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Alaska Power Association Newsletter: November 2015


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Alaska Power Association
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.
November 2015
 Dear APA/AIE Members and Friends,
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share with you how much we appreciate your volunteer involvement in your trade association and your financial support of our mission with your membership dues. 
The State of Alaska's budget crisis, coupled with lower than average kilowatt-hour sales for several APA member utilities, is top of mind at your trade association.  My staff and I maintain an unwavering focus of being good stewards of your investment in us.  
I will save the end-of-the-year wrap up for the next newsletter, but I can say that we accomplished a lot in the past 12 months with your collective support.  I am thankful for all members of the APA family who work hard every day to ensure that all Alaskans have access to safe, reliable, and affordable electric power.  
We are proud to support your work with our programs and services.  I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
As always, keep in touch!
Crystal Enkvist, APR
APA Executive Director
ARECA Insurance Management Inc., Executive Vice President
APA Comments on Proposed EPA Regulation on Rural Definition in Alaska

Alaska Power Association recently submitted comments to the EPA supporting a proposed rule that would broaden the rural definition in the state of Alaska.


Through a series of federal air quality regulation changes over the past decade, limits for diesel power generation use have become stricter.  First, the regulations changed for newer diesel engines under Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine New Source Performance Standards (RICE NSPS) Quad-I, and then later the regulations changed for older, existing engines under National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE NESHAP) Quad-Z. 


Both sets of regulations give relief to diesel engines located in rural areas of Alaska; however, each rule currently uses a different definition for what would be considered a rural area of Alaska.  The definition of rural Alaska used for older engines is broader than the definition used for newer engines.  That inconsistency of "rural area of Alaska" definition creates confusion and difficulties.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Energy Authority and Alaska Power Association realized that this was a problem and asked EPA to fix it by using the more broad definition of rural Alaska for both sets of regulations.  EPA issued a proposed rule to fix this definition problem. 

Cordova Electric Cooperative: Keeping the Lights on with Hydro Power
Water flows over the Power Creek Hydroelectric Project
Alaska Power Association recently made a visit to Cordova for a two-part purpose. First, we were on the ground in the beautiful Prince William Sound community to conduct a site visit for APA's 2016 Annual Meeting (taking place September 21-23, 2016). Second, we were there to meet with Cordova Electric Cooperative's (CEC) Board of Directors and staff.
By traveling to the communities our members serve, we get to see their operations and way of life, which informs our messaging to state and federal decision makers. There's no better experience than being there, and the knowledge we gain from our visits helps APA to accurately communicate the priorities and challenges of our members.
The Power Creek dam is partially deflated to allow the water to scour gravel from the creek bed.
While we were in Cordova, CEC General Manager Clay Koplin treated us to a tour of the Power Creek Hydroelectric Project. Power Creek Hydro is a run-of-river diversion dam made of a concrete sill and 48-foot-wide inflatable dam. The black, rubber inflatable can be controlled from CEC's headquarters, and is inflated and deflated to control the level of flow in the creek.
Koplin had his operators show the full capabilities of the dam by having them deflate the bladder while we were standing near the creek. This allowed the water to scour gravel out of the creek bed before the bladder was inflated again. The innovation behind this minimally invasive hydro project is very impressive, and the members of CEC are being supplied with power from a renewable resource.
The docks at Cordova show off the beauty of this area of Alaska.
A special thanks to Koplin for showing us behind the scenes of CEC, and for the CEC Board of Directors and staff for their hospitality.
Wildlife abounds around Cordova. This bald eagle surveyed the scene as we returned from our Power Creek trip.
Welcome new APA Supporting Member - Denali Daniels and Associates

Alaska Power Association is pleased to welcome, as a Supporting Member, a company whose name will be familiar to many of our members.
Denali Daniels and Associates (DDA) specializes in public involvement, strategic planning and policy development. The company, founded in 2012 by the company's namesake and president, Denali Daniels, got its start by way of a contract with one of APA's oldest members, Matanuska Electric Association (MEA). The Mat-Su Valley co-op hired DDA to assist with transition planning and policy development on Railbelt issues.
Following work for MEA, DDA was hired by the Department of Energy to develop a Ten-Year Renewable Energy Plan for the Arctic.  Today, in addition to energy policy, DDA provides a range of clients with services such as social media and website development, facilitation and public involvement, short- and long-term planning, research, and lobbying.
Daniels has many years of experience working on issues that affect many of APA's members. She served 10 years at the Denali Commission, assisting rural villages with challenging infrastructure issues. She's worked on energy projects, including bulk fuel facilities, rural power upgrades and village scale integrated renewable systems. She's also worked on issues that many APA members support: the Renewable Energy Fund, the Emerging Energy Technology Fund and DOE's Strategic Technical Assistance Response Program (START)program.
Daniels is supported by three staff members at DDA: Holly Spoth-Torres, the chief operating officer; Chelsea Ward-Waller, project manager; and Drew Cason, project manager.
Daniels said she joined APA because DDA recognizes the Association as a leader in driving key policy decisions for rural and Railbelt utilities and their members. Many APA members have worked with her over the years, and becoming a Supporting Member of APA is a great way to continue relationships with leaders working on Alaska energy issues.
Regulatory Commission of Alaska Annual Report Now Available 

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska's Fiscal Year 2015 report is available on the RCA's website. The report covers a host of topics, ranging from Power Cost Equalization to tariff filings by utility sector. To read the RCA's annual report, click here.  
Lower-48 Electric Co-ops take par in GridEx III 

A two-day exercise in the Lower 48 to evaluate potential threats to the electric grid saw 350 organizations participating.
The exercise simulated physical and cyberattacks on the nation's power system, along with destruction of communication systems and damage from explosive devices and shootings. In a statement, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) said the exercise was designed to "enhance coordination of cyber and physical security resources and practices within the industry, as well as communication with government partners and other stakeholders, including those in Canada and Mexico." The statement continued, "The biennial exercise gives participants the opportunity to self-asses their emergency response and recovery plans through a simulated exercise that takes place across North America."
The scenario was designed to stress the system through a series of coordinated cyber and physical attacks against automated systems and key transmission and generation facilities. These simulated attacks allow utilities to enact their crisis response and recovery plans and walk through internal security procedures, according to NERC.
Like us on Facebook


Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook so you can keep up with what's happening at APA, utility news and other items of general interest. Visit www.facebook.com/alaskapower.


Employment Opportunities    
Matanuska Electric Association is seeking a Senior Help Desk Support Specialist
The position of Senior Help Desk Support Specialist is responsible for coordination and provision of technical support and training for MEA's hardware systems and software applications.
Qualified candidates are required to have an Associate's Degree in Information Systems, Computer Science, or equivalent. A minimum of five years' work experience in the use, maintenance, and support of computing hardware and business software applications, with a background in customer service is required.
 Preference will be given for specific training or experience in supporting iOS devices and other smart phones, tablets, and similar devices.
 Experience using Tract-It or similar Help Desk management software is a plus.
 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.
The application period for this position is open until filled.
For more information about this and other positions at MEA, visit MEA's career page by clicking here.
This position will perform a variety of tasks necessary to clear and maintain right-of-ways by removal of brush and trees located within or outside MEA right-of-ways.  
This is a position under the direct supervision of the Manager of Power Production. The incumbent is to install, operate and maintain electrical generators, motors, pumps, appliances, switch gear, electronic controls and communications, circuits, wiring, and associated auxiliary equipment in hydro and diesel power houses in such condition that an adequate and reliable supply of electrical energy is assured.
Journeyman Plant Electrician
Bargaining Unit position
Salary Range - $60,000 - $80,000 DOE
Work days - M-F  8:00-5:00
More information and a complete job description is located on the CEC webpage at www.cordovaelectric.com
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.
In addition to the knowledge and understanding of engineering and operations principles 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.
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.
Management position - exempt
Salary Range - $95,000 - $105,000 annually DOE
Work days - M-F 8:00-5:00
More information and complete job description is located on the CEC webpage at www.cordovaelectric.com
This position is open until filled.
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 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/AIE December Meeting Series

December 2-3, 2015, Millennium Hotel, AK


APA State Legislative Conference

February 24-25, 2016, Juneau, Alaska 

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