A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
March 21, 2016
Moody’s Investors Service affirmed the A1 rating of FMPA’s Stanton Project and confirmed the rating outlook is stable. Moody’s pointed to the credit ratings of the six project participants as one reason for the strong credit score. Moody’s also pointed to the project’s underlying economics and performance along with FMPA’s history of providing services to its members. Contact: Mark Larson
Solar PV Project
FMPA’s Board of Directors heard an informational report last Thursday on options for a potential joint action solar project. After discussing the options of creating one large utility-scale project or several small community-based projects, the consensus favorite was a utility-scale project because it can be approximately 40% less expensive. Board members expressed interest in amassing a project of 25 MW to help make the power as economical as possible. Board members also discussed working together to develop a survey of retail customers for gauging interest in solar energy. At the next Board meeting, the members will consider a recommendation to approve up to $85,000 in funding from the Agency’s Development Fund for consulting assistance. Contact: Michele Jackson
Cane Island Unit 2
The ARP Executive Committee agreed last Thursday to move ahead on an agreement with General Electric (GE) to continue repairs and upgrades to Cane Island Unit 2. The unit was taken off line last October for an unscheduled maintenance outage to repair the compressor and combustion turbine. As part of the negotiated agreement, FMPA will pay GE $4.15 million to replace damaged hot-gas parts with new, upgraded parts. After repairs are complete, the unit will be more efficient. The Executive Committee agreed to cancel the existing Contractual Service Agreement with GE and replacing it with GE’s Managed Maintenance Program that will reduce annual expenses. Contact: Frank Gaffney
Member Relations Survey
Friday is the final day to participate in FMPA’s 2016 Board of Directors Member Relations Survey. Every Board member is urged to participate. In FMPA’s relatively small survey group of 31 members, it is essential to have as many responses as possible to support the validity of the results. At this time of transition in the Agency’s general manager position, feedback from members is important. The survey has seven questions and should take just a few minutes to complete. A link to the online survey was emailed to Board representatives on Feb. 25 by Nick Guarriello. Board representatives are encouraged to complete the survey by Friday. Contact: Mark McCain
Meter Tech Roundtable
Wednesday is the last day to register for FMPA’s Meter Tech Roundtable scheduled for 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. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Member Services Advisory Committee
FMPA’s Member Services Advisory Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. via conference call. The Committee will discuss action items including: 1) approval of a subscription to a grant research website, 2) approval of a schedule revision for the Member Services Satisfaction Survey, and 3) approval of a report on member participation in FMPA services, which is related to the Board of Directors’ strategic plan. The full agenda package is available on the Member Portal. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Congratulations to Michelle Pisarri, who celebrates 11 years with FMPA on Monday, March 21.
Congratulations to Peter Moore, who celebrates 12 years with FMPA on Tuesday, March 22.
Congratulations to Andrei Benjamin, who celebrates three years with FMPA on Sunday, March 27.
Policy Makers Liaisons Committee
The Policy Makers Liaisons Committee will meet April 20 at 1 p.m. in the first-floor conference room at FMPA’s Orlando office. Lunch will be served at noon. Contact: Mark McCain
Distribution Reliability Roundtable
FMPA will host a Distribution Reliability Roundtable on April 28 at 10 a.m. in 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
FMPA’s Lineman’s Roundtable will be in Vero Beach on May 5. The roundtable provides a forum for line crews to exchange ideas on operating practices, safety, training, tools, equipment and more. The forum is open to all levels of utility line crew personnel as well as any utility staff member. The registration deadline is April 28. Contact: Sharon Samuels
FPL Files Rate Increase Plan
Florida Power & Light (FPL) officially filed last Tuesday the previously announced request for a 24% increase in base rates, equal to $1.3 billion, for 2017 through 2020. FPL is asking the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve an $866 million increase in 2017, a $262 million increase in 2018 and a $209 million increase in 2019. FPL customers could see their bills increase about 2.8% a year by 2020 if the increase is approved. A residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would see their bill increase a total of $13.28 per month as a result of the three increases. The rate increases would also impact business customers. FPL officials say the increase is necessary to pay for the completion of a proposed natural gas-fired plant in Okeechobee County along with three large-scale solar energy projects and infrastructure improvements. An important aspect of the filing is a request to raise the midpoint of FPL’s Retu on Equity (ROE) to 11.5% from 10.5%. The average ROE authorized by the PSC over the last two years reportedly is 9.9%. The PSC is expected to hold a series of public hearings on the request around the state. A decision is expected in fall.
Nationwide Electricity Sales Fell in 2015
Total electricity sales in the U.S. fell 1.1% in 2015, the fifth drop in eight years according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Declining sales in the industrial sector and little or no sales growth in the residential and commercial sectors are contributing factors to the decrease, EIA said. Also a factor are more energy-efficient appliances and federal and state policies regulating electricity use, according to EIA.
Fair RATES Act Passes House
The U.S. House of Representatives last Monday passed the Fair Ratepayer Accountability, Transparence and Efficiency Standards Act (H.R. 2984). The bill would allow an appeal of a rate case any time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is deadlocked. Currently, in what’s being called a technical flaw, if FERC is deadlocked, rate changes automatically go into effect. FERC has said that changes taking effect after such a deadlock cannot be appealed because there is no decision by the commission to rehear or appeal. A companion version of the bill has been filed in the Senate (S. 2494). FERC currently has four commissioners. The commission is composed of up to five commissioners, who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.
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.
Have a story idea for the newsletter? FMPA welcomes all employees’ story suggestions including updates on FMPA business, employees’ personal or family accomplishments, as well as industry news suggestions. Contact: Jeff Grainger or Joscelyn Bivins
Florida Municipal Power Agency
8553 Commodity Circle
Orlando, FL 32819-9002
Tel 407 355-7767
Fax 407 355-5794
Community Power. Statewide Strength. ®