January 2017
What to expect in 2017
By Executive Director Dave White
 
With all that happened in 2016, it's hard to imagine what 2017 might bring. Here at NEPPA we will be working hard to implement our new strategic plan, and here are a few of the things you can expect.    More 
   
Save the dates for this year's events

March 29-31  Public Utility Management Program 
April 19  General Foremens Roundtable 
May 10-11  Engineering and Operations Conference and Expo 
June 7  Customer Service Conference 
August 20-23  Annual Conference, Newport, RI 
September 14-15  Lineworkers Rodeo 
October 11  General Foremens Roundtable 
November 15-17  Public Utility Management Program 
December 1  Annual Membership Meeting 
 
We'll be sending details later for all events, including  a Credit & Collections Roundtable to be held in late March. You'll also find updates at  neppa.org.

New battery storage stands up to sub-zero cold

General Manager Sean Hamilton of Sterling, Mass. Municipal Light Department reports that his utility's new 2 MW battery storage facility performed successfully during extreme cold last month.
 
Temperatures dipped below zero on Dec. 20, just weeks after the project's kick-off celebration held to mark the first utility-scale energy storage facility in Massachusetts.
 
"...During the extreme cold spell we were able to operate the batteries during the ISO-NE peaking period...thereby reducing Sterling's load by 2 MW and bringing immediate benefits to the ratepayers of Sterling," Hamilton reported.
 
"To have this event happen during our commissioning period and to operate almost five weeks ahead of our contracted schedule is a real testament to the efforts put forth by the employees at NEC Energy Systems, the operations crew from SMLD, OPM Scott Reynolds, and our design engineer Mike Barrett who together have made this project happen in record time," Hamilton added.
Solar in Your Community challenge offers $5 million in prizes

The Department of Energy has launched its Solar in Your Community Challenge Sunshot, offering $5 million in cash prizes and technical assistance for innovative community solar projects, including a $500,000 grand prize.
 
The Challenge's goal is to expand solar electricity access to low- and moderate-income households and community organizations that have not been able to take advantage of the booming solar market. Find details here.

Grants awarded for LED streetlight conversion
Some 33 Massachusetts cities and towns served by municipal power systems will benefit from state grant funding to convert their community-owned streetlights to LED technology.
 
The grants are part of an $11.4 million program aimed at lowering energy use, reducing peak demand, cutting costs, and delivering other local benefits such as improved visibility.
 
Communities benefiting from the grants include Belmont, Boxborough, Boylston, Chicopee, Concord, Danvers, Georgetown, Groveland, Hingham, Holden, Holyoke, Hudson, Hull, Ipswich, Lakeville, Mansfield, Marblehead, Merrimac, Middleborough, Middleton, North Attleborough, Norwood, Paxton, Peabody, Princeton, Russell, Shrewsbury, South Hadley, Templeton, Wakefield, Wellesley, West Boylston and Westfield.
Massachusetts municipals add new wind power resource

Seventeen Massachusetts municipal utilities have added a new wind resource to their power supply portfolios through a 25-year contract signed by the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC).
 
Power from the Hancock Wind Project, a 17-turbine wind farm that began operating last month in rural Maine, will more than double the current output of wind resources owned or under contract by MMWEC and its members, adding more than 90,000,000 kilowatt-hours annually.
 
The utilities contracted for Hancock Wind Project output through MMWEC serve the communities of Boylston, Chicopee, Groton, Holden, Holyoke, Ipswich, Mansfield, Marblehead, Paxton, Peabody, Russell, Shrewsbury, Sterling, Templeton, Wakefield, West Boylston and Westfield.


In the Communities
 
Celebrating the season

Belmont, Mass. Light General Manager Jim Palmer joined Frosty the Snowman to welcome customers at the utility's Winter Solstice celebration last month.

The celebration featured refreshments and gifts for those visiting the utility, including a 2017 calendar highlighting local history.

Donations to a local charity were also collected at the event.
 
New video explains wiring responsibility

Reading, Mass. Municipal Light Department has teamed up with their local community television station to produce a 12-minute public service video that explains which electric equipment is a homeowner's responsibility, and which belongs to the utility. The video also includes important safety advice. Watch it here.

Wakefield, Mass. utility benefits local charity

Wakefield, Mass. Municipal Gas & Light Department is helping area people in need by collecting financial donations and bedding at their office this winter. Partnering with a local charity, the utility has supported the local Buy-a-Bed program for 13 years.
 

 In The News

 New Members

Welcome to Briggs & Stratton, a new NEPPA Associate member. The company is the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of standby generators and other job site products. Contact New England Account Manager John Wadman at 774-413-0483 or wadman.john@basco.com. For more information visit basco.com.
 

 Upcoming Events

Public Utility Management Program, March 29-31, 2017
Details to come.

Engineering & Operations Conference, May 10-11, 2017

Annual Conference, August 20-23, 2017
Newport, RI Marriott
Details to come.


 Training and Education

Substation I   3/28-31, 4/25-28, 5/23-26, 6/27-30
 
Substation II  9/19-22, 10/21-27, 11/14-17; 12/19 -22

Metering I   3/27, 4/24, 5/22, 6/26
 
Metering II   8/14, 8/28, 9/18, 10/2, 10/23, 11/13, 12/4, 12/18

Legislative Update