Power Lines Blog

Homegrown Makes a Difference

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It’s not uncommon on restaurant menus today to see where the ingredients in your meal are coming from: beets dug from a family farm in Virginia, pork pastured on a green field in South Carolina, blueberries from wild bushes in Maine. That menu might even tell you how many miles your food traveled to your plate, and the growing trend seems to be the closer the better. “Buy Local” is the buzz phrase — and those who do are called “locavores.” Maybe buying local should also be considered when it comes to power.

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Public Power and the Strength of the Pack

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Joint action agencies provide a great variety of services to their member distribution utilities — from “bread and butter” power supply and wholesale transmission services to value-added services like energy efficiency programs and rate studies. The analogy of the pack is very applicable to the joint action model, and indeed, to public power as a whole. Let’s not forget that we are stronger when we work together.

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Public Power in the Capital of the Public Power State

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I was back in Nebraska — the only state in the Union that is all public power and cooperative electric utilities. I spoke about the impact of the Clean Power Plan. "...policymakers and regulators back inside the D.C. Beltway just assume that these changes can magically happen, and often do not consider the very practical operational issues that can arise." I also got to hear about the joint training program with the local community college to train generation plant operators.

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From Key West to Monument Valley

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The last two weeks have been a blur of events and airports. I have been to meetings in Key West, FL, Denver, CO, Omaha, NE, Bloomington, MN, Austin, TX and Monument Valley, AZ, and traversed the airports in Miami, Chicago (O’Hare!), Charlotte, and Dallas/Fort Worth en route. We were in the last two weeks of the APPA staff movement challenge, and many of my steps came trotting from plane to plane.

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Blowing the Cobwebs Out in Branson

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While it still feels like summer, public power’s fall season of conferences and meetings is already in full swing. APPA held its Business and Financial Conference in New Orleans on September 13-16. The “B&F” is our annual gathering of accounting, finance, IT and HR professionals from public power systems around the country. We had around 450 attendees this year, and they were an active and engaged bunch.

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In the White Mountains of New Hampshire

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Last week I attended the 2015 Annual Conference of the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA), which represents the interests of New England’s public power and rural electric cooperative utilities on legislative and regulatory issues and offers training for its members. Because this year marks NEPPA’s 50th Anniversary, they went the extra mile (literally and figuratively!), and held the meeting at the Mount Washington Resort in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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