A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Aug. 29, 2016
FMPA Welcomes New General Manager and CEO
FMPA’s Board of Directors approved an employment contract last Thursday for Jacob A. Williams to be the next General Manager and CEO. His first day will be Sept. 12. He currently serves as Vice President, Generation and Emissions Technologies at Peabody Energy in St. Louis, Mo. Williams has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For the Prairie State Energy Campus, he was instrumental in bringing to fruition the 1,600 MW clean-coal power plant that was co-owned by Peabody with six municipal joint action agencies and two generation and transmission rural electric cooperatives. He has 30 years of experience in the industry, which includes providing services to public power utilities.
Board of Directors
FMPA’s Board of Directors met last Thursday and approved: 1) the employment contract for General Manager and CEO Jacob A. Williams, and 2) a resolution to give Nick Guarriello the authority to act as General Manager and CEO after Sept. 1 and until Sept. 12. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Lakeland Battery Storage Project
Lakeland Electric is planning to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for a battery storage project and is inviting other municipal electric utilities to participate. Lakeland Electric Deputy General Manager Alan Shaffer said at FMPA’s Board of Directors meeting last Thursday that storage is key to more widespread applications of renewables. Lakeland would like to get some first-hand experience with storage to be ahead of the curve. FMPA’s Board agreed to have an information item at its September meeting to discuss whether members want to individually participate or consider jointly participating in the RFP through FMPA. Contact: Frank Gaffney
ARP Executive Committee
The ARP Executive Committee met last Thursday and approved: 1) an amended and restated Peoples Gas contract, and 2) All-Requirements Project contract Section 29 withdrawal payment calculation protocols. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Guarriello Retirement Dinner
More than 100 people attend a dinner last Wednesday to honor Nick Guarriello for his forthcoming retirement. With cooperation from Kissimmee Utility Authority, FMPA’s Board of Directors approved naming a street at Cane Island Power Park after Nick. The road next to Unit 4 is now known as Nick Guarriello Way. Nick was presented with a replica of the street sign that is now installed at the plant site.
Transmission and Distribution RFP
Four of the six firms selected to provide transmission and distribution maintenance and construction services for FMPA members have retued their service agreements, so their services are now available for members. FMPA members who expressed interest in the project will be contacted by Sharon Smeenk. Any other members who want to make use of these competitively bid service agreements can contact Sharon.
3 Phase Times
FMPA’s Power Resources Division published the July 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 86.7% of FMPA’s total energy sources in July. ARP sold 59,838 MWh to the Florida Municipal Power Pool (FMPP) at an average price of $30.22 per MWh, which was lower than the estimated short-term forecast of 77,669 MWh. The FMPP Average Monthly Gas Dispatch Price in July was $3.93 per MMBtu, which is 77 cents higher than June’s average. For more information, download 3 Phase Times from the Portal. Contact: Frank Gaffney
Local Arrangements Committee
The American Public Power Association (APPA) will hold its 2017 Annual Conference in Orlando on June 16-21, so volunteers representing Florida’s municipal utilities met last Wednesday with APPA staff at FMPA’s Orlando office to kickoff efforts of the National Conference Local Arrangements Committee. The purpose of the committee is to assist APPA with various aspects of the conference, including suggestions for presentation topics, suggestions for sponsors, suggestions for the Day of Giving, and creating a welcome gift for conference attendees from the local host utilities. Barry Moline from the Florida Municipal Electric Association is chairing the Local Arrangements Committee. Contact: Mark McCain
Survey Salary Ranges, Policies, Benefits
FMPA is assisting the city of Leesburg in obtaining information from other FMPA members about salary ranges for utility staff, as well as policies and procedures for moving employees up within a pay grade. Leesburg is interested in information on all utility positions with a specific emphasis on lineworkers, substation staff and meter technicians. Sharon Smeenk sent an email last Friday to FMPA Board of Directors and contacts in their human resources departments. Leesburg is eager to obtain this information as soon as possible.
Congratulations, Janet Davis
Congratulations to Janet Davis, FMPA’s Treasurer, who submitted her notice to retire from FMPA effective Sept. 7. Janet has served FMPA for 17 years.
The summer session of FMPA’s substation training classes will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Orlando Utilities Commission’s engineering building in Orlando. The sessions will cover substation maintenance topics. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Special Called AROC Meeting
The Audit and Risk Oversight Committee (AROC) will hold a special called meeting via teleconference on Wednesday at 2 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to hold an Entrance Conference with the exteal auditors. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Rich Popp
Market Research RFP
Proposals for market research services related to the joint-action solar PV project will be opened Friday at 10 a.m. Thirteen FMPA members are participating in the project. The selected firm will help develop and implement a survey of customers in those cities about their attitudes toward solar power. The RFP is available on FMPA.com. 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 Portal. The graph is updated through Aug. 28. Contact: Jim Arntz
FMPA’s offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 5 in observance of Labor Day. Have a safe and happy holiday!
The Board of Directors and ARP Executive Committee will meet a week earlier than normal in September. Those two groups, along with the Audit and Risk Oversight Committee, will meet on Sept. 15. Contact: Nick Guarriello
October Meeting Date
FMPA’s members might decide to change the date of the October governing board meetings from Oct. 27 to Oct. 20. A decision will be made at the meeting on Sept. 15. Meanwhile, please hold Oct. 20. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Executive Committee Workshop
The Executive Committee agreed last Thursday to hold a workshop on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Orlando office to discuss the All-Requirements Project contract Section 29 withdrawal payment calculations. Contact: Nick Guarriello
Registration is open for a Communicators Roundtable on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. in FMPA’s Orlando office. The roundtable provides a forum for utility communicators to discuss topics common to communications and marketing departments at public power utilities. The roundtable is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is available on FMPA’s website until Sept. 16. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Advanced Metering Initiative
Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG) is supporting the development of two Advanced Metering Initiative (AMI) pilot projects on behalf of its Georgia cities. The pilots are designed to test two different technologies and assist ECG members with their local strategies for deploying AMI. As part of the FMPA-ECG Alliance, ECG has extended an invitation to Florida cities to join the Georgia cities at information meeting on the projects. The presentations will be held Sept. 27 in two south-Georgia cities of Fitzgerald and Douglas. The Fitzgerald Utility Commission is piloting a system from Elster (now Honeywell) and Leidos. A presentation about that system will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including lunch. The city of Douglas is piloting a system from Tantalus. A presentation on that system will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. At both presentations, attendees will hear from the AMI providers, ECG staff and local utility officials. Information will be provided on meter data systems, data backhaul communication, hosting strategies, customer and utility portals and other AMI system capabilities. FMPA members interested in attending are asked to RSVP with Sharon Smeenk at FMPA.
Hearing Continues on FPL Base-Rate Increase
A second week of hearings is planned this week at the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) on Florida Power & Light’s request for a $1.3 billion base-rate increase. FPL says it needs the rate hike to pay for $16 billion in increased costs and infrastructure improvements, such as electric reliability initiatives, storm hardening and generation upgrades. If the PSC approves the full amount, a customer using 1,000 kWh a month would see base rates increase to $70.28 by June 2019 from $57 today, and the total bill would increase to $107.29 from $91.73 today, not including local franchise fees. FPL has requested approval for three increases over four years: 1) $866 million beginning January 2017, 2) $262 million beginning January 2018, 3) $209 million in 2019 when its Okeechobee County plant begins commercial operation, which is planned for June 1, and 4) no rate increase in 2020. Several groups and individuals opposed to the increase have filed testimony with the PSC. Many comments have focused on FPL’s requested retu on equity (ROE), which is the utility’s profit for shareholders. FPL wants a mid-point ROE of 11.5% with a cap of 12.5%, including a “performance adder FPL wants for superior service, low bills, high reliability and other attributes. FPL’s current ROE mid-point is 10.5%, and FPL has consistently eaed at the top of its range, according to reports filed with the PSC. Walmart stated in pre-filed testimony that including the performance adder, the ROE proposed by FPL is higher than the average ROE of 9.73% approved by other utility regulators in 102 rate cases from 2013 to date, based on data from SNL Financial. Intervenors such as the Office of Public Counsel and the Florida Retail Federation have argued that FPL can continue to profit over the next four years without a rate increase. Those groups are calling for an FPL rate decrease of $800 million. FPL has been operating under a four-year, base-rate settlement that ends this year. In 2012, FPL sought a $690 million base-rate increase and reached a settlement with large power users for a $350 million increase. This week’s hearings are broadcast live on the PSC’s website.
FPL Questioned on Solar during Rate Case Hearing
Solar energy currently generates one-tenth of one percent of Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) overall energy, according to the company’s president, who testified last week before the Florida Public Service Commission. The News Service of Florida reported that in FPL’s current Ten Year Site Plan, FPL is projecting to receive approximately one percent of its energy from solar by 2020 and hold at that level through the end of the plan in 2025. When asked about the company’s solar forecast, FPL President & CEO Eric Silagy said the lack of an increase in the solar percentage is a matter of scale. “The entire system is growing also, so even when you’re adding new solar, it’s going to be on a percentage basis, it’s still going to be subject to the other generation that’s being added, Silagy said in responding to questions from Sierra Club attoey Diana Csank. FPL is currently building solar facilities totaling 223.5 MW to bring its overall solar output to 330 MW. Silagy’s comments came as he was defending the utility’s request for a $1.3 billion increase in base rates, something he said is needed to maintain the company’s “stability and predictability while making improvements that include the increased use of solar power. Part of the base-rate request is proposed to go toward a 1,600 MW natural gas power plant that is set to begin commercial operation on June 1, 2019, in Okeechobee County.
Lakeland Committee: Make Utility Sale Easier
A committee reviewing Lakeland’s city charter made a recommendation last week to reduce the public approval requirement for any referendum to sell the city’s electric utility. Currently, two-thirds of all Lakeland voters—not just those voting—need to approve a sale. The charter review committee recommended that the threshold be changed to a 65% super majority of those voting. For any sale to happen, the City Commission also would have to first vote to put the issue on the ballot. If the City Commission agrees with the committee’s recommendation, the proposed charter change will go before voters in a public referendum.
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 Jeff Grainger or Nikki Bloomfield 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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