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Cordova Electric Cooperative > Minutes  > September 2017
Cordova Electric Cooperative

September 2017

CORDOVA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

September 27, 2017

 

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc. was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman Pegau.  Members present were Cook, Wooden, Little and Cooper.  Director Faulkner participated via teleconference.  Director Blackadar was absent.  Also present were Manager of Administration and Finance Merritt, Manager of Generation and Distribution Newlun, and Executive Assistant/HR Coordinator Bailer (Recorder).  CEO Koplin participated via teleconference.

 

MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION

Nate Cain was present and had no comments.

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

It was moved by Faulkner and seconded by Cooper to approve the agenda as presented.

Voice vote:  Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

SAFETY AWARD PRESENTATION BY MEL HUTCHISON, APA

Mel (Hutch) mentioned NWPPA said this is an award that is really honorable to have and to receive because there are 150 utilities in the northwest and only three cooperatives out of each of the nine categories receive this award.  Hutch mentioned CEC is in the largest category that applications are received.  Hutch said it is with great honor that he is presenting this award on behalf of NWPPA and APA (Alaska Power Association) to CEC.  Hutch presented the plaque to Scott Newlun, Manager of Generation and Distribution, for CEC.  He said CEC is doing a great job and encourages all employees to keep up the good work.  Newlun said this couldn’t happen without the great employees we have and the diligence they pay toward the safety atmosphere here at CEC.

 

Hutch thanked the people that participated in the Alaska Power Association (APA) Annual Meeting, and gave kudos to Barbara Bailer for all she does with their organization, especially with their annual meeting, saying she participated and was a huge help the past few years.  Hutch mentioned the 2018 APA Annual Meeting would be held in August in Fairbanks.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

It was moved by Cooper and seconded by Wooden to approve the consent agenda that includes the following:

  1. Minutes of August 23, 2017 Board Meeting

Voice vote:  Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

MANAGEMENT REPORTS

CEO Written Report

Crater Lake Update:  The Army Corp Permit Application is in progress, as is hydrology work to update our flow data for the project.  We are making measured progress to position ourselves for funding partners at the lowest possible cost.  I received the encouraging news that the Department of Energy chose to fund a portion of our Grid Modernization grant through their waterpower program to create an opportunity for additional funding if pumped storage or hydro storage options on the CEC system look favorable.

 

Interest Rates:  Interest rates have been rising and falling in small increments and are approximately where we fixed them on the short terms, and have dropped slightly on longer terms.  I do not recommend any changes at this time.

 

K&H, LLC Lease Update:  Final signable copies are awaiting signature on my return this week.

 

CEC HQ Building:  As we enter strategic planning review in October, we should determine a fix or sell option and proceed.  I extended the lease on the building for up to three years – interruptible.

 

Electric Energy Storage (EES) Project Update: There may be additional sources of funding from the Energy Storage division of DOE to assist with battery purchase.

 

Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC): We will be working with the Idaho National Lab project lead to execute agreements and qualify for match for our projects in progress, and schedule a briefing to the CEC Board as requested.

 

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations:  The stations have been received, look like quality equipment, and will be staked for October installation.

 

Power Creek Road Washout:  The Power Creek Road continues to wash out (again this week), and the September 15th meeting was not a strong signal from DOT to proceed with permanent repairs; I will be following up on this.

 

Communications:  We continue to have frequent communications failures.  After discussion with other utilities and engineering firms, fiber optics have consistently been the ultimate solution to communications problems, and we are narrowing our efforts to a fiber ring installation to CEC plants, headquarters, and substation.

 

OPERATIONS REPORT

I had a teleconference meeting with Douglas Quist of Stantec and Bill O’Connel of the ADEC regarding the Eyak Service Center spill remediation. Doug will send a quote for sampling and we will then discuss if the case can be closed out.  I attended the APA Annual Meeting in Kodiak. May have found a solution to our Communications issues with the CAT van. Had an opportunity to meet with several people and tour the KEA Wind, Battery and flywheel facilities.  SN

 

ORCA Power Plant

  • Installed an auto flush system for Power Creek on the SCADA system. This has been working well and is becoming a trusted process in the operation.
  • Virtual server and hardware have been installed.
  • Had an outage caused by the simultaneous failure of two of our diesel units.
  • Communications troubleshooting is ongoing.
  • Informed ARECA that we are dropping the claim on unit 4 cylinder because the lock-n-stich solution is performing to our satisfaction since the repair.
  • Regular maintenance and repairs as required.

 

Power Creek Hydro Plant

  • New covers for Sluice gate access and Rotork controls have been fabricated and installed.
  • Working on system to monitor 1 Cubic foot per second, (CFS) of discharge.
  • Located a new leak in the dam and will have to come up with a plan to patch the leak.
  • Regular maintenance, repairs, and storm response.

 

Humpback Creek Hydro Plant

  • Crane and regular maintenance and repairs

 

CEC Fleet Vehicles

  • Regular repairs and recall work

 

Buildings

  •  HQ plumbing and repairs – regular building maintenance

 

Distribution 

  • The Line Crew is continuing to work on the Alleyway upgrade and keeping a good pace.
  • Working with CTC to extend a line at ORCA lodge for new Crater Lake cell tower.
  • Our temp lineman (NECA) will be leaving as of 09/22/2017
  • End of season work order and materials wrap up and storm maintenance

 

CEO Business Travel:  I participated in outreach to Canadian energy industry, tribal, and university leaders September 5-8.  While their electric power generation efficiency, technology, and partnering is lagging ours, they are way out in front of Alaskan communities on space heating with biomass and central heat.  Our current state and federal policies need overhauled to make clean, affordable wood available for community-scale heat.  I followed up with a meeting with Mara Kimmel (who attended the Canadian workshops) and Ethan Berkowitz – Mayor and first lady of Anchorage on Friday September 15.  We discussed energy, marine highway system, and other areas where CEC and Cordova can partner with Anchorage to reduce costs and grow revenues for both.  I attended the Arctic Energy Summit in Helsinki last week, presenting on community scale projects.  Again, I was impressed with the Northern European policies that encourage the use of local wood, wild foods, and other natural resources for commercial and entrepreneurial activities that our current state and federal policies do not presently encourage.  I was able to meet with the US embassies in both Finland and Denmark (while here on vacation time) to promote business relations and technology exchanges between Cordova and those countries where they lead on heating, and we lead on electric energy.

 

I have personal leave scheduled for the last few days of October and first week of November.

 

CEO Verbal Report

Koplin spoke about Crater Lake and grant funding saying this would be a topic during budget discussions.

 

Koplin said the NWPPA Safety Award is very important for CEC and the Managers and employees deserve a lot of credit for their adherence toward safety.

 

Discussion regarding Power Creek Road repairs. Koplin mentioned communications continues to cost CEC and fiber optics would really contribute to better communications.  Koplin mentioned fiber optics is on the agenda for approval.  Discussion.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

Merritt reviewed the following reports:

  • Financial Reports for August – Merrit handed out revised Financial Reports and mentioned the Power Creek Mitigation Fund was miscoded and is corrected on the Statement of Operations handout.
  • Cash Flow Analysis for August
  • Revenue Report for August
  • Cash Disbursements for August
  • Bankcard Services Summary of Charge Statement for 8/17/17
  • Generation and Sales Statistics

 

NEW BUSINESS

Policy 55A – Functions of the Bylaw Committee – Cook moved and Little seconded to approve Policy 55A – Functions of the Bylaw Committee, as presented. Discussion.  Voice vote: Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

Purchase Order #1991 to Eco Star Collaborative LLC for $35,000 (budgeted item) – Wooden moved and Little seconded to approve Purchase Order #1991 to Eco Star Collaborative LLC for $35,000.  Discussion.  Voice vote: Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

Power Creek Fiber Optic $30,000 (not budgeted) – Wooden moved and Cooper seconded to approve the purchase of fiber optic cable to upgrade the communications to Power Creek for a not to exceed amount of $30,000.  Discussion.  Voice vote: 3 yea (Faulkner, Wooden, Little), 3 nay (Cook, Pegau, Cooper).  Motion failed.

 

Health Insurance for Exempt Personnel -Pegau moved and Little seconded to contract with NRECA for management’s health insurance.  Discussion.  Voice vote:  Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

CoBank Share Success Program – Pegau mentioned Directors were asked to review and rate the applications received.  Faulkner moved and Wooden seconded to approve a donation in the value of $7,000 to the Copper River Watershed Project request and $1,400 to the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation request.  Discussion including meeting the minimum CoBank requirement of $1,000 per donation request.  Voice vote:  0 yea, 6 nay.  Motion failed.  Discussion.

 

Faulkner moved and Little seconded to approve a donation to the Eyak Preservation Council for research on solar power per their request in the value of $8,200.  Discussion.  Voice vote:  Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

Faulkner moved and Cook seconded to recommend donating the remainder of the CEC allotted CoBank Sharing Success Program donation amount of $900, with the CEO’s discretion, to the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation for LED lighting tubes per their contribution request.  Discussion.  Voice vote: Unanimous.  Motion carried.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Net Meter Reading Tariff Addition – Cooper moved and Wooden seconded to present the proposed changes to the Tariff to add Section 4.8 – Net Metering Service (Applicable to Eligible On-Site Generation Systems of 25 kW or Less) to the general membership.  Discussion.

 

With Board approval the motion was referred back to staff.

 

INFORMATION ITEMS

CEO Travel – Noted

 

OTHER ITEMS

Policy Review

  • Policy #56B – Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Policy #66 – Capital Credits & Bylaws Article VII, Section 2 – Patronage Capital in Connection with Furnishing Electric Energy – Pegau mentioned at the August Board meeting Capital Credit information was asked to be added to the September agenda.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

None

 

PENDING AGENDA

  • Board Site Visits and Infrastructure Assessment
  • Revenue Requirements Study – October
  • CEC Scholarships
  • Set Board Performance Elements – evaluation process
  • Board Self-Evaluation & Development 2017 – Performance Elements – Review
  • Nominating Committee – need members to serve on Committee for October Board Mtg – Pegau reminded Directors to have a name for the Nominating Committee at the October Board meeting.
  • CEO Evaluation Form – Pegau said he received a CEO Evaluation Form from InTandem, which he will have included in the October Agenda for Board review.

 

BOARD PENDING EVENTS CALENDAR

Noted

 

SUMMARY OF BOARD DIRECTION TO CEO

  • Email Board information regarding what is included in lines 34 – Non Operating Margins and 35 – Other Margins and Equities on the Balance Sheet
  • Research fuel tank registration requirements.
  • Complete the charitable contribution to PWSAC
  • Net Metering Tariff draft was referred back to staff to review and compare with Tariff Section 4.7 – Interconnection with Consumer Owned Generation, and Rate Schedule 600 – Qualifying Facilities.

 

BOARD COMMENTS

Faulkner – Very good meeting.  Thank you all for being prepared.

 

Wooden – Great meeting.  Awesome achievement and congratulations to all for Safety Award.  Thank you to Hutch for presenting the award.

 

Little – Good meeting.  Congratulations in achieving the Safety Award; it is very important for CEC and the community.

 

Cook – Thanked Board for allowing him to attend the Alaska Power Association (APA) Annual Meeting in Kodiak.  It was a very good meeting with good information.  He mentioned it was good to see staff attending, Scott, Barb and Emma.  All presentations are on the APA website, except for Attorney Andy Leman.  Hutch said he would follow up on getting this presentation.

 

Cooper – Thanked Hutch and said congratulations to staff for keeping it safe.

 

Pegau – Congratulations on the 2017 Safety Award.  He appreciates Hutch coming to the meeting to present the award.

 

Pegau mentioned Director Sam Blackadar notified him this past week of his resignation from the Board.  Discussion.

 

Little moved and Wooden seconded to adjourn at 7:45 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________

Secretary

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