A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
April 10, 2017
Homestead Alteate Board Representative
Homestead appointed William “Billy Branch, assistant director for Homestead Energy Services, as the city’s alteate representative to FMPA’s Board of Directors. Barbara Quiñones remains the city’s primary representative.
Cane Island Power Park
Cane Island Unit 2 is unavailable due to a fuel nozzle repair that is expected to keep the unit offline until late-April. Cane Island Unit 3 was taken offline last Saturday for a planned maintenance outage. It is scheduled to retu to service April 14. Contact: David Schumann
Solar PV Project
FMPA members interested in participating in a utility-scale solar project are asked to indicate their interest level by Friday. FMPA plans to discuss project opportunities with potential partners and needs a strong indication of a desired amount of solar energy to find the best project opportunity by the end of the fiscal year. Contact: Michele Jackson
Sharon Smeenk emailed a list of potential grant opportunities Monday 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.
APPA Spring Issues Roundtable
Ryan Dumas travels to Washington, D.C., on Monday for the American Public Power Association’s Public Communications Committee Spring Issues Roundtable. Participants at this annual event will discuss issues common to communications and marketing departments at public power utilities. Discussion topics will include: 1) a legislative and regulatory update, 2) distributed energy resources and emerging technology, 3) key findings from the Edison Electric Institute’s Lexicon Project, 4) best practices for staffing a public power communication team, 5) measuring customer satisfaction, and 6) crisis communications plans.
Member City Visit
Jacob Williams and Frank Gaffney travel to Williston on Wednesday for a member city visit.
ARP Conservation Program
All-Requirements Project (ARP) members are reminded to submit second quarter Conservation Reports for January 2017 through March 2017 to Sharon Smeenk by April 17. The quarterly report form is available on the Portal. Those with no activity to report are still asked to email Sharon to let her know.
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 April 9. Contact: Jim Arntz
Congratulations to Luis Cruz, who celebrates five years with FMPA on Sunday, April 16.
Policy Makers Liaisons Committee
The Policy Makers Liaisons Committee will meet April 19 at 1 p.m. in FMPA’s Orlando office. Lunch will be provided at noon. Contact: Mark McCain
Board and Executive Committee Meetings
The Board of Directors and ARP Executive Committee will meet April 20 at FMPA’s Orlando office. The Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. and the Executive Committee at 9:30 a.m. Contact: Jacob Williams
Business Planning and Budget Committee
The Business Planning and Budget Committee will meet April 27 at 9:30 a.m. in FMPA’s Orlando office. Contact: Mark Larson
There’s still time to register for FMPA’s Linemen Roundtable scheduled for May 4 at 10 a.m. in Bushnell. The roundtable provides a forum for line crews to exchange information on operating practices, safety, training, tools, equipment and other common issues. The session is open to all levels of line crew personnel, as well as any utility staff member who has an interest in transmission and distribution topics. Attendance is free, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
Arbitrators Rule on Valuation of SECO Assets within Bushnell
A final arbitration award issued last Friday in a case to value Sumter Electric Cooperative’s (SECO) utility assets within Bushnell’s city limits sided with the city positions, awarding a total asset valuation plus separation costs of $5.1 million compared to the cooperative’s claim for $14.5 million. Arbitrator considered a few valuation methods and chose the cost approach, which includes replacement cost less depreciation plus going conce. The three-member arbitration panel declined SECO’s request for approximately $2.4 million in “growth as part of going conce because there was no precedent for it. A substantial portion of the valuation difference between the city and the co-op was related to stranded costs, for which SECO claimed $7 million. The arbitrators denied SECO’s claim for any stranded costs, agreeing with the city that stranded costs were not available as a matter of law in this case because the franchise agreement gave the city the option to purchase SECO’s assets. The city is not obligated to purchase SECO’s assets but may elect to do so if it chooses.
PSC Wants More Information on Fuel Hedging
The Florida Public Service Commission agreed last Tuesday to gather more information on natural gas fuel hedging before making a decision about whether to allow investor-owned utilities to resume the practice. Commission staff had recommended that hedging be allowed, while the Office of Public Counsel and business groups argued that hedging has led to financial losses for consumers. The commission opted to set the matter for hearing in September in order to gather more information. The commission’s previously approved moratorium on new hedges through 2017 will remain in place while the issue is studied.
Gulf Rate Settlement Approved
The Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved a settlement agreement last Tuesday in the case of a proposed base-rate increase for Gulf Power. Originally, Gulf had requested an increase of $106.8 million. The settlement reached with consumer groups agreed on $62 million. The new rates will be effective July 1, adding approximately $7 to the bills of residential customers who use 1,000 kWh per month, increasing the typical bill from $144 to $151. The settlement includes a 10.25% retu on equity rather than the 11% Gulf originally requested. Gulf Power agreed to take a one-time $32.5 million write down on costs related to the coal-fired Plant Scherer Plant in Georgia. In the past, Gulf Power sold electricity from the plant on the wholesale market, but now it uses power from the plant for its retail customers.
FPL Plans More Solar
Florida Power & Light (FPL) says it will add an additional 1,500 MW of solar energy production over the next seven years. The plans were part of FPL’s Ten-Year Site Plan filed last Monday with the Public Service Commission. FPL estimates it will generate about 4% of its energy from solar by 2023. In February, the utility announced plans to build eight new 74.5 MW solar plants by 2018 at a cost of $130 million each.
EPA to States: No Action Needed on Clean Power Plan
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter to goveors March 30 telling them they do not need to take any action in the near future to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The letter from Scott Pruitt provides direction to states in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay on the plan in February 2016 and President Donald Trump’s executive order March 28 directing EPA to re-evaluate and re-write the plan.
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.