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Alaska Power Association Newsletter: December 2014



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Watts Inside
 
Staff Profile - Liz Thackston
 
MEA starts First Engine at EGS
 
Sen. Murkowski, FERC Hearing
 
NRECA looks at EPA Regs
 
Commonwealth North Legislator Meet and Greet
 
APA Legislative Fly-in
 
Employment opportunities
 
 
 
Industry Links
 
Alaska Power Association

Meetings & Events

People Power Alaska

National Rural Electric

Cooperative Association

Northwest Public Power

Association

Renewable Energy Alaska

Project

Energy Information

Administration
 
 
 
Alaska Power Association
The Alaska Power Association is the statewide trade association that represents the electric utilities that supply power to more than a half-million Alaskans from Barrow to Unalaska, through the Interior and Southcentral, and down the Inside Passage.
 
December 2014
 Dear APA/AIE Members and Friends,
 

 

The legislative session is just around the corner, and APA staff has been preparing to carry the message of its members to Juneau. We are in trying fiscal times for the state right now, but the needs of the electric utility industry and its customers are still important and ongoing. APA staff and leaders from its member utilities will be in Juneau several times during the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature, speaking with decision makers about the pressing issues of our membership (see upcoming events below).


 

As always, we'll be sending out or E-Flash notifications via e-mail whenever important legislative or regulatory news takes place.


 

I want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season. The APA and AIE offices will be closed on December 25 and 26.


 

Thanks for reading and stay in touch.

 

  

Crystal Enkvist, APR

APA Executive Director

ARECA Insurance Management Inc., Executive Vice President

 
 
 
  
Staff Profile  - Liz Thackston, Administrative Assistant
 


 The first person many people talk to when calling the Alaska Power Association office has a distinct way of warming the conversation. With a professional cadence, a script-perfect delivery, and a sociable good nature, Liz Thackston is the friendly gatekeeper of the office. Her official title at APA is Office Administrator/Administrative Assistant.

Liz's journey to Alaska came about very much by unforeseen chance, but that's no matter to her. Alaska, as it tends to do, has grown quickly on Liz and her family, and they are all enjoying the ride.

Born and raised Portland, Oregon, Liz, a devoted University of Alabama football fan, spent time in Vancouver, Washington, before a vaguely worded job advertisement answered by her husband found them traveling to Bethel, Alaska.  Even though a requirement to move to Alaska came as a shock, the job was too good to turn down. So, Liz, her husband and their youngest son packed their belongings and headed north to Alaska.

Liz said that even though they were not prepared for the unforeseen move to rural Alaska, the experience was an eye-opener and one that has made her grateful for the little things urban folks can often take for granted.  

Outside of work, Liz enjoys reading, personal health and taking care of her family. She has been with APA for six months, and she said the best part of the job is meeting all APA's members and helping them with whatever they need.

Besides her youngest son, Liz has three adult children and one grandbaby. Of course, if you're talking to Liz, it never hurts to add a "Roll Tide!" during the conversation. 

 
MEA Starts First Engine at Eklutna Generation Station
An engine at MEA's Eklutna Generation Station just before start-up.
  

APA member Matanuska Electric Association started the first of 10 engines at the cooperative's new Eklutna Generation Station power plant last week.


 

MEA sent out a press release on December 3 conveying the excitement felt by those who have been involved in the power plants conception and construction over the years.


 

"What a great day for our members," MEA Board President Elsie E. "Lois" Lester said in the press release. "We have been working towards this for many years and it is gratifying to see it come together. This is an important milestone for MEA and the entire Alaska Railbelt."


 

According to MEA, Engine 7 ran for approximately five minutes during a test period. During that test period, engines were checked for performance of the control system, temperatures and pressures and other basic functionality. By the time this newsletter is sent to subscribers, Engines 8-10 are scheduled to have been tested as well.


 

MEA's general manager, Joe Griffith, credited his team for the successful engine test. "I am proud of our team," Griffith said in a statement. "This is a critical step for our power plant and it represents countless hours of hard work and dedication from our MEA team and contractors. 

It is really something to celebrate."

 
Sen. Murkowski Calls on FERC to Protect Electric Reliability  
 

On December 5, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office highlighted comments made by the senator during the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nomination of Colette D Honorable, who has been tapped for a spot on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

 

"Considering electricity alone - just one of the energy sectors regulated by FERC - I have noted for years now that EPA is releasing an unrelenting onslaught of new, and unduly burdensome, federal regulations," Murkowski said, according to a press release. "Particularly in combination with one another, these rules could seriously challenge the reliability of our nation's grid system and push more Americans into energy insecurity."

 

Murkowski is quoted as saying she will be counting on Honorable to "Champion FERC's role as the federal agency with responsibility for electric reliability."

 

She also stated: "Because this administration appears intent on transforming the very nature of our energy production and use through the EPA regulatory process, regardless of costs or even feasibility, FERC must be a stronger voice for balance and stand up in inter-agency dialogues to guard against regulations that will make our electricity less secure and more expensive" 

  
 
  
NRECA Exec. Dir. Looks at EPA Regulation-caused Rate Hikes
 

 

Jo Ann Emerson, executive director of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said on December 2, that co-op customers can expect to see rates increase by "more than 10 percent on average in 2020," according to an NRECA statement.

 

Emerson added that customers could see another rate increase of 17 percent by 2025, following the 2020 rate increase.

 

NRECA joined Alaska Power Association and 1.1 million others in providing comments on the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plant rule, which could be finalized by June 2015. The rule would require states to come up with plans to reduce the amount of CO2 produced by existing power plants regardless of the cost to consumers.

 

A coalition of Railbelt utility environmental officers put in yeoman's work drafting a detailed response by APA to the proposed rule. The comments were submitted ahead of the Dec. 1 deadline set by EPA.

 

APA is monitoring this issue as it develops. 

 

 

 
 
Commonwealth North Holds Legislator Meet and Greet
 


 


 

Legislators offered their thoughts on the upcoming legislative session during Commonwealth North's Legislator Meet and Greet last week.

 

The event puts interested Alaskans in direct contact with legislators in a speed-dating style format. Most of the tables at the Dena'ina Center had one legislator sitting among at them. After 15 minutes of discussion between the legislators and their table-mates, time was called and elected officials got up and moved one table over. This gave those in attendance the chance to speak with at least two legislators.

 

Before the table conversations began, incoming Senate President Kevin Meyer and Rep. Lance Pruitt spoke about the upcoming session and what Alaskans can expect. Of course, the low oil prices and deficit spending that is a reality these days topped everyone's list of conversation topics.


 

APA staff spoke to legislators about energy issues and about thinking of the transmission system as infrastructure on par with roads and bridges. 

 

It was clear from speaking to legislators that a slim budget year is predicted from the 2015 session. As it has in the past, APA will follow the legislative session closely and keep members updated with regular e-flashes and other bulletins when important legislative news occurs.

  
Upcoming Event: APA Manager's Forum Legislative Fly-in

With the New Year comes the start of the 2015 legislative session. This will be the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature, and, as always, APA will remain on the forefront of issues affecting our industry.

First, the APA Managers' Forum Legislative Fly-in is scheduled for January 28 to 29 in Juneau. This is a great chance for managers of APA member utilities to visit with lawmakers and network with one another on important issues. With some new members of the Legislature, the fly-in will also be a good time to introduce ourselves to freshman lawmakers.

We're putting the final touches on registration forms for the fly-in, and we'll be sending them out to members soon.  

  
Upcoming Event: APA Legislative Conference
 
 

Following fast on the heels of the Mangers' Fly-in, APA will host its annual Legislative Conference on February 11 and 12 at the Baranof Hotel in downtown Juneau. As we have in past years, the conference will include presentations from lawmakers and officials in the governor's administration, along with visits to the Capitol to speak with legislators one-on-one.

The registration form for this event is also being finalized, and it should be sent out in a few weeks.

If you have any questions about either the Managers' Fly-in or the Legislative Conference, contact Michael Rovito, Director of Member and Public Relations at 907-771-5711 or mrovito@alaskapower.org. 

  
Upcoming Event: APA Federal Legislative Conference


 

Planning is underway for the 2015 APA Federal Legislative Conference. The event is scheduled to take place June 2 - 4 in Washington, D.C. With myriad issues facing the electric utility industry, and EPA regulations potentially increasing costs for consumers - next year's conference will be extremely important.

We hope as many of you as possible will be able to come so we can make a good showing in our nation's Capital. Of course, we'll send more information on this after the first of the year. If you have any questions, contact Michael Rovito, Director of Member and Public Relations at 907-771-5711 or mrovito@alaskapower.org. 
 
Employment Opportunities    


  

Copper Valley Electric Association is seeking applications for the position of Field Services Representative (FSR).  The FSR position is based out of the Valdez Office.  Starting compensation for this position is $25 per hour, DOE.

To apply for this position, visit www.cvea.org, careers section, for a complete application packet.  Questions should be directed to Nancy Heidelberg by email: jobs@cvea.org, or by phone at 907-822-8342.

The position is open until filled.  CVEA is an EEO Employer.


 

Matanuska Electric Association is seeking applications for the position of Eklutna Generation Station Power Plant Electrical/Control Technician - Regular.

This position is responsible for the maintenance of instrumentation and controls relating to the EGS Plant operations, Wartsila engines, plant DCS, building management system, balance of plant equipment as well as high voltage and low voltage electrical equipment, lighting, electrical controls, installation and trouble-shooting. Ensures plant is operated to meet set standards of efficiency, productivity, and safety.

Essential position requirements include: A minimum of seven (7) years of experience in the maintenance, repair and troubleshooting of high, medium and low voltage electrical systems and/or process control systems, PLCs and DCS; Ability to pass and maintain respirator fit testing requirements; Ability to pass tests to operate equipment such as forklifts, scissor lifts, boom lifts, etc; A valid Alaska driver's license and a driving record, which is acceptable and insurable by MEA's insurance carrier at standard group rates, or ability to obtain within 30-days; Experience with Wartsila engine control systems is desirable; Have the ability to work alternative work schedules, including 12-hour shifts, based on the operational needs of the plant

For more information about this and other open positions at MEA, visit the MEA Careers Webpage.


 

Cordova Electric Cooperative is seeking applicants for the position of Manager of Power Production. The incumbent supervises the Power Production Department and is responsible and accountable for the direction and management of the Power Production Department, which includes supervision, training and developing personnel, and maintenance and operation of generation equipment.  Incumbent is to provide the necessary planning and design to insure proper construction, maintenance and operation of generation facilities and equipment, and provide reliable, efficient electric power to the customer through diligent maintenance and operation of the generating plants.

In addition to the knowledge and understanding of power production principals and administration policies for a non-profit electric cooperative, the position requires an individual who regularly exercises a high degree of emotional and professional ability to deal with multiple demands in a stressful environment.   The position requires an individual who can speak publicly, deal with a wide variety of demands, and travel to remote locations in difficult and extreme weather and terrain.

CEC offers a competitive benefits package, and compensation for this position will range from $90,000 to $110,000+, depending upon the qualifications and experience of the candidate.

This position is directly responsible and accountable for the direction and management of the Power Production Department.   Responsibilities include supervision, planning, training and developing personnel, and maintenance and operation of the generation equipment to provide reliable, efficient electric power to the customer.

Qualified candidates are required to have the equivalent of a high school diploma and 12 years of progressively responsible experience or a bachelor's degree and five years of progressively responsible supervisory experience in electrical power production. Preference will be given for demonstrated success in financial and operational management, employee development, operation and maintenance of power production plants, electric utility switching and dispatching procedures, SCADA knowledge, and the implementation of a successful safety program and procedures.

For more information about this position, see the complete employment package posting on Cordova


 

Municipal Light and Power is seeking a Rates & Tarrifs Analyst.

Under the general supervision of the Rates & Tariffs Supervisor, performs analytical work for the Rates & Tariffs Section including preparation of revenue requirement studies, cost of service studies, rate design studies, fuel cost determinations, cost of power adjustment filings, rate comparisons, and various forecasts and financial analyses, as assigned or required. Assists in the production of all filings with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA), including testimony and legal pleadings. Maintains load research database. Other related duties as assigned or required. Utilizes knowledge of principles, practices, procedures and economic theories of financial analysis, rate design, revenue requirements and load research; knowledge of ratemaking principles, concepts, and issues; knowledge of forecasting and financial analysis methods and techniques.

Minimum qualifications/substitutions/special qualifications: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a four (4) year degree in Finance, Accounting, Economics or a related field, and four (4) years of progressively responsible financial auditing, rate making, accounting, or budgeting experience, two (2) years of which include development and/or analysis of rate and pricing in a regulated or manufacturing industry.

Substitution: A post-graduate education in finance, accounting, economics or relevant field may be substituted on a year for year basis for up to two years of the required experience.

Must possess a valid state of Alaska Driver's License by the time of hire.

Apply online at www.muni.org/jol or 632 W. 6th Avenue, Suite 605, Anchorage, Alaska 99501


 

Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC) has an immediate opening for an Operations Manager. Responsible for supervising and coordinating the operations of remote electric generation, substations, transmission, and distribution facilities for rural communities in Southeast Alaska. A Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering with emphasis in electrical/electronic and mechanical systems. Minimum 10 years of experience in electric utility operations and a minimum of four years of experience in electric utility power production, maintenance, and/or substation operation and maintenance.  Working experience with overhead and underground transmission, distribution, construction, and maintenance. This is a salaried position with excellent benefits. Starting salary is commensurate with education and experience. Interested applicants should submit a completed application and resume to IPEC, PO Box 210149, Auke Bay, AK 99821. Applications can be obtained at 12480 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK or by calling (907) 789-3196 ext. 35. This position is open until filled. IPEC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


 

Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative is recruiting for a General Manager. The General Manager is responsible for the safe, efficient, and reliable operation of MKEC's electrical power generation and distribution systems and bulk fuel tank farms in Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Red Devil, Sleetmute and Stony River. For more information, call (907) 524-3361 or email ernie@raventechservices.com

 

 
Meetings & events calendar
 

Meetings and events

APA Managers' Fly-in 

Jan. 28-29, 2015, Juneau, AK
 

APA Legislative Conference

Feb. 10-11, 2015, Juneau AK

Industry Events and Training:

Alaska Wind-Diesel Conference  
 
Mar. 5-6, 2015  Anchorage, APU

 

Administrative Professional Series - Level 3 

March 17-20, 2015 Anchorage, AK

 

NWPPA 75th Annual Conference & Membership 

 

May 17-21, 2015 Anchorage, AK
(Open for registrations in late January)

Enterprise Risk Management - Part 1 

Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2015 Anchorage, AK

Frontline Leadership #2 - Leadership Challenges 

Sept. 29-30, 2015 Anchorage, AK

Lineman Skills Training 

October 26-27, 2015 Anchorage, AK

Grounding and Power Quality 

October 26, 2016 Anchorage, AK

 

Power Factor & Harmonic Analysis and Power Quality
 

October 27, 2015 Anchorage, AK


 

NWPPA/APA Alaska Electric Utility Conference
 

October 26-29, 2015 Anchorage, AK

 
 
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