Power Lines Blog

Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Public Power Coast to Coast

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My last two weeks have been spent in planes, trains and automobiles. I have been in upstate New York, Southern California, and New York City. Public power systems across the country should be paying close attention to what is going on in New York and California, to glean lessons learned. We should be incorporating new ways to serve our customers when it makes sense to do so. The hardest task is distinguishing between the fads and the trends.

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Firehouse Chili and Energy Efficiency in Ohio

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This week I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to speak at American Municipal Power’s Annual Conference. AMP is a large joint action agency, serving public power distribution utilities (and a number of joint action agencies) in 7 states. AMP is very forward thinking—they’re developing a diversified portfolio of power supply resources (natural gas, coal, new run-of-the-river hydro, wind and distribution level solar), and running an innovative energy efficiency program.

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Public Power Leaders “Find a Way”: APPA 2014 National Conference Recap

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The American Public Power Association held its 2014 National Conference in Denver from June 13-18. Before it gets too far into the rearview mirror I wanted to say what a great experience it was. We heard expert speakers discuss cybersecurity, the political climate, and the economic outlook.

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From Alex & Gandalf: Wisdom as We Fight Public Power’s Greatest Battles

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Right now we are facing substantial challenges, including threats to the federal power system, wholesale market dysfunction, distributed generation, climate change, and grid security. And as we take these challenges on, we should be guided, as Alex was, by what is right for those we serve. By what will keep the lights on, the rates reasonable, and the environment protected.

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FERC Order 745 Struck Down: Customers’ Reduced Electricity Use is NOT a Wholesale Commodity

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I was frankly appalled by the lack of respect for the limits the Federal Power Act places on FERC’s jurisdiction. If “wholesale demand response” was within FERC’s jurisdiction, then pretty much everything could be, and public power utilities’ local ownership and local control would be fatally undermined.

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