A weekly e-newsletter for FMPA members
Oct. 21, 2019
FMPA hosted a two-day workshop last week on NERC regulatory compliance. The workshop was well-attended and received positive feedback. Members were invited to present their evidence documents to SERC and NERC staff at the workshop for recommendations. Other topics included: 1) Critical Infrastructure Protection readiness for new standards, 2) operations and planning compliance with the transition from FRCC to SERC regional regulation, and 3) discussions on the SERC audit process. Contact: Michelle Johnson
Solar Project Phase II Workshop
FMPA held a Solar Project Phase II Workshop last Wednesday to review solar agreements and the schedule for approval by participants, FMPA’s Board of Directors and the ARP Executive Committee. Solar Phase II participants have been requested to complete their city’s approval prior to Dec. 12 when the final agreements will be presented to FMPA’s governing boards for final approvals. Contact: Susan Schumann
FMPA’s Finance Committee met last Wednesday and approved two action items: 1) St. Lucie audit report, and 2) municipal finance disclosure procedure changes. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Linda Howard
Policy Makers Meeting and Tour
FMPA’s Policy Makers Liaisons Committee met last Wednesday and visited a utility-scale solar facility in Orlando. Picture from the tour are posted on FMPA’s Facebook page. Contact: Mark McCain
Board of Directors
FMPA’s Board of Directors met last Thursday and approved three action items: 1) solar project development fund usage, 2) risk policy changes, and 3) municipal finance disclosure procedure changes. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Jacob Williams
ARP Executive Committee
The ARP Executive Committee met last Thursday and approved five action items: 1) resolution 2019-EC6 – Series 2019A Bonds, 2) resolution 2019-EC7 –Series 2019B Bonds, 3) Starke FGT firm gas transportation contract assignment, 4) municipal finance disclosure procedure changes, and 5) rate schedule B-1 for FY 2020. The full agenda package is available on the Portal. Contact: Jacob Williams
Credit Rating Upgrade and Bond Issue
Fitch Ratings upgraded the credit rating of FMPA’s All-Requirements Project to AA- from A+ ahead of a planned bond refinancing this month. In granting the coveted upgrade to double-A, Fitch pointed to the strong financial performance and competitive rates of All-Requirements. The ARP Executive Committee approved two bonds issues last Thursday totaling approximately $81 million to refund outstanding bonds. This refinancing is a continuation of FMPA’s strategy to enhance its financial position by eliminating interest-rate swaps, increasing its fixed-rate debt and paying-off debt early. The preliminary official statement was issued last week. Pricing is scheduled for Oct. 24, and closing is planned Nov. 7. Contact: Linda Howard
St. Lucie Contract Compliance Audit
FMPA’s Contract Compliance Audit Department completed an audit of billing from the primary owner of St. Lucie Unit 2 and found adjustments resulting in a $1.5 million refund to Unit 2’s minority owners. The refund will be shared by FMPA’s St. Lucie Project participants and Orlando Utilities Commission. The audit was for a two-year period from January 2017 through December 2018 and is part of regularly scheduled audits every two years. Contact: Liyuan Woerner
Stanton Unit 1 Debt Payoff
FMPA made the final debt payments this month for the Stanton and Tri-City projects, which have an ownership interest in Unit 1 at the Stanton Energy Center. Paying off debt on this coal-fired unit will reduce power costs from the Stanton and Tri-City projects by an estimated 30% to 35%, assuming the unit continues to operate as it has. Two other FMPA power projects will be paid off within the next eight years. The final debt payment for FMPA’s St. Lucie Project is in 2026, and the Stanton II Project will be paid off in 2027. These projects will see cost reductions that are similar or greater to Stanton and Tri-City. Contact: Rich Popp
Lowest Rates Since 2009
Jacob Williams published an article on LinkedIn last Thursday sharing the news that the cost of electricity for all residential customers of Florida’s municipal electric utilities is lower today than it was in 2009. The average decrease for municipal utilities during the past 10 years is 10%, which is outstanding compared to U.S. power costs that increased an average of 12% during the same time period. FMPA has individual rate charts available for all member cities. For some cities, power costs have not been this low since 2005. Members can contact Ryan Dumas to obtain their chart. One of FMPA’s goals is to help members tell the public power story, and this is great news to share. For assistance, contact Mark McCain.
Substation Maintenance Award
The Substation Maintenance Bid has been awarded to three bidders including Electric Power Systems, Flo. Power and Southern Switches & Contacts. The scope of work was expanded from prior bids to include testing, maintenance, repair and installation. The procurement process meets requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This was the largest substation maintenance bid since its inception in 2003 with participation from 11 FMPA members, including Beaches Energy Services, Bartow, Homestead, Starke, Keys Energy Services, Mount Dora, Green Cove Springs, Clewiston, Wauchula, Fort Pierce and New Smyrna Beach. Contact: Sharon Samuels
FMPP Production Subcommittee
Chris Gowder, Tim Jackson, Peter Moore and David Schumann attend the Florida Municipal Power Pool’s Production Subcommittee meeting on Monday. The subcommittee will select a new chair and vice chair and then discuss pool issues and planned outages.
Clewiston Pool Loan Discussion
FMPA’s Finance Department meets with the City of Clewiston on Tuesday to discuss the Pool Loan Project. Contact: Linda Howard
Member Peer Review
FMPA conducts an operational peer review for one of its members on Tuesday through Friday. FMPA’s Peer Review Program allows a member city to request an independent review of its policies, procedures and practices in specific functional areas. Reviews are conducted by subject-matter experts from municipal systems around Florida. Contact: Mike McCleary
SERC and FRCC Board Gatherings
Carol Chinn travels to Asheville, North Carolina, on Tuesday and Wednesday for the SERC Reliability Corporation’s Board meeting. On Friday, Carol travels to Tampa for the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council’s Board retreat.
Advanced Governmental Accounting Seminar
Gary Fisk and Danyel Sullivan-Marrero attend the Florida Government Finance Officers Associations’ Advanced Governmental Accounting seminar on Wednesday through Friday.
Carter Manucy attends the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s GridSecCon conference on Tuesday through Friday in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference brings cyber and physical security experts together to share emerging trends and advancements in the industry.
Public Gas Partners
Richard Montgomery travels Wednesday and Thursday to the Public Gas Partners annual planning meeting in Pine Mountain, Georgia. The Operating Committee will meet to discuss Pools 1 & 2.
Women in Public Finance
Linda Howard speaks at the Women in Public Finance’s fall regional event on Thursday about “Successfully Navigating Change.” The presentation discusses how to manage the constant changes that arise in the public finance arena.
FMPP Operating Committee
Chris Gowder, Peter Moore and David Schumann attend the Florida Municipal Power Pool (FMPP) Operating Committee meeting on Thursday. Topics will include a discussion of solar impacts on system operations and planning for the annual FMPP seminar.
General Fund Transfer Survey
FMPA received additional responses last week for the general fund transfer survey. The survey received a total of 20 responses from members. The survey report shows the retail sales, total operating electric revenues and electric fund transfers for each responding member. The updated and final report is available on the Portal. Contact: Ann Beckwith
PVC Conduit and Fittings Bid
FMPA is preparing an invitation to bid (ITB) for PVC conduit and fittings. This ITB will replace an expiring contract and will meet requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FMPA members interested in participating in this bid are asked to contact Sharon Samuels or input their quantities on AURSI by Oct. 28.
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 Oct. 20. Contact: Jason Wolfe
Meter Tech Roundtable
Oct. 28 is the deadline to register for FMPA’s Meter Tech Roundtable on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. in Leesburg. The roundtable provides a forum for participants to discuss metering topics such as policies, procedures, equipment, AMI, technology, safety, training, apprentice programs and more. Registration is free, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Samuels
FAASSTeR Project Team
The Florida Alliance for Accelerating Solar and Storage Technology Readiness (FAASSTeR) initiative meets Nov. 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront for a project team meeting and workshop. There will also be a stakeholder seminar Nov. 19-20 in Jacksonville. There is no cost to register for FAASSTeR project team members or FMEA municipal members. Contact: Ann Beckwith
FMPA will host a Human Resources Roundtable on Nov. 20 in Orlando. The roundtable provides a forum to share information on best practices, policies, procedures, laws and more. Registration is free, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Samuels
Registration is open for FMPA’s Purchasing Roundtable on Dec. 5 at FMPA’s Orlando office. The event provides a forum for purchasing personnel to meet with peers from other member utilities to discuss procedures, policies, practices, industry changes and other topics of interest. Registration is free, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Samuels
FMPA’s Substation Training series continues Dec. 9-10 at OUC’s Engineering Building with a course on confined space hazard mitigation. Courses are designed to provide participants with in-depth instruction on substation-related topics and are tailored to the specific equipment of the participating utilities, where possible. Registration is $900 for the two-day session, and lunch will be provided. Contact: Sharon Samuels
Prospects for a new solar subscription program from Florida Power and Light (FPL) moved forward last week with the utility’s announcement that it had modified its SolarTogether program to win support from three intervenors. FPL filed a joint motion at the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) last Wednesday with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Walmart and Vote Solar seeking approval of the program and associated tariff. Under terms of the settlement agreement, the solar subscription program will allocate 37.2 MW of capacity out of the total 1,490 MW to low-income customers, which are defined as customers at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Eligible customers can elect to participate at special low-income pricing supported by the tariff. The parties also agreed that the total capacity of the program will be split 75% to commercial, industrial and governmental customers with the remaining 25% available for residential and small business. Customers can participate in the voluntary program up to 100% of their previous 12 months’ total kilowatt-hour usage, subject to capacity availability. FPL said the commercial capacity is fully subscribed. Participants will pay a monthly subscription charge and can receive a credit reflecting the estimated value on FPL’s system from reduced fuel, purchased power and carbon emission costs. The Office of Public Counsel did not join the settlement filing, citing the possible cost exposure to FPL’s non-participating customers and the cost-recovery structure for participants. The PSC set a hearing for Jan 14, 2020, to provide the parties additional time for discovery.
The American Public Power Association (APPA) announced last Tuesday the appointment of Joy Ditto as the organization’s new president and CEO effective Jan. 13. Ditto will assume the position after the retirement of current President and CEO Sue Kelly. Ditto currently serves as president and CEO of the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) in Washington, D.C., where she has increased awareness of how critical utility communications networks are to grid reliability. Prior to working at UTC, Ditto served as senior vice president for legislative and political affairs at APPA, where she spearheaded APPA’s advocacy efforts.
The Florida Public Service Commission approved a rate increase last Thursday for Tampa Electric Company (TECO) to recover costs of two new solar projects in Hillsborough County. The rate increase will add $1 to residential monthly bills for customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours. The 150 MW of solar energy is projected to be fully functional by January 2020 and will bring the utility’s total solar generation to 550 MW. TECO said the project will save an estimated $193 million in fuel cost to offset further rate increases.
FMPA Weekly is published by FMPA for employees and governing boards of FMPA member utilities. Questions or comments about this newsletter may be directed to Melisa Inanc or Rachel Ilardi 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 learn more.
Florida Municipal Power Agency
8553 Commodity Circle
Orlando, FL 32819-9002
Tel 407 355-7767
Fax 407 355-5794
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