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Alaska Power Association Newsletter: August 2015


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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.
August 2015
 Dear APA/AIE Members and Friends,
Another annual meeting for APA and ARECA Insurance Exchange is in the history books.  I'd like to say another thank you to Trey Acteson, CEO of Southeast Alaska Power Agency, who was our host for last week's meeting. I also appreciate the work of Lisa Maddocks, SEAPA's executive assistant, who went above and beyond to help make the annual meeting a success.
Last week saw a coming together of Alaska's electric utility industry, which is what Alaska Power Association is all about. Our membership from across the state converged in one location to discuss the issues that matter to our industry and ways we can collectively make an impact in the future.
We heard from a diverse panel of legislators, who addressed issues our industry cares about, and discussed other state issues that affect us all.  We heard from national, state and local leaders of hydroelectric development on the energy resource's future in our state and in the nation. We heard from safety professionals and environmental regulators who have important roles in our industry and who can provide insight into what's to come.
Most importantly, we heard from each other.  Our members are the backbone of APA and the annual meeting is the perfect time to catch up with colleagues, meet new people and share ideas that can transform the industry.
  As always, keep in touch!
Crystal Enkvist, APR
APA Executive Director
ARECA Insurance Management Inc., Executive Vice President
2015 APA/AIE Annual Meeting in Pictures
Joe Cook, former Cordova Electric Cooperative Board Chairman, is congratulated by APA Board President Ben Frantz on winning the 2015 APA Mason LaZelle Award.
Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott addresses the crowd during the APA Annual Meeting General Session.With the Lt. Gov. was Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines in British Columbia.
Sheldon Teigland, former Administrative Manger at Barrow Utilities and Electric Cooperative, receives the APA Hatcher-Williams-Turkington Employee Award.
Copper Valley Electric Cooperative CEO John Duhamel accepts the winning photo from the 2016 APA Directory Photo Contest on behalf of Labin Scott, the CVEA employee who took the picture. 
Bernie Smith, retired Utility Engineering Analyst with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, receives the David P. Hutchens Public Service Award.
One of many general sessions, this panel brought legislators from different parts of the state to the annual meeting. From left to right are: Rep. Liz Vazquez, R-Anchorage, Rep. Ben Nageak, D-Barrow, Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, Sara Fisher-Goad, Executive Director of AEA, and Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole.
Thanks to our host utility, Southeast Alaska Power Agency, and the town of Ketchikan for making this year's annual meeting memorable. 
More photos will be available on APA's photo sharing website. Stay tuned for more information as we get all the photos downloaded.
FERC Chairman meets with APA Members During Alaska Visit
Alaska Power Association members got a private audience with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay in Anchorage August 20. APA members representing varied parts of the state heard a FERC update from Chairman Bay before being asked by the chairman to offer comments and suggestions about the agency he chairs.
Chairman Bay told the group that he wants FERC to concentrate on what he called the "basics" - infrastructure, markets and reliability. Suggestions included creating an online database that shows applicants the status of their licenses, looking into the billing procedures (examples were provided), taking Alaska's unique circumstances into consideration when making determinations, and allowing for the utilization of existing data to the extent that the data is still relevant. 
APA members spoke favorably about the technical competency of the staff of the regional office.  They also noted that providing detailed information, including video clips and photos, during the pre-file meetings was making things go more smoothly during the application process.  There was a good Q&A session, during which attendees asked the Chairman about the potential impacts of Senator Murkowski's energy bill that cleared the SENR committee last month.  Later in the meeting, the Chairman shared data points about the Alaska electric utility sector that FERC staff had prepared for his visit.  It was a productive meeting with a positive tone. 
Taking part in the meeting from APA was: Trey Acteson, CEO of Southeast Alaska Power Agency, Clay Koplin, CEO of Cordova Electric Association, Mike Salzetti, Manager of Fuels Supply and Renewable Development at Homer Electric Association, David Pease, in-house counsel for Matanuska Electric Association, Max Ahgeak, Power System Manger for North Slope Borough Power & Light, Jennifer Richcreek, Regulatory Specialist for Kodiak Electric Association, Mark Johnson, Acting General Manager at Municipal Light and Power, Anna Henderson, Regulatory Affairs Supervisor at Municipal Light and Power, Bettina Chastain, Chugach Electric Association Board member, and Phil Steyer, Director of Government Relations and Corporate Communications at Chugach Electric Association. 
APA Scholarship Sends Soldotna Student to D.C.
Soldotna resident Claire Kincaid visits the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. as part of the NRECA Youth Tour.

APA scholarship sends Soldotna student to DC
The 2015 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour took place this past June in Washington, D.C. This year, Claire Kincaid, a Soldotna resident and recent high school graduate, represented Alaska Power Association and Homer Electric Association at this year's Youth Tour and Youth Leadership Council.
The Youth Tour spent its 51st year in Washington, D.C., this year. The Tour, which was inspired in a speech by President Lyndon Johnson, provides high school students with the chance to learn about the federal government and the cooperative model up-close and hands-on.
During the Youth Tour, students are elected to the Youth Leadership Council. The Council is designed to build leadership in public speaking skills, and to enhance the delegates' knowledge of the energy industry and the cooperative form of business, according to NRECA. Claire served as a delegate to the Leadership Council, and she will also attend NRECA's annual meeting next year in New Orleans. 
Naknek Electric Association Announces New General Manager

Alaska Power Association member Naknek Electric Association has announced the selection of a new general manager.
Dianne King will serve as NEA's new general manager following the retirement of Donna Vukich on March 15, 2016. Dianne has lived in Naknek/King Salmon since she was 13 years old. According to a press release from NEA, Dianne spent twenty-three years working for PenAir, eventually rising to the position of King Salmon Station Manager for the past thirteen years.  She has served on the Bristol Bay Borough School District Board and owns King Guide Service with her husband, Jay.  King will begin work at NEA October 1, 2015, to help ensure a smooth transition to her assuming the General Manager's job.
Federal Energy Bill Update
There are two energy bills currently working their way through Congress. In the House of Representatives, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power unanimously approved a draft of that chamber's energy package. There were no amendments to the bill in the subcommittee, and it now awaits a hearing in the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is expected sometime after Congress reconvenes following its August recess.
The House bill includes protection for co-ops from liability for any fines or lawsuits that arise from operative under an energy order, according to a review by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
In the U.S. Senate, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is chaired by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, voted the Energy Policy Modernization Act from Committee on July 30 by an 18-4 vote. The committee spent three days marking up the bill before moving it on. The bill is now awaiting action before the full Senate.
The Senate bill improves electric co-ops' access to rights of way on federal land and protects preference power customers. The bill directs FERC to perform "Reliability Impact Statements" for new federal regulatory proposals, according to NRECA.
Alaska Power Association is tracking these bills as they move through the process. If you have any questions, contact APA Executive Director Crystal Enkvist at 907-771-5703 or cenkvist@alaskapower.org, or APA Director of Member and Public Relations Michael Rovito at 907-771-5711 or mrovito@alaskapower.org.
Matanuska Electric Association gives back to Community
Exemplifying the seventh cooperative principal, "Concern for Community," Matanuska Electric Association recently donated four grants totaling $25,000 to local non-profits, according to a press release from the Palmer-based electric cooperative.
MEA's Operation Roundup program works by rounding up to the nearest dollar the bills of participating member-owners. During MEA's second quarter review on July 23, the co-op gave grants in the following amounts:
  • Access Alaska- $10,000: Assistance for individuals in need in the Mat-Su.
  • Valley Residential Services- $2,500: Digital document storage equipment to increase workforce efficiency and secure confidential records.
  • Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. - $10,000: Make the senior center more accessible by installing a double door and handicap push button.
  • Wasilla Youth Soccer Association, Inc. - $2,500: Increase recreational opportunities and relieve congestion with field #2 installation and parking improvements at Bumpus Recreational Area.
Since MEA started its Roundup program in 2011, $564,337.17 has been donated to local non-profits, according to the co-op.
ARECA Insurance Exchange Hires Loss Control Director
Mel (Hutch) Hutchison, ARECA Insurance Exchanges' new Director of Loss Control.
A 35-year veteran of the electric utility industry has joined ARECA Insurance Exchange (AIE) as the insurance company's new Director of Loss Control.
Mel "Hutch" Hutchison took the helm of the Loss Control Department on August 17, adding another long-time Alaskan to the all Alaskan staff of AIE.
Originally from Reno, Nevada, Hutchison began his career in the electric industry as a high voltage lineman in the United States Air Force from 1980 to 2000.  Following his retirement from the military, Hutchison took his skills to Chugach Electric Association, the state's largest electric cooperative. While at Chugach, Hutchison worked as a safety specialist, manager of revenue metering, manager of maintenance and operations, and manager of safety and industrial hygiene.
Hutchison most recently worked for Homer Electric Association as the systems operations supervisor.  He also has numerous industry-related certifications that will assist him with his work at AIE.
The Director of Loss Control is responsible for developing and implementing an effective loss control program to meet the needs of the ARECA Insurance Exchange (AIE) insureds.  This comprises conducting loss assessments and preparing written recommendations for insureds, providing training to employees of insured systems, delivering risk management services to AIE members, and assisting member insureds with the development and implementation of safety programs.
ARECA Insurance Exchange provides affordable insurance to Alaska utilities while building member equity and providing quality customer service to Exchange subscribers. 
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Employment Opportunities    
This is a Department Manager position under the supervision of the Chief Executive Officer. The incumbent supervises the Engineering and Operations Department. The incumbent is directly responsible and accountable for the direction and management of the Engineering and Operations Department, which includes supervision, planning, and certification of work order inspections, and for the proper construction, maintenance, and operation of electrical transmission and distribution, including all electrical stations and substations of the Cooperative.
Qualified candidates are required to have a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Technology, Construction Management, or a minimum of four years' work related experience in the electric utility industry. Preference will be given to those candidates with supervisory and management experience, or registration as a Professional Engineer.
The candidate must have a thorough understanding of engineering principles, concepts, and practices, the National Electrical Safety Code, the National Electrical Code, RUS List of Materials, RUS construction specifications, and other appropriate codes, statutes, and utility tariffs; must have knowledge of supervisory functions; and should become thoroughly familiar with system geography.
The candidate must also be skilled in the areas of organizing, planning, and directing the operation and supervision of the Engineering & Operations Department and must be capable of meeting Cooperative goals through the implementation of work plans.
The application period for this position will close on September 11, 2015. For more information, visit the CEC career website by clicking here.
The Public Relations Assistant primary work functions are to provide direct administrative support to the Public Relations Manager. However, many of the duties are within the scope of a traditional public relations position, so this position does require some experience in public relations or writing.
The successful candidate will receive hands-on experience in a public relations role, making it a good fit for recent graduates. There is also the potential for considerable PR exposure and growth opportunities.
Julie Harris
ML&P Public Relations Manager
This position is responsible for providing leadership to the operating plant personnel to ensure that plant efficiency, productivity, and safety standards are met.
  • The following are requirements for qualified candidates:
    Possess a Bachelor of Science degree in a related field, with a preference for a degree in one of the engineering disciplines, to include marine engineering.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years relevant experience in direct operation and/or maintenance of utility power plants supervising power plant personnel with three (3) or more years of experience in maintaining reciprocating combustion ignition engines.
  • Experience in power generation voltage and frequency controls, economic dispatch and controlling VAR and load flow.
  • A valid Alaska driver's license and a driving record, which is acceptable and insurable by MEA's insurance carrier at standard group rates.
This application period for this position will close on August 20, 2015 at 5 p.m. For more information on this position and other positions at MEA, visit MEA's career page by clicking here.
The position of GIS Data Analyst is responsible for ensuring the integrity of Matanuska Electric Association's (MEA) Enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS), as well as performing a wide range of GIS, mapping, and data-related tasks, with a primary focus on data input, quality control, quality assurance, data management, data analysis, process improvement and training.
Qualified candidates are required to have an Associate's degree, or equivalent course work in technical or business courses. A minimum of three year's work experience demonstrating strong attention to detail and progressively responsible experience in reviewing documents and data for accuracy is required.
  • Experience with an electronic utility staking application is preferred.
  • Experience with AutoCAD is preferred.
  • Experience with Esri ArcGIS is desirable.
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop is desirable.
  • Preference will be given to those candidates with experience working in a GIS or engineering-related capacity for an electric utility.
  • Qualified candidates must have a valid Alaska driver's license and a driving record, which is acceptable and insurable by MEA's insurance carrier at standard group rates.
This position is open until filled.
For more information on this and other positions at MEA, visit MEA's career page by clicking here.
This position is responsible for engineering services that are required to improve and maintain the Association's electrical distribution system.
Qualified candidates for this position are required to have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree and ten (10) years of directly related experience in the engineering area. Additional related experience in the electric utility distribution area may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year for year basis. Candidates must possess a State of Alaska, Professional Engineer (PE) license. Preference will be given to those candidates whose prior experience evidences responsible engineering experience in electrical substation, transmission and/or distribution facilities or related areas. Candidates must have a valid Alaska driver's license and a driving record, which is acceptable and insurable by MEA's insurance carrier at standard group rates.
This position is open until filled.
For more information on this and other positions at MEA, visit MEA's career page by clicking here.
The Board of Trustees of Hill County Electric Cooperative (HCE) and Triangle Communications (Triangle) jointly invite applications for the position of General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (GM/CEO) of the two entities. The current GM/CEO will be retiring December, 2015. The Boards have contracted with NRECA's Executive Search to facilitate the search process.
HCE (www.hcelectric.com) is a financially sound, member-owned, electric distribution cooperative providing service over 3,111 miles of line in five north central Montana counties. The Cooperative serves 3,800 meters, including two tribal nations, with 31 percent of its kWh sales to residences/seasonal, 21 percent to commercial/irrigation, and 48 percent to three industrial loads. It has revenue of $13 million and a plant investment of $44 million. HCE receives its wholesale power from Central Montana Electric Power.  It is a member of the Montana Electric Cooperatives, NRECA, CFC, and CoBank. It is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative and an RUS borrower.
Triangle (www.itstriangle.com) is a growing, member-owned telephone cooperative providing telecommunication services including Broadband Internet, local, long distance and mobile telephone service to more than 17,000 subscribers in Central Montana, from Wyoming to the Canadian border. Its customers are benefitting from its aggressive fiber to the home projects. Triangle has revenue of $29 million and a plant investment of $178 million. It is a member of NTCA.
HCE and Triangle employ over 160 individuals with the majority working from Havre, where the Cooperatives share resources, including office and operational facilities.
The successful candidate will be a visionary, a person of integrity and have proven leadership skills. The individual must be a strategic, "out of the box" thinker, possess strong business acumen, and have more than five years' supervisory experience at the senior management level of an electric or telephone utility. Rural electric or telephone cooperative experience is preferred. A demonstrated understanding and respect of the cooperative principles and business model is essential.  The individual will have established strong interpersonal, team-building, and negotiation skills. Knowledge in the areas of legislation, regulation, financial management, electric distribution or telephone operations, strategic planning, tribal relations, safety, and member/public relations is required. The successful candidate will have excellent oral and written communication skills. An appropriate level of higher education with an adequate amount of electric or telephone utility experience may be substituted in lieu of a four-year degree.
The Cooperative provides a comprehensive benefits package and a salary structure commensurate with qualifications and representative of the market. Interested parties should direct their inquiries to NRECA's Executive Search and submit the following electronically: 1) cover letter, 2) two to three page resume, and 3) at least three professional references or letters of recommendation. All applications must be received by August 24, 2015 and submitted to: Tammy Lehman, NRECA Executive Search at executivesearch@nreca.coop. Telephone contact is: 785-764-0296.
The position of Programmer Analyst is a professional and technical specialist with proven proficiency in performing and overseeing a variety of complex analytical and advanced programming assignments that provide for the development, enhancement, support, and maintenance of automated data, voice, or video application programs, application systems and automated control systems software within desktop, mobile, network, and client server environments.
NOTE: This position may be filled at either the Programmer/Analyst or Senior Programmer/Analyst level, depending upon the MEA hiring supervisor's assessment of the overall applicability of the selected candidate's skills and experience.
Qualified candidates for this position are required to have a minimum of an A.S. or A.A. degree in Business Information Systems, Computer Science or a related field and a minimum of two years of full time work as a programmer/analyst.
  • Senior level candidates are required to have a B.S. or B.A. degree in Business Information Systems, Computer Science or a related field and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible computer-related experience, including four years of full time work as a programmer/analyst.
  • Candidates must have a valid Alaska driver's license and a driving record, which is acceptable and insurable by MEA's insurance carrier at standard group rates.
Senior Level Candidates Will Have More of the Following Areas of Experience:
  • Preference will be given to those candidates with extensive programming and support experience working with Accounting, Customer Information and Billing, Utility Operations, Engineering, SCADA, and/or GIS related applications.
  • Experience with SCADA in an electric utility environment is highly desirable.
  • Experience with InStep eDNA, OSISoft Pi, or other consolidated data historians is a plus.
The application period for this position is open until the position is filled.
For more information about this and other job openings at MEA, visit MEA's Career Page by clicking here.
This is a regular, full-time position, with benefits, pay is $44.52/hr.  This position is responsible for performing electrical construction, operation, and maintenance work for the City of Seward requiring a thorough knowledge of commonly accepted utility work practices.
A high school diploma or general education degree (GED), successful completion of an apprenticeship program which is certified by the Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship Training and Journeyman Lineman exam.  Journeyman Lineman Certification.
Successful applicants must undergo a criminal history check and drug testing.  Preference may be given to previous City employees.  The City of Seward is an equal opportunity employer.
An application can be downloaded at the City of Seward website under documents athttp://www.cityofseward.us/ or a direct link is as follows:
Position open until filled. Please send a completed application with resume to:
City of Seward
Attn:  Personnel
P.O. Box 167
Seward, AK  99664
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


AIE Insurance Workshop

October 6-7, 2015, Anchorage, AK


Accounting and Finance Workshop

October 8-9, 2015, Anchorage, AK


APA Communicators' Forum

November 12, 2015, Anchorage, AK


APA/AIE December Meeting Series

December 2-3, 2015, Millennium Hotel, AK

 Industry Events and Training:


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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