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Alaska Power Association Newsletter, October/November 2015


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Dear APA/AIE Members and Friends,

 
With Anchorage's first significant snowfall of the season finally on the ground, it's a good time to remember our winter safety protocols. We always have the safety of our members on our mind at Alaska Power Association, and that's why we are planning to reenergize APA's Safety Committee in the first quarter of 2016.
 
As many of you know, this past August I hired Mel "Hutch" Hutchison as ARECA Insurance Exchange's new Director of Loss Control. Hutch brings 35 years of electric utility experience, and he will be heading up the effort to get the Safety Committee up and running again. Keep an eye out for more information on this early next year.
 
The Alaska Legislature is in special session right now working on gas line matters. At the same time, APA is refining our legislative positions and strategy for next year. We all know the State of Alaska is in trying financial times right now, but APA will continue to work on behalf of our members and the consumers they serve. Our membership provides an essential service for life and commerce in this state and, through APA, our industry has a strong voice with decision makers in Juneau and Washington, D.C.
 
We're looking forward to once again working with the Alaska Legislature to continue assisting our members in accomplishing their goals of delivering electric energy and other services at the best value to their customers.  

  As always, keep in touch!

 

 
Crystal Enkvist, APR
APA Executive Director
ARECA Insurance Management Inc., Executive Vice President
 
 
 

 

  
Alaska Legislature in Special Session
 
 
The Alaska legislature began its third special session of the 29th Alaska Legislature October 24 in Juneau.
 
Gov. Bill Walker (I) called the special session on September 24 under his authority granted by Article II, Section 2 and Article III, Section 17 of the Alaska Constitution. In his official proclamation, the governor said the special session will deal with a gas reserves tax and an act that would exercise the state's option to acquire TransCanada's interest in the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project.
 
Before the special session began, however, the governor pulled the gas reserves tax from the agenda after receiving letters from BP and ConocoPhillips promising their share of North Slope natural gas to a future gas pipe line project.
 
On October 3, the Senate passed the legislation to buyout TransCanada's stake in the gasline project. As of this writing, the bill is in the House of Representatives' Finance Committee.  
 
A special session is limited by the Constitution to 30 days.

 

Federal Energy Bills Await Action in Congress
 

 
Two bills moving through the process in Congress - one in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate - stand poised to update federal energy policy. Both bills are now waiting for hearings on the floor of the house in which they originated.
 
In the Senate, S. 2012, better known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act, passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in late July. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, contains five titles - efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, and conservation. Alaska Power Association participated in a listening session earlier this year with staff from Murkowski's and Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-WA). The goal of the listening session was to collect input from those who deal with energy issues daily and who have on-the-ground experience to strengthen the bill.
 
As of this writing, the Energy Policy Modernization Act is waiting for its day on the Senate floor. It's unclear at this time when the bill will be brought up for a vote.
 
In the U.S. House of Representatives, the vehicle for energy policy reform is H.R. 8, known as the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Like its Senate counterpart, the bill contains many provisions over several hundred pages, but there are a few that stick out for electric cooperatives.
 
For instance, the bill contains language protecting electric co-ops that voluntarily comply with U.S. Department of Energy emergency orders from fines or lawsuits for violating emissions limits.
 
The House bill was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 30, and it is now awaiting a full hearing on the House of Representatives floor. There is more optimism on the House side that its energy bill might be passed by the end of the year.
 
Those following the legislation in Washington, D.C. say that the House bill is expected to be taken up by the full House before the end of the year.

 

NRECA Director Training offered by APA in December

 
 Director Training during the 2015 APA Annual Meeting in Ketchikan.
 
 
Alaska Power Association is offering NRECA Director Training on Tuesday, December 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the APA conference room.
 
The training, entitled Communicating the New Energy Landscape, will focus on the top distributed energy resources technologies, policy issues and questions that co-ops must be prepared to discuss with their members.
 
The course fee is $750 and a minimum of eight people are required for the course to take place. For convenience, the course is scheduled the day before APA's annual December Meeting Series.
 
For more information, contact APA Executive Coordinator Toni Mancini at 907-771-5712 or tmancini@alaskapower.org.

 

New CEO take the Helm at Nushagak Cooperative 

 
 Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative CEO and General Manager Nancy Favors.
 
 
The new CEO of Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative (NETC) in Dillingham is someone very familiar to the cooperative's employees and members of Alaska Power Association. Nancy Favors, who has worked at NETC since 2005, was hired as CEO and General Manager by the Nushagak Board of Directors at the end of the summer. She takes over for outgoing CEO - and longtime NETC employee - Mike Megli, who retired.
 
Nancy began at Nushagak as the customer service manager, then, when the co-op's senior accountant retired, she inherited all those job duties as well. Her job titled changed with that assumption of duties, and Nancy became the Business Office Manager.
In a phone conversation last week, Nancy said she was looking forward to working with her colleagues in her new capacity.
 
"We're a small company and we're just crazy busy and everyone works well together," she said. "It's kind of like a family environment."
 
Nancy said she jumped right in to ongoing projects and challenges in the CEO position, such as overseeing the completion of a new substation and dealing with lower kilowatt sales due to warmer winters. The responsibilities of running the co-op can make for long, but seemingly fast days, Nancy said.
 
"Sometimes I get in here at eight and I look at the clock and its 12, and I'm like 'am I going to go to lunch today or not,'" she said. "Then the next thing you know it's five."
 
Regardless of the time she spends in the office, the small-town way of life found in Dillingham suits Nancy and her husband Michael Favors, Nushagak's Telecom Operations Manager, well. The pair moved to Dillingham from Palmer after finding the Mat-Su Valley town had grown too large for their liking.
 
Although her days are spent making sure members of Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative receive reliable and affordable power, Nancy said the hard work of the day is offset by being able to sit on her front porch and watch as the Alaska wilderness spreads out around her, quietly. 
 
 
 

 

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Employment Opportunities    
 
The purpose of the Floating Customer Service Representative position is to provide exemplary customer service to the Association's members by balancing the concerns of the members and the needs of the Association when determining resolutions in a timely manner. Reporting location will vary as dictated by the needs of the department.
Qualified candidates are required to have a high school diploma, or equivalent. Work experience should include two years of work in general office administration, as well as six months of data entry experience.
 Preference will be given to those candidates with continuing education credits in Business Administration, Basic Accounting, and Data Processing, or related courses.
 Preference will also be given to those candidates with one year of experience handling money.
 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 will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
For more information about this and other positions at MEA, visit MEA's career page by clicking here.
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
EOE
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
EOE
This position is open until filled.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Administrator would be responsible for performing duties related to SCADA, Automatic Generation Control (AGC), Transaction Management System (TMS), Distributed Control System (DCS), Inter Control-center Communications Protocol (ICCP), Inadvertent Accounting (IA), & Planner to directly assist MEA Dispatchers under the direction of the SCADA and Controls Engineer.
Qualified candidates for this position are required to have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree and five plus (5+) years of SCADA experience in electric utilities data communication centers which has involved collecting user requirements, system design, system execution/implementation and final acceptance, startup and formal commissioning.
 Extensive electric utility system installation and troubleshooting experience is a plus.
 Additional related experience in the electric utility electrical systems may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year for year basis.
 Preference will be given to those candidates whose prior experience evidences responsible engineering experience in electrical generation, substation, transmission and/or distribution facilities or related areas.
 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.
The application period for this position is open until the job is filled.
For more information about this and other MEA positions, visit MEA's careers 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 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 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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