Power Lines Blog

Southern Swing

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Jim Matheson of NRECA and I discussed changes coming to electric utilities at a Tennessee Valley Authority forum. We also learned there about the customer research and distribution system modeling tools available to TVA local power companies from E Source and EPRI. After speaking at CEWD’s Summit back in Crystal City, where we learned about CEWD’s efforts to help utilities develop a diverse workforce, I traveled on to Georgia, to hear about MEAG Power’s nuclear initiatives in Georgia and meet with mayors and council members from public power communities.

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From Cyber Threats to Country Music in One Week

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Our Policymakers Council arrived in DC for more than 100 visits with legislators. As elected and appointed public officials, our policymakers are a vital part of APPA’s grassroots efforts. The DOE has awarded APPA and NRECA up to $15 million to help their utility members improve grid security. And I flew to Nashville to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration and annual meeting of the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association.

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Raising Nebraska

Raising Nebraska

Nebraska is one of the states to which EPA assigned a very stringent CO2 emissions target in the final Clean Power Plan. Utilities and regulators in the state are wrestling with how to comply while maintaining reasonable rates and reliable service. Nebraska has long been a coal-dependent state, which makes sense, given its proximity to western coal deposits. However, it also has a good wind resource.

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Visiting the Land of Zion: Working Together in Public Power

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UMPA is another example of the strength that public power gains from working together to accomplish things that would be very hard for individual member utilities to do on their own. As our industry gets even more complex, and retail electric customers grow to expect an ever expanding array of services, working together through joint action agencies will be even more important to meet customer needs.

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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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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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