April 2021

By Bonnie Biocchi, Executive Director

I recently observed a milestone birthday. To celebrate, my children held a virtual birthday party over zoom (thanks Covid!) During the call, we played a game to determine just how old I really was. It went something like this:

Is Bonnie older or younger than…

Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind? (older); The vaccine for polio? (younger) JFK’s assassination? (older); Hawaii becoming a state? (younger) Fred Flintstone? (younger) MLK’s I have a dream speech? (older).  You get the idea. By now, if you know your history, you have figured out that I am 60 years old. And, while that seems impossible to me, I am thankful to have reached this age.

In addition to the funny stories that folks shared about my younger self, we talked about how much has changed since I was a kid. For example, girls no longer are required to wear dresses to school. This was a welcome change, given the uncomfortableness of having to cram one’s dress into snow-pants and walk to school! Neither would anyone dare to pick up a cigarette and smoke at their desk as was common during my first real job. It has been a long time since anyone has had to find a payphone to call home while on the road. And who uses an encyclopedia anymore now that we have google?

While these are not seismic changes, they have certainly made a difference in the quality of life for most of us.  It made me think about how hard it can be to navigate change and why there is generally much resistance to enacting even small changes. We are creatures of habit but sometimes changing our habits yields positive results.

One of the biggest issues facing today’s world is how to best address climate change. Given the amount of time, energy and financial investment pouring into this issue, it is inevitable that we will find the right solution. Public Power is doing its part and helping to meet the clean energy goals of our region. Whether net zero by 2030 or 2050, the growth in renewables and other environmentally friendly approaches will continue to remain on the front burner.

In the coming months, we will be hosting a climate roundtable and we will also hold informative sessions on climate initiatives at our Annual Conference. I encourage you to participate and share your thoughts and expertise.

The investments in clean energy and the adoption of new technologies we enact now will pay dividends far into the future. When Levi, my youngest grandchild hits his milestone birthday in 2080, I imagine that large-scale commercial fusion energy will be old technology and that something we haven’t even dreamed of yet will power the world. I also imagine that public power will be at the forefront of that change. In the meantime, just keep hitting those milestones!
Upcoming Training & Events
Mark Your Calendar

NEPPA's Metering I Program is designed to be an introduction to the fundamentals of meter equipment and safety. 

The Program will introduce how meters are used as an integral part of the distribution system and why their accurate and efficient readings are critical to a utility's success.

At NEPPA, we are committed to helping our members enhance their safety awareness and develop effective training and risk management programs to better prepare and protect their organizations and employees.

As part of our commitment to our members to provide high-quality technical and safety training, particularly in the shadows of COVID-19, we are pleased to continue offering a new series of live, instructor-led @Your-Site Virtual Training sessions.

Participants may register for either an individual session, for the Spring/Fall Series (8 Session Each), or for the full 2021 Series (16 Total Sessions):

NEPPA's Substation I Program is held 4-days/week for 4 weeks/year. Substation I is designed to be an introduction to substations including safety, design, operation, equipment, and theory.

*NEW* Beginning in 2021, each Friday of the session will consist of a virtual review of the week's material and online testing. Students should plan to attend classes in-person at the Training Center Tuesday - Thursday and join the session(s) remotely on Friday.

In addition to the in-class lectures, the Substation I Program incorporates the hands-on application of concepts and testing, field visits and tours of different installations, and weekly testing including a final exam to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the course content.

GM Roundtable - Workplace Safety Grants*
April 29, 2021
10:00 am (EST)

May 18 - 21; June 15 - 18, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

June 15; Sept 7; Dec 7, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

June 16; Sept 8; Dec 8, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

August 10, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

2021 Annual Conference *
August 22 - 25, 2021
Westin Portland Harborview
Portland, ME

Substation II Program*
Sept. 14 - 17; Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Oct. 19 - 22;
Nov. 16 - 19, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

September 21, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

2021 E&O / Lineworker's Rodeo*
September 21-23, 2021
Westford Regency & NEPPA Training Center
Westford, MA

September 22, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 19, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

October 20, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

Metering II Program *
November 8 - 10, 2021
NEPPA Training Center
Littleton, MA

November 23, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
November 30, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
December 14, 2021
8:30 am (EST)
December 15, 2021
8:30 am (EST)

*Please contact communications@neppa.org to be notified as soon as registration opens.

www.neppa.org for more information.

FERC: Technical Conference Signals Policy Shift on Capacity Markets…
Cybersecurity: Senate Homeland Security Examines Agency Response to SolarWinds Hack…

Transition: Senate Panel Holds Hearing on FEMA Nominee; EPW Advances Mallory to Full Senate…
In the News
Litltleton, MA, April 2, 2021 - NEPPA was pleased to offer the newly designed Introduction to Electrical Hazards & Safety Training class for 10 students. This program was created to support new hire training as well as hazard recognition training for folks working in the electrical space such as telecommunication technicians.

In addition to annually required new-hire training and hazard awareness, students learned about work zone protection and performed bucket and manhole rescue demonstrations. Students who attended the full program also received their First Aid/CPR/AED Certification.
If you need new hire training or hazard awareness training for other staff, contact training@neppa.org. We expect to offer this program again sometime in Q3 or Q4 (or sooner) based on demand.
Energy New England Applauds Inclusion of Municipal Light Plants in Historic Climate Bill 

Mansfield, MA. March 29, 2021 - Energy New England, LLC. (ENE) is saluting legislative leaders and Governor Baker and his Administration for their hard work on the Energy and Climate Bill, S.9., signed into law on Friday, March 26, during a virtual Bill signing event at the Statehouse. ENE and our member clients recognize the significant time and eort to develop this Bill which lays the groundwork for real climate action. Today’s actions bring the Commonwealth to nation leading climate policy goals that engage all sectors in the energy life cycle.

The American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider program recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Below is a list of public power utilities that currently hold the RP3 designation. Utilities keep the RP3 designation for three years. Click here for more information
Diamond Level
Braintree Electric Light Department, MA (2021)
Littleton Electric Light and Water Departments, MA (2020)
Norwich Public Utilities, CT (2021)
Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant, MA (2021)
Westfield Gas and Electric, MA (2020)
Platinum Level
Danvers Electric Division, MA (2021)
Groton Utilities, CT (2020)
Holyoke Gas & Electric Department, MA (2021)
Hudson Light and Power Department, MA (2019)
Mansfield Municipal Electric Department, MA (2021)
Reading Municipal Light Department, MA (2021)
Gold Level
Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant, MA (2020)
Ipswich Electric Light Department, MA (2019)
Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department, MA (2021)
Congratulations to Jon Blair, recently appointed to the position of NEPPA Treasurer and a huge thank you to Mike Kirkwood for serving in this role for many years!

Congratulations and welcome to Tom Flaherty recently appointed to the position of General Manager for Westfield Gas and Electric, Westfield (MA) Welcome to the NEPPA family!

Farewell & best wishes to Tony Contrino recently retired from his position as General Manager at Westfield Gas and Electric.

Congratulations to Ken Stone, recently apppointed to the position of Assistant General Manager for Middleborough Gas & Electric Department.

And committee updates...

The Education Development Committee welcomes new chair Patty Richards, Washington Electric Co-op and Member Value Committee welcomes new chair Todd Shea.

Executive Committee: Nick Lawler, Littleton Electric Light and Water

Advocacy and Reporting Committee: Christopher Roy, Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations

Education Development Committee: Patrick Laverty, Littleton Electric Light and Water Department; EJ Gomes, Sensus; Andrew Murray, PLM, Inc.; Derek Niemi, Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations

Member Value Committee: Eric McDermott, Norwich Public Utilities, Michael Schmitt, Hull Municipal Light Plant; Daniel Vettraino, ABB, Inc.

Engineering & Operations Subcommittee: Chair Barry Tupper, Holden Municipal Light Department

Customer Service Subcommittee: Eric Grover, Rowley Municipal Lighting Plant, Dylan Lewellyn, Ipswich Electric Light Department; Jennifer Ready, Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant: Shayna Williams, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
Congratulations and welcome to the newest member of the NEPPA training team Mike Pazzanese. You may recognize Mike from his time most recently at Peabody Municipal Light Plant.

Mike is a Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP) with 38 years of experience in all aspects of electric and gas utility operations, as well as contractor management, employee health and safety, and utility technical training, particularly in underground distribution and cable splicing.

We are excited to send Mike out into the field!

We walk the walk...
On Friday, April 2, NEPPA staff received their training for recertification
in First Aid/CPR/AED.
Thanks Linda
for keeping us up to date!
Is your team up to date on their certifications?
Contact NEPPA to schedule your training today!
Updates from the APPA monthly
 Policy Makers Council
Thank you to Bob Holland of Shrewsbury Electric and Cable Operations, who shared some updates from APPA Policy Makers Council

The American Rescue plan was recently signed into law and includes:
• $4.5 billion in additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
• An additional $19.05 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program created under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Under this program, states, counties, and cities can establish programs to help renting households with rent and utility payments.

Joint Action Agency
CMEEC Member’s Preferred Solution Adopted by ISO-NE for ECT Needs Assessment
Norwich, CT- April 20, 2020 CMEEC learned that the ISO-NE’s Planning Advisory committee (PAC) would recommend the preferred “Solution 2” proposed by CMEEC’s Member, Groton Utilities (GU) to solve deficiencies identified in the 2019 ECT NEEDS Assessment, over Solution 1 which excluded local upgrades to GU. Solution 2 includes upgrading the 400-line serving GU from 69 kV to 115kV.

Above: Class of 2024
Apprentice Lineworker Program
Advertising for the 2021 NEPPA Directory of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England is now underway!

Dear Member, our publishing partner, E&M Consulting, is in the process of production of our Northeast Public Power Association Directory of Consumer-Owned Electric Utilities in New England.

If you have any interest in advertising in the Directory, you can view the advertising options and sign-up online through WWW.EMCONSULTINGINC.COM/ADRESERVATION/NEPPA

Don't hesitate to call Ryan at 978-301-6361 if you have any questions. As always, our support of the Northeast Public Power Associaton is greatly appreciated.

Northeast Public Power Association | communications@neppa.org | www.neppa.org