June 13, 2023
Good afternoon. I apologize for the late report however, last week I was attending the Alaska Power Association Federal Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. It was an excellent conference that showcased several funding opportunities for rural electric cooperatives.
I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of summer in Alaska. It is that time of year where we all try to find a balance between work and pursuing our favorite outdoor activities. If your favorite activity is on or around water, please wear a life jacket!
The following are brief updates on HEA’s current business activities and strategic goals that have taken place over the last month. As always, a more detailed report will be given on the day of the meeting.
Unfortunately, we did have two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incidents in May. The full safety report is included in this month’s Board packet.
As anticipated, the continuation of a cold spring generated operating revenues in April of just over $9M. With operation and maintenance expenses lagging behind budgeted expectations by about 3%, the total cost of service for May came in at $8.6M resulting in total net margins of $450,000. Total year to date margins total $2,766,373.
2022 Capital Credit Allocations were completed during the month of May. Active members will receive messaging on their June bills and inactive members will receive a notification letter by July 15th. A total of $2,227,357 was allocated to 36,253 members.
Preparations are underway for the 2023 retirement of Capital Credits which will result in active members receiving credit on their July bills and inactive members or active members with retirements greater than $1,000 receiving checks on July 15th.
The Simplified Rate Filing for Test Year Ending March 31, 2023 was submitted to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) on May 30, 2023. The filing indicated a time interest earned rating (TIER) for the 12 months ending March 31, 2023 of 1.145 and was an informational filing only…indicating no rate change.
Generation – Nikiski combined cycle was offline for most of the month. We were able to complete a test of the overspeed system for the steam turbine that was required by our insurance carrier. Additionally, we experienced issues with the generator breaker and the GE control system while working to bring the unit back online.
Bradley Lake implemented a new shift change day on Wednesdays, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Bradley Lake staff were busy with multiple meetings including meetings for budget preparation, outage coordination, overview of generation contract changes, steam turbine generator control system conversion, grievance review, outage pay review, roof replacement of the water treatment building at Nikiski, and wage compression issues.
Distribution – Several switching orders across the distribution assets were completed this month. Impromptu switching was conducted on the BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) to replace communication cables for two megapacks on May 30, 2023 with no issues as well as switching was conducted in the Nikiski substation to perform maintenance on all 115 kV switches from May 8-12. In addition, Dispatch is coordinating switch training with CEA in the next couple of weeks.
The BESS work timeframe has been approved and scheduled to occur on the week of July 10. Bernice Lake Plant work is scheduled for the week of June 5. The substation crew intends to test all breakers and transformers and work on all gang operated air-break switches.
MEMBER | CUSTOMER SERVICE
Engineering Services – New Service Applications
The chart plots new service applications, for member jobs only, since 2017. There were 62 new service applications in May which is above the average of 53 for this month over the last 6 years. Applications for new service continue to be 15-20% below the cumulative number of applications submitted by members over the previous two years.
Member Services – As we continue to Resolution 45.2023.20 providing for the destruction of HEA’s 2023 Election Ballots is provided for your review and consideration. Member Services is submitting an out of budget request in the amount of $11,775 for additional printing costs pertaining to the 2023 Election for printing a hard copy of the proposed bylaw revisions in different colors for clarity. Don’t forget to review HEA’s 2022 Annual Report online at https://www.heaannualreport.com.
Member Services is working with other departments to improve customer experience for all HEA generated bills. Member Services recently commenced its summer collection and booting activities. Lastly, review of Board Policy 305, Receipt & Consideration of Offers to Purchase the Cooperative are up for review at this month’s Board meeting. Board Policy 305 was established to provide guidance for the Board of Directors and procedures for the General Manager in the event of an offer to purchase the Cooperative.
Cyber Security & Information Technologies
Our FBI office in Anchorage, a 6-man team, now leads the nation in cyber protection of denial-of-service attacks and recently removed a large gang of international threat actors in conjunction with Interpol who were attacking critical infrastructure and government agencies in Alaska. One of the tools these actors used was vulnerable home wireless routers. As a reminder, updates are important! Work with your Internet provider or IT specialist and help the FBI by updating the firmware on your home wireless routers to protect Alaskans from future attacks!
BUSINESS & COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Board & Annual Meeting – Last month, I had the opportunity to attend and take part in a panel on Hot Topics and Insights at NWPPA’s Board & Annual Meeting in Anchorage. The well-attended event included multiple speakers from across the industry discussing several applicable and timely subjects. Although the presentations provided useful information, the best value was interacting with our peers and learning the latest ideas they are trying at their utilities.
Alaska State Legislative Update – The Alaska legislature ended its regular session on Wednesday, May 17, then met for one-day of a 30-day special session before coming to an agreement on the FY24 budget. Any bills that did not pass during the regular session will have to wait until the next regular session, which begins in January of 2024, before they can advance. The governor can also call a special session and add bills or other topics to the call.
Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference – HEA staff and board members attended the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage last month. Staff worked in the HEA booth, presented on a Railbelt panel, and networked with many of our colleagues and vendors from across the state. Both of HEA’s electric vehicles were displayed in the vendor hall.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING APPROVALS | June 13, 2023
- Regular HEA Board Meeting
- Regular Meeting Minutes of May 9, 2023
- Resolution 45.2023.11, Appointment of Alaska Power Association (APA) Government Affairs Committee Representatives – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.12, Appointment of Alaska Power Association (APA) ACRE/CARE Representatives – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.13, Appointment of Alaska Power Association (APA) Railbelt Issues Forum Representatives – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.14, Appointment of Alaska Power Association (APA) Ad Hoc Scholarship Representatives – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.15, Appointment of ARECA Educational Foundation, Inc. (AEF) Representatives – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.16, Appointment of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Voting Delegates – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.17, Appointment of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) Voting Delegates – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.18, Appointment of Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Voting Delegates – 1 Year Term
- Resolution 45.2023.19, Appointment of Alaska Electric & Energy Cooperative, Inc. (AEEC) Voting Delegate
- Resolution 45.2023.20, Destruction of Election Ballots
- HEA Board Committee Assignments
- Board Policy 305, Receipt & Consideration of Offers to Purchase the Cooperative – Annual review completed, and housekeeping revisions approved.
AEEC Annual Meeting of the Member
- Annual Meeting Minutes of June 14, 2022
Regular AEEC Board Meeting
- Regular Meeting Minutes of May 9, 2023
- AEEC Board Officers:
- Wayne Ogle, President
- Robert Wall, Vice President
- Jim Duffield, Secretary/Treasurer
- Jim Levine, Deputy Secretary
- Resolution 01.2023.02, Bank & Facsimile Signatures
- Resolution 01.2023.03, Appointment of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) Voting Delegates
- Resolution 01.2023.04, Appointment of National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Voting Delegates