A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Feb. 27, 2017
Vero Beach City Council Meeting
FMPA representatives attended the Vero Beach City Council meeting last Tuesday. Jacob Williams made a presentation on FMPA’s review of Vero Beach’s proposed sale of its customers in Indian River Shores. In addition, Jacob explained FMPA’s preliminary option to help Vero Beach exit FMPA projects. Vice Mayor Harry Howle was complimentary of FMPA, thanking Jacob for his presence at the meeting and being willing to work with Vero Beach. A representative from Florida Power & Light (FPL) said the company expects to complete its evaluation of the proposal in a couple weeks. FPL thinks it could have a contract negotiated with Vero Beach for the full sale within 90 days. A video of the meeting can be found online. FMPA’s presentation starts early in the meeting, and the overall discussion lasts approximately two hours.
RFP for Compensation Study
FMPA issued a request for proposal (RFP) last Monday for a compensation study. The scope of services requested includes: 1) reviewing FMPA’s compensation plan and making recommendations, and 2) reviewing job descriptions to ensure proper job classifications. The RFP is available for download from FMPA.com. Bids are due March 17 at 2 p.m. Contact: Sharon Adams
Sharon Smeenk emailed a list of potential grant opportunities last Friday to interested FMPA members. The Member Services Department has purchased a subscription to Grantfinder.com to assist members in identifying potential funding sources. The service was purchased after several members requested assistance with grants and the service options were discussed with the Member Services Advisory Committee. Member Services is sending out periodic emails with grant opportunities. If you would like to receive the emails, contact Sharon Smeenk.
Congratulations, Paige Arnett
Paige Arnett was promoted last week to Human Resources Assistant. She has been serving as FMPA’s Travel and Catering Coordinator. Contact: Sharon Adams
APPA Legislative Rally
Jacob Williams, Fred Bryant, Jody Finklea and Mark McCain will be in Washington, D.C., through Thursday attending the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Legislative Rally. Participation in the annual rally by Florida utilities is setting a record this year with 46 attendees from 16 utilities. The group includes 19 elected or appointed officials and 12 people who are attending for the first time. FMPA and the Florida Municipal Electric Association have arranged meetings for all attendees with their Congressional representatives to discuss federal legislative issues related to electric utilities, including tax-exempt financing, environmental regulations and grid security. Follow FMPA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on the trip. A summary of the key legislative issues is available on FMPA’s website. Contact: Mark McCain
Member City Visit
Sharon Smeenk travels to New Smya Beach on Tuesday for a member city visit.
Winter Compliance Workshop
FMPA hosts a workshop for members to discuss reliability standards on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Board room of FMPA’s Orlando office. The workshop will cover general compliance issues with an emphasis on cyber security and will include a presentation by the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council. Contact: Chris Gowder
FM Global Site Visit
FM Global, FMPA’s insurance provider, will visit the Cane Island Power Park this Wednesday. Contact: Rich Popp
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 Feb. 26. Contact: Jim Arntz
Meter Tech Roundtable
FMPA will hold a Meter Tech Roundtable on March 22 at 10 a.m. in Orlando Utilities Commission’s Engineering Building. The roundtable is designed to provide an informal forum for participants to discuss topics such as policies, procedures, equipment, technology, safety, training, apprentice programs and more. The roundtable is open to anyone who has an interest in metering or meter-related topics. There is no cost, but registration is required to attend. Lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Distribution Reliability Roundtable
FMPA’s annual Distribution Reliability Roundtable is scheduled for April 4 at 10 a.m. in FMPA’s Orlando office. The roundtable will provide a forum for participants to discuss distribution and reliability topics, including the reporting process, definitions, interpretations and best practices. Any utility staff member interested in distribution reliability management is encouraged to register. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Bills Filed to Expand Public Counsel’s Jurisdiction over Government Utilities
The Public Counsel would be authorized to represent customer of municipal electric utilities and other govement utilities under bills filed last week in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives. Senate Bill 1146 was filed by Sen. Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola), and House Bill 977 was filed by Rep. Bob Rommel (R-Naples). The bills authorize the Public Counsel to represent residential ratepayers before the Public Service Commission regarding the commission’s rate structure jurisdiction over municipals. In addition, the Public Counsel would represent customers living outside the jurisdictional boundaries of a local govement utility in rate-setting proceedings. The bills have yet to receive committee assignments.
FPL Announces Plan to Add Even More Solar
Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced plans last week to construct four new solar plants by early 2018. These projects are in addition to four solar projects announced in January. Each of the new solar projects will generate 74.5 MW and will be located throughout FPL’s service territory. The expansion will reportedly increase FPL’s solar capacity to nearly 1,000 MW. FPL’s summer peak demand is approximately 24,000 MW. According to the News Service of Florida, FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said the company is advancing plans as new facilities become more cost-effective. “By accelerating, we’re able to get much better (rates), from a standpoint of purchasing power, Silagy said. “When you go out and place an order for 2.5 million panels, you get a lot of interest and some very competitive pricing. Each of the 74.5 MW facilities are estimated to costs $130 million.
EPA Administrator Plans to Withdraw the Agency’s Clean Power Plan
The new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that he will withdraw the Clean Power Plan. Scott Pruitt was swo in as EPA administrator on Feb. 17. In an interview with the Wall Street Joual, he said the EPA’s role is to administer laws passed by Congress and questioned the legality of the “rules set forth in the Clean Power Plan. The plan was created in 2014 to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fueled electric generating units in response to a mandate from then-President Barack Obama. Currently, the plan is on hold as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reviews its legality. Pruitt is expected to request that the court halt its review while the agency considers its withdrawal option.
Justices Tu Down FPL’s Appeal in Power Line Dispute
The Florida Supreme Court turned down an appeal last Friday by Florida Power & Light (FPL) in a case about whether the utility could be required to install underground transmission lines as part of a nuclear power project in Miami-Dade County. The justices did not explain their reasons for declining the case, which is common. The dispute arose from FPL’s proposal to build two new nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station near Homestead. In 2014, Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet, acting as the state’s power plant Siting Board, approved the project. But the 3rd District Court of Appeal sided with local govements and overtued the decision by Scott and the Cabinet. A key part of the ruling said Scott and Cabinet members erroneously determined they could not require underground transmission lines as a condition of the project approval. In taking the case to the Supreme Court, FPL had argued that the state Public Service Commission—not Scott and the Cabinet—has authority over issues related to installing transmission lines underground.
Legislature to Consider Bills Allowing Utilities to Invest in Natural Gas Reserves
Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities would be able to invest in natural-gas reserves and recoup the money from customers under bills filed last Friday by two Republican lawmakers. The state Supreme Court last year rejected a move by Florida Power & Light (FPL) to invest ratepayer money in an Oklahoma natural-gas project. Justices ruled that the Florida Public Service Commission did not have legal authority in 2014 to approve FPL’s request to invest in the drilling and production of natural gas in what is known as the Woodford Gas Reserves Project. The bills (SB 1238 and HB 1043) filed Friday by Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Feandina Beach) and Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) would create a regulatory framework allowing utilities to invest in natural-gas reserves. Provisions of the bills require that to be eligible to recover money from customers for such investment, a utility would have to rely on natural gas to generate at least 65% of its electricity. Also, utilities would have to show that the investments would ultimately lead to savings for customers.
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 Sean Murtha 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.
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Tel 407 355-7767
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