August 2016
Conferences are dead. Long live conferences!
By Executive Director Dave White
There are those who will tell you that in today's Digital Age, there is no room for in-person conferences. They will tell you that people are not willing to travel away from home when they can just as easily sit in front of a computer. Unfortunately, these people miss the point, especially when it comes to an industry like public power.    More

September 27,
Milton CAT, Milton, Mass.
  • Evaluating outage management systems
  • Proactive substation security
  • Arc flash hazards

Save the date, and watch your mail for details about this fall event brought to you by NEPPA's Engineering Committee.


Come to the Annual Conference - it's not too late

Our Annual Conference is right around the corner, August 21-24, at Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club, Lake Placid, N.Y. It's not too late to join public power professionals from throughout the Northeast as they gather to discuss important topics, build bonds, and learn from each other - all in a beautiful, historic setting.
New additions to this year's conference include Sunday and Tuesday night Pub Quizzes with free food and prizes, a $30 voucher good at local restaurants for dinner on Tuesday, individual state lounges on Sunday afternoon, an Idea Wall to capture your input, and more.
If you'd like help meeting others at the conference, be sure to sign up for our Ambassador program to be paired up with some of our longtime members who can help. You don't have to be new member for this program - all are welcome.

Mutual Aid to the rescue in Merrimac

Some of the July 18 damage in Merrimac, Mass.

A fast-moving microburst tore through the small town of Merrimac, Mass. on July 18, taking less than 20 minutes to topple trees, tear down transformers, and leave high voltage lines on the ground.
Although the damage was concentrated in just one area of about 50-70 homes, the devastation was so complete that residents thought they'd be without electricity for days. But thanks to Mutual Aid, all power was restored in less than seven hours.
"I called Nick Lawler (of Littleton, Mass. Electric Light), the regional coordinator for Mutual Aid, and within an hour and a half there were seven crews here," said Merrimac's General Manager Francisco Frias. "They did an amazing job."
A total of 15 workers responded from the Massachusetts public power systems in Rowley, Groveland, Middleton, Wakefield, Littleton, Groton, Peabody, and Georgetown.
"It was a great group of guys," Frias said. "Everyone worked really well together and wanted to get people back on. It was impressive. People were just blown away that they got power back so quickly."
It would have been a different story if Merrimac hadn't had help, he said, since his small system had only two linemen on duty that day, with two others on vacation. Instead, help arrived quickly, and even after the work was done, Frias got calls checking to see if he needed anything else.
"It's a great benefit - I can't say enough about how relieved I was to have that option available," Frias said about Mutual Aid. "It's a good feeling to have people help you out, and it makes you want to help out others in the future."

Wellesley, Mass. celebrates its safety record 

Kevin Sullivan was the master of ceremonies at WMLP's safety luncheon.
Wellesley, Mass. Municipal Light Plant recently marked 2,000 consecutive  days without a lost-time accident with a safety luncheon for all employees and several invited guests.
"We're all very proud of this safety record, given how dangerous line work can be," said WMLP Director Richard Joyce, who also noted that NEPPA played a major role in this accomplishment. NEPPA Director of Training Steve Socoby was among the event's speakers.
"Everything Steve says has an impact," said WMLP Assistant Superintendent Kevin Sullivan. "He enhances our safety program and champions what we do."
Both Joyce and Sullivan praised WMLP employees for their part in reaching this safety milestone, recognizing the dedication to safety that exists throughout the utility.
"Staying safe takes leadership, with an understanding that everyone values safety above all else," said Sullivan. "Each day the bar gets raised. You need to keep your tools sharp, your head focused, work toward the next milestone and, most importantly, go home safe."
Stanley Kobelski retires after 35 years  

Stanley Kobelski, Lead Lineman at Jewett City, Conn. Department of Public Utilities, retired recently after 35 years of service to the utility.
"He started as an apprentice and worked his way up," said Jewett City Director of Utilities Kenneth Sullivan about Kobelski's long and successful career. Kobelski's work, Sullivan pointed out, was key to the utility's excellent distribution system.
"The infrastructure that exists in our community is largely due to his skill set," Sullivan said. "He didn't do a job halfway, he did it right."
Kobelski chose to retire now in order to spend more time hunting, fishing, golfing, and just enjoying life, Sullivan added. "He wants to enjoy his retirement."
Brian Forshaw starts a new chapter  

Brian Forshaw, Chief Regulatory and Risk Officer at the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, will retire from CMEEC August 12 to pursue private consulting and enjoy more leisure time.
"I'm basically going from full-time to half-time," he said. "I'm too young to stop working. I want to stay active and involved."
Forshaw is leaving CMEEC after more than 35 years of service. He was first hired as an engineering technician in November 1980, just one month after CMEEC started delivering power to its members.
He soon began attending New England Power Pool operations committee meetings to learn more about the costs coming out of the NEPOOL settlement process, deepened his involvement as time went on, and eventually became a leading voice for public power and consumer interests during and after the transition to the ISO process.
"I think my key accomplishment is the way that public power has been able to stay together and become effective as one of the few advocates for electric consumers in the region," he said about his long career.
Forshaw will continue his work on behalf of consumer interests through Energy Market Advisors, LLC, providing representation, advocacy, strategic assessment, reporting, and other services to public power and other consumer-focused entities. Contact him at
Wellesley, Mass. Superintendent retires  

Superintendent James W. Verner has retired from his 32-year career at Wellesley Municipal Light Plant.
Hired as a Groundsman in 1984, Verner worked his way up through the system and was instrumental in promoting a number of positive changes throughout the organization.
According to WLMP Director Dick Joyce, safety was always a priority.
"Jimmy placed the utmost importance in the promotion of lineworker safety," Joyce said. "The WMLP recently completed 2,000 consecutive days without a lost-time accident thanks to his leadership."
Despite his retirement from Wellesley, Verner will remain active, as he recently accepted a position at Mass Development/Devens.

Rubin & Rudman expands DC office

Rubin and Rudman LLP has relocated to offices at 800 Connecticut Avenue NW to accommodate its growing ranks of attorneys and diverse practice offerings.
The Boston-based law firm first opened its Washington, DC office on Capitol Hill 18 months ago to recognize the growth of its Government Relations and Regulatory Strategies practice group, led by Michael Crossen, and to expand Energy-related legal services. John DeTore, who also serves as the firm's Administrative Chairman, heads the Energy practice group.

In the News

New Members
Welcome, NEPPA's new affiliate members

Milwaukee Power Tools , an industry-leading manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, accessories and hand tools for professional users worldwide, is now a NEPPA Associate member. Contact Russ Carlson, Electric Power Utility Manager, at 864-934-3361 or email . Visit for more information.
Premier Truck Rental has joined NEPPA as an Associate member, specializing in monthly 4 x 4 truck rentals. Located out of Northeast Indiana, this family-owned business has more than 25 years of equipment rental experience giving customers the type of 4 x 4 truck they want, when they want it, as seamlessly as possible. Contact Adriene Horn at 844-644-9138 or email . Visit for more information.
Siemens is now a NEPPA Corporate member, with an integrated portfolio of products, solutions and services focusing on electrification, automation and digitalization. From power generation, intelligent transmission and distribution to the efficient application of electrical energy, Siemens is developing eco-friendly, reliable and sustainable solutions for the energy business. Contact Senior Marketing Manager Dalia El Tawy at 407-736-2577 or email . Visit for more information.
Sunrise Technologies , a manufacturer of outdoor lighting controls and systems, has joined NEPPA as a Corporate member. Contact Product Manager Craig Rosenquist at 508-821-1597 or email . Visit for more information.

Upcoming Events

Lineworkers Rodeo, Sept. 15-16

PUMP, Nov. 16-18, 2016 

Training and Education
Advanced Metering, Sept. 19, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Dec. 5

Substation II Technician Training, Sept. 6-9, Oct. 11-14, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Dec.13-16

Legislative Update

Overview: Congress left Washington the week of July 15; will return Sept. 7...


Energy Policy: Senate Votes to Proceed to a House/Senate Conference to Reconcile Differences Between the House and Senate Versions of the Energy bill; Drones Policy Addressed in 14-month FAA Agreement...


Grid Security: FERC Issues Rule Ordering NERC to Develop a New Supply Chain Standard: DOE Provides Cyber Grants to Public Power...


Environment and Regulation: White House Works to Bring Solar Energy to Low-income Consumers; House Subcommittee Holds Constructive Yucca Hearing...


Tax and Finance: House Republicans Release Tax Reform Blueprint...