A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Jan. 29, 2018
Moody’s: “No Rating Impact of Vero Beach Transaction
Moody’s Investors Service announced last Wednesday that the proposed sale of Vero Beach’s electric utility will have no ratings impact on FMPA’s power supply projects. Moody’s evaluated the All-Requirements, Stanton, Stanton II and St. Lucie projects. In the announcement, Moody’s said it believes the Vero Beach transaction has credit positive characteristics for FMPA and all of its project participants. Contact: Jacob Williams
Vero Beach Member City Vote
The Utility Board of the City of Key West approved resolutions last Wednesday that will enable the city of Vero Beach to sell its electric utility. Fourteen out of 19 member cities have now approved the necessary consents and waivers. Contact: Jacob Williams
Development Fund Refund
Twenty FMPA members received refunds last week totalling $5 million from FMPA’s Development Fund. FMPA’s Project Development Fund was created to provide a source of funds to pay for the upfront costs to establish new projects. The balance of the funds was $11 million, which FMPA staff felt was more than needed for the foreseeable future. Additionally, many members were impacted by Hurricane Irma, and some could use additional money to assist with recovery efforts or for other purposes. FMPA’s Board of Directors approved in December retuing to members the most recent $5 million that was contributed to the Development Fund through rates. Contact: Jason Wolfe
An organizational and title change was announced last Monday by General Manager and CEO Jacob Williams. Chris Gowder has taken the position of Business Development Manager. This role includes a range of responsibilities, including municipal power sales, the load attraction incentive rate, economic development rates and negotiation of power sales for the municipal solar project to non-All-Requirements Project participants. Chris will report to Frank Gaffney and support the Compliance Department during a transition period.
ARP Renewable Generation Credit Rate
The All-Requirements Project’s (ARP) renewable generation credit rate through March 2018 was emailed last Monday to members. The rate is $0.02477 per kWh. This credit represents the amount that the ARP will pay project participants for retail customer-owned renewable generation. FMPA will purchase any excess electricity generated from the customer’s renewable energy system for the benefit of the ARP and its member communities. Members are encouraged to report the amount of excess electricity generated by their net metering customers to Ann Beckwith on a quarterly basis.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is seeking grant applications for the Florida Small Community Energy Efficient Lighting Grant Program. Details were emailed last Tuesday to members from Sharon Smeenk. The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 27. This grant program provides funding to local govements to make energy-efficient upgrades to lighting in publicly accessible facilities.
Regional Crew Leader Roundtable
The next two regional crew leader roundtables will be held Tuesday in Homestead and Wednesday in Wauchula. They both start at 10 a.m. The roundtables are designed to provide an opportunity for foremen or crew leaders to meet with their counterparts from other member utilities within a region. Attendance is free, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Mike McCleary
Members are encouraged to respond by Wednesday to FMPA’s inaugural utility salary survey. The survey was developed by a group of Human Resources professionals from FMPA member utilities and was sent in an email from Sharon Smeenk. It is in response to an FMPA roundtable about challenges members face with distribution services and lineworker retention. The participants identified the need for Florida-specific salary and benefit information to help analyze retention issues. When the results are available, they will be summarized with anonymity and posted to the Portal for reference throughout the year. The survey is expected to be an annual process.
FRCC Load Forecast Working Group
Navid Nowakhtar attends a workshop Wednesday at the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) offices in Tampa. The FRCC’s Load Forecast Working Group is hosting the workshop focusing on electric vehicle (EV) markets and load forecasting implications. Navid will present FMPA’s view of the market focusing on: 1) the current market for EVs, 2) market drivers and barriers for adoption, 3) projected growth in EVs over the next 10 years, and 4) impact on electric load in Florida. The meeting is open to all FRCC reporting entities.
Joint Action Recruiting Program
FMPA will discontinue its Joint Action Recruiting Program effective this Wednesday. This service provided the opportunity for member cities to post job openings on Energy Central Jobs website and FMPA’s website. In the 2017 Member Services Satisfaction Survey, this service received the lowest score for perceived value. FMPA coordinated with its Human Resources Work Group and job posting contacts at its member cities before making the decision. Contact: Mark McCain
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 Jan. 28. Contact: Jim Atz
Congratulations to Jim Atz, who celebrates 11 years with FMPA on Monday, Jan. 29.
Congratulations to Md Haque, who celebrates six years with FMPA on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Congratulations to Jason Wolfe, who celebrates seven years with FMPA on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Spots are filling up for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Roundtable on March 22 at FMPA’s Orlando office. The roundtable provides a forum for GIS staff from member utilities to exchange information, share best practices and network with their peers. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. https://fmpa.com/event/fmpa-gis-roundtable-march-22-2018/> style=color: windowtext;>Registration is available on FMPA.com. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
There are still a few spots remaining for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) training class on March 27-29 at FMPA’s Orlando office. NIMS is a comprehensive, nationwide-standard approach to incident management and provides a framework that helps govements, the private sector and nongovemental organizations to work more effectively in emergency situations. There are several prerequisites that must be completed prior to attending. For information on the prerequisites and registering contact Mike McCleary.
Human Resources Roundtable
FMPA will hold a Human Resources (HR) Roundtable on April 5 at the Orlando office. The deadline to https://fmpa.com/event/human-resources-roundtable-april-5-2018/> style=color: windowtext;>register is March 23. The roundtable provides a forum for participants to discuss HR topics, such as benefits, recruiting, retention, training, policies and more. The roundtable is free, and lunch will be provided. Participation via teleconference will be available for those unable to attend in person. Contact: Sharon Smeenk
https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/trump-imposes-tariffs-solar-cell-module-imports?utm_content=buffer9220d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer> style=color: windowtext;>Trump Imposes Tariffs on Solar Imports
The Trump administration announced last Monday that the president approved recommendations from the U.S. Inteational Trade Commission (USITC) to impose tariffs on foreign manufactured solar cells and modules. The recommendations call for 30% tariffs in the first year, declining 5% annually to 15% in the fourth year before expiring. The recommendations were made in response to a complaint filed by a Chinese-owned manufacturer with facilities in Georgia and Michigan, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last April. Another manufacturer, owned by a German company with a factory in Oregon, joined the complaint. Those companies praised the decision, but many in the solar power industry have been critical of the move saying it will slow the growth of solar power in the U.S. According to statistics from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, imports of solar cells increased by 500% from 2012 to 2016 and prices fell by 60%.
China’s govement confirmed last week that the country has become the number two importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, surpassing South Korea. Japan is the world’s largest importer. China imported 38.1 million tons of LNG in 2017, according to a report from China’s General Administration of Customs. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been championing the replacement of coal-buing fuaces with natural gas. The conversions led to gas shortages in parts of the country that didn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle the increased demand. The delivered price of LNG to Asia has been increasing and could lift prices in the United States as more LNG export facilities come on line.
Duke Energy Florida announced last Wednesday that it will use the utility’s savings from the federal tax overhaul to cover Hurricane Irma costs, preventing a potential rate increase for Duke customers. The investor-owned utility had filed a petition last month with the Florida Public Service Commission to recoup $513 million in Irma-related costs over three years. Florida Power & Light made a similar announcement the previous week.
A state nominating council last week narrowed down 17 applicants to four for an appointment to the Public Service Commission (PSC). Gov. Rick Scott has 30 days to make a selection. Bill Conrad, chairman of FMPA and former mayor of Newberry, was interviewed by the nominating council last week but is not among the finalists.
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 Mason Troche 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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