November 2016
One year later
By Executive Director Dave White
 
Having completed one year as your Executive Director, now is the perfect time to reflect on what we have accomplished and learned together in the last year. Here are a few of the accomplishments I'd like to highlight:    More 
   

 
Keynote address: "Public Power Needs to Pay: Why competitive pay is vital to the public power business model." No charge, includes lunch.
 
Internet Security

The American Public Power Association urges utilities to read this white paper on computer system attacks recently posted by the Electricity Information and Analysis Center.

Vermont utilities work together on two solar projects
Stowe Electric Department's new 1 MW solar photovoltaic facility
The Stowe and Hyde Park Electric Departments in Vermont recently completed two 1 MW solar projects -- one owned by each community -- through a collaborative process that benefited both utilities.
 
To maximize their combined resources, the two utilities worked together to secure low-cost financing for their individual projects, and employed other joint strategies such as working with the same consultants and contractors, using an identical project design, and scheduling concurrent construction.
 
"This was our first solar project and theirs (Hyde Park's) too," said Stowe Electric General Manager Ellen Burt, adding that both projects contribute to Vermont's newly enacted Renewable Energy Standard that requires electric utilities to acquire a growing portion of their power supply from community-scale renewable sources.
 
When considering their options for solar development, Burt and Hyde Park Manager Carol Robertson rejected the idea of solar projects owned by outside investors.
 
"It didn't sound attractive to us," Burt said about an arrangement that would place their utilities under financial obligation to a developer. She and Robertson took a longer view, opting instead to build their own solar generation to keep all financial benefits local.
 
To secure low-cost financing, the utilities applied for federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), and were awarded subsidies that brought their financing rate to just .9 percent. Each facility has a 40-year lifespan, with a 25-year bond payback period on a $3.1 million investment. This means the utilities will pay only operating costs for the last 15 years of the facilities' operation.
 
"For us, that takes it down to 2 cents/kilowatt-hour," said Burt about the project's energy costs during the project's final 15 years. "It's pretty impressive. This can be a model for small utilities to get together, apply for CREB bonds, get financing, and own their own solar."
 
Learn more about the projects here.
Got a great idea for our Annual Conference?

We're choosing topics for our 2017 Annual Conference in Newport, R.I., and would love your input. Let us know what you'd like to see on the program. Email kristind@neppa.org .
 
Sterling breaks ground on energy storage project
Sterling, Mass. Municipal Light Department General Manager Sean Hamilton, far left, at the project's groundbreaking ceremony with contractors and government officials.
Sterling, Mass. Municipal Light Department this fall broke ground on a 2-megawatt, 3.9 megawatt-hour battery storage system aimed at making Sterling's system more resilient while cutting power supply costs due to grid services the batteries provide.
 
The project is the first utility-scale energy storage facility in Massachusetts, with completion set for the end of this year. When operating, it will be able to provide up to 12 days of backup power to the town's police station and dispatch center.
 
"Energy storage is the next step for our industry," said Sterling Light's General Manager Sean Hamilton. "Technology is changing. We couldn't store energy economically before and now we can. This is one more thing we need to look at."
 
The system's batteries will be housed in an 8.5- by 53-ft. trailer at Sterling's Chocksett Road substation, where they will charge from the power grid and also connect to the utility's existing solar generation. The system's design allows it to "island" from the grid during a power outage.
 
Sterling's investment in the $2.7 million project is about $800,000, after the utility qualified for a state grant and other financial support. The payback period is expected to be six years, although Hamilton says it could be half that time, depending on energy markets.
Thank you, Altec, for bucket truck repairs  

Due to the generosity of Altec, a NEPPA member and supporter, the Lineworker Apprentice program will soon have its material handling bucket truck operational again.
 
Our truck needed a couple of leveling rods replaced as their useful life expired and it could therefore not pass inspection. Federal regulations dictate that a bucket truck must be inspected annually to ensure the safety of any operator.
 
Altec Industries of Shrewsbury and Sterling, Mass. is providing the parts at no cost to NEPPA and will be doing all repairs and inspections at a reasonable rate. Many thanks go to Altec, especially Ben Sewell, Andrew Cromrine, and Matt Anderson.
 
Middleton. Mass. Electric Light Dept. generously donated the truck to NEPPA and it should be noted that Littleton, Mass. Electric Light Dept. has also donated a truck to NEPPA.
In Memoriam: Curtis Lanciani Sr. 

Curtis John Lanciani Sr., 82, former manager of two Massachusetts municipal utilities and a longtime public power advocate, died Oct. 29.
 
He began his public power career at the Sterling Municipal Light Department, later served as General Manager at the Paxton Municipal Light Department, and retired from the Littleton Light and Water Departments in 1993 after 17 years as General Manager.
 
His many contributions to public power include working to help form NEPPA in 1965, and also serving terms as a NEPPA President and Board member. Over the years he earned several NEPPA honors including the Distinguished Service Award, Man of the Year, and Community Service Award. He also chaired an American Public Power Association committee to establish a national emergency aid program in the wake of Hurricane Hugo.

The family requests friends honor him by buying a children's book and sharing it with a favorite young person.
 Public power benefits -- spread the word 

The American Public Power Association offers a growing toolbox of resources to help public power utilities raise awareness of who they are and what they do for customers and communities. Find APPA's toolbox, including everything from facts sheets to social media content you can use, here.
Jay Stiga honored with Good Samaritan Award  

Engineering Technician Jay Stiga of Concord, Mass. Municipal Light Department earned the Medic First Aid's Good Samaritan Award for coming to the aid of a neighbor in serious trouble. The award is given to those who apply skills in real-life situations that they've learned through NEPPA training.
 
Jay came to the aid of his elderly neighbor after he saw through his window that she had collapsed in her driveway. He immediately realized the woman had suffered a severe break in her lower leg, and drew on his first aid training to keep her warm and immobile until medical help arrived to stabilize her leg.
 
"My first aid training helped me stay calm and provide assistance to the injured person until trained medical personnel arrived," Jay said. Thanks, in part, to Jay's actions, his neighbor was eventually able to return home after undergoing surgery and rehabilitation.

REVENUE PROTECTION - A recent Lunch and Learn session hosted by AvCom, Inc. and Highfield Manufacturing at our Littleton Training Center provided timely information about revenue protection and theft of service. Watch for upcoming Lunch and Learn programs on other current topics -- they're free, include lunch, and are open to all NEPPA members.
Active shooter preparedness information  

While we hope to never need information on how to handle an active shooter situation, it makes sense to be fully prepared. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides products, tools, and resources to help you get started.
 
Complete information is on the DHS website.
Looking for a bargain?

Take a look at the listings in our website's For Sale section. You never know what our members are selling. Recently listed, for example, are 75-100 cobrahead high-pressure sodium lights in excellent working order removed from Hull, Mass. during an LED replacement project -- just $5 each.

In the Communities
 
 
Keeping it local

Aidan Leary of Belmont, Mass. Light gives customers a free LED light and a smile at a local farmers market during Public Power Week. Those who stopped by also got a Belmont Light shopping bag, along with information about saving energy and public power benefits.


New Members
IPS-Energy USA, Inc. is now a NEPPA Associate member. Their systems are designed for electric power professionals to provide full technical asset management (asset repository, work content definition using maintenance templates, planning, scheduling, field execution/data acquisition and analytics) with broad functionality for relay setting and testing management. Field execution can be done completely mobile or connected to the server using a web interface. Contact Marvel Gentry Davis, Senior Sales Executive, at 317-513-5043 or marvel.davis@ips-energy.com . For more information visit ips-energy.com .
 
Utility Services of the Americas (USA) has joined NEPPA as an Associate member. Located in Lancaster, N.Y., USA purchases water and electric meters, as well as transformers and other obsolete equipment, for recycling. Contact Sam Shine at 855-855-2001, ext. 2052 or sshine@utilityrecyclers.com . For more information visit utilityrecyclers.com.


Upcoming Events

PUMP, Nov. 16-18, 2016
 


Training and Education
Advanced Metering, Nov. 14, Dec. 5

Substation II Technician Training, Nov. 29-Dec. 2, Dec.13-16

Legislative Update

Markets: D.C. Circuit Dismisses Public Citizen Case on FCA8, NY Subsidies Challenged...

 

Environment: Clean Power Plan Cases Advance...

 

Appropriations: Continuing Resolution Funds Government, Lame Duck Session Announced...

 

Energy Policy: Senate Sends House First Energy Bill Volley, FERC Announces Storage Conference...

 

Cyber Security: FERC Sets GMD Standard...