. Each series consists of three, two-day modules, which are held each month for three consecutive months. Registration for Series II is available on Contact: Sharon Smeenk


Member Relations Survey

FMPA has extended the deadline for the Board of Directors Member Relations Survey to Friday. The survey has been open for two weeks, but the response rate is lower than normal. In a small group of 31 survey participants, a good response rate is essential to produce confidence in the results and for benchmark performance from survey to survey. A link to the seven-question online survey was emailed to Board representatives on Feb. 25 by Nick Guarriello. Board representatives are encouraged to complete the survey as soon as possible so that your voice is heard. Contact: Mark McCain


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors meets Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Board room to discuss the use of the Project Development Fund for development of a utility-scale solar photovoltaic project. The Board will also discuss information items, including: 1) the annual debt report, and 2) a joint action solar photovoltaic project structure. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello


ARP Executive Committee

The ARP Executive Committee meets Thursday in the Board room at 9:30 a.m., or immediately following the Board of Directors meeting. The committee will discuss information items, including: 1) an amendment to the Florida Gas Utility Gas Service Agreement, 2) the annual debt report, 3) a quarterly regulatory compliance update, and 4) a hedge position portfolio update. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. 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 March 13. Contact: Jim Arntz





Member Services Advisory Committee

FMPA’s Member Services Advisory Committee will meet March 23 at 9 a.m. via conference call. 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 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


Distribution Reliability Roundtable

FMPA will host a Distribution Reliability Roundtable on April 28 at 10 a.m. at FMPA’s Orlando office. The roundtable provides a forum for participants to discuss topics such as reporting procedures, definitions and interpretations, best practices and more. Registration is requested by April 22. Contact: Sharon Smeenk






Voters to Decide Solar Tax Breaks

The Florida Legislature voted last Wednesday to put a clean energy amendment on the Aug. 30 primary ballot that would provide tax breaks for homeowners and businesses who install solar panels or other renewable energy on their properties. If approved, lawmakers would be required to enact tax credits that exempt the assessed value of renewable energy devices from property taxes as well as exempt the products from the tangible personal property taxes by 2018. Once the tax incentives are in place, they would last 20 years. This proposed constitutional amendment requires 60% voter approval to pass.


Coal Made up 80% of the 18 GW of Generating Capacity Retired in 2015

Nearly 18 GW of electric generating capacity was retired in the U.S. in 2015 with more than 80% of it being conventional steam-fired coal plants, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 18 GW of retired capacity was a relatively high amount compared to recent years, EIA said in a report published March 8 in Today in Energy. Coal’s share of electricity generation has been falling, largely because of declining natural gas prices, but environmental rules on power plants have also played a role, EIA said. About 30% of the coal capacity taken off line in 2015 was retired in April when the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule went into effect. More retirements associated with the rule are expected in April 2016, the report said. Some coal plants applied for and received one-year extensions, so many of the coal retirements expected in 2016 will likely occur in April, the agency said. In a few cases, plants received additional one-year extensions beyond April 2016, based on their role in ensuring regional reliability. The average age of the retired plants was 54, and the average capacity size was 133 MW. The amount of coal capacity retired in 2015 was 4.6% of the nation’s coal capacity at the beginning of that year. Nearly half of the 2015 retired coal capacity was located in three states — Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky — and those states each retired at least 10% of their coal capacity in 2015. Ohio, Georgia and Kentucky accounted for nearly half of the plant retirements.




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.)


Have a question, comment or story idea for the newsletter? FMPA welcomes your feedback at any time. Contact: Ryan Dumas or Joscelyn Bivins




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