Power Lines Blog

Capacity Markets Don’t Perform, Data Fails to Inform

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Mandatory electricity capacity “markets” operated by Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Midwest have cost electricity consumers more than $100 billion in less than ten years. These are NOT free markets; electric utilities and other load-serving entities in these regions must participate.

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Preparing Students for Our Nation’s Changing Energy Portfolio

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While many programs within the SunShot Initiative drive innovations in solar technologies, one program prepares the next generation of utility professionals to make solar energy work together with the rest of the power grid. The utility sector is going through a rapid transformation as more renewables come online and more Americans choose to go solar. Adding large quantities of distributed energy onto the grid requires the workforce to acquire new knowledge and skills, which SunShot is enabling.

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Watch Out — New OSHA Rule on Injury and Illness Reporting

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On May 12, OSHA released its final rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. This final rule becomes effective on August 10, 2016 — so start preparing now. Utilities may need to make changes to long-standing practices around post-accident drug testing and safety incentives. Only discipline employees when they break a “legitimate” workplace safety or health rule.

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APPA stands ready to help members meet key challenges, says Sue Kelly

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The power of community is vital to address the challenges keeping public power leaders up at night, and the American Public Power Association is working to help its members meet those challenges, said Sue Kelly, President and CEO of APPA, in her annual “state of the public power industry” address at the 2016 APPA National Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Smart ways to protect critical utility infrastructure

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Utilities have deployed physical access control systems, electronic access control systems, cameras, security locks, fences, and other means to comply with CIP Standards 006-3c and 006-5. Some utilities have successfully replaced mechanical master key systems with an intelligent key system. Such a system provides controlled access, electronic scheduling, and audit accountability. Intelligent keys can provide immediate visual analytics to identify problem areas.

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Push Beyond Your Limits

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The most powerful weapon you have in your arsenal to take on change is you. And your innate ability to get out of your comfort zone, to push beyond your limits. It’s not easy but it’s the only way to realize your potential for lifelong growth and transformation. What does it take to get outside your comfort zone? Stress, openness to experience, and asking yourself the right questions.

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Keeping Up With New Energy Technologies: The DEED Advantage

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Sue Kelly, president and CEO of the American Public Power Association recently kicked off the 36th Annual Utility Energy Forum with a keynote presentation that engaged the audience in thinking about how utilities will meet increased customer expectations in a time of transformation. Her presentation fit perfectly with the theme of the conference, “The Transformed Utility: Connecting for Success” and resonated with the audience.

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Public power takes full advantage of its seat at the federal policymaking table

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Meetings held by the U.S. Department of Energy across the country in April and May gave the public power community a unique opportunity to weigh in on a number of key energy policy matters of importance to public power. More than 10 public power executives took full advantage of that opportunity to, among other things, detail how public power is proactively working to address the growth of distributed energy resources and rapidly changing customer expectations in a digital age.

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Strategic Planning For the Community, By the Community

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When was the last time your customers stopped by to do a little painting or change the oil? Instead of asking our customers for some elbow grease, we asked them to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a strategic plan for the District’s next five years and beyond. No one wants to go to another meeting. But we had to change that kind of thinking and let our customers see how a strategic plan actually has an impact on their lives.

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