CORDOVA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
April 22, 2020
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc. was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by Chairman Pegau. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Directors and staff have the option of participating via gotomeeting. Directors present were Phillips and Beedle. Director’s Cook, Cooper, Campbell, Ranney and Pegau participated via gotomeeting. CEO Koplin and Executive Assistant/HR Bailer (Recorder) were also present. Manager of Administration and Finance Merritt, Manager of Production and Distribution Newlun, and Project and Technology Manager Kuntz participated via gotomeeting.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Phillips moved and Beedle seconded to approve the Agenda as presented. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
AUDIT PRESENTATION – Julie Desimone with Moss Adams LLC conducted the audit presentation via gotomeeting. She said the audit received a clean opinion and that staff was very helpful.
Phillips moved and Beedle seconded to approve the consent agenda that includes the following:
- a) Minutes of March 25, 2020 Board Meeting
- b) Estate Payments
- c) Approve New Members 01/17/2020 – 03/31/2020
Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
CEO Written Report
Electrify Alaska Conference: Has been postponed, we hope to host it in late fall, maybe October
Humpback Creek Penstock Rehabilitation: We have cancelled this project for 2020.
Power Creek Dam Replacement: Is postponed, we plan to reschedule it for later in 2020.
BESS Update: The battery was placed in service again yesterday, and helped us be 100% hydropower last night, days or perhaps even weeks before we normally would have been. We do not have the full capabilities of the battery programmed and in use at this time, but in the future may be able to use it to avoid outages like the one we had this week.
Orca Boiler Update: The boiler has all been installed and automated, but we did not have enough water for it to work for the first time last night.
RADIANCE Project Update: The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is the main project work right now but has been somewhat delayed due to COVID-19 impacts on all parties. CEC line crew is collecting all the exact meter locations in Cordova with our new underground locator to do a radio coverage study. We are only meeting once every two weeks for updates and most work is on hold.
Solar Panel Installation and Assessment Update. The Arctic Engineering final report has been prepared.
CEO Travel: None until further notice.
CEO Evaluation 360 degree: We will schedule this for a lighter agenda meeting.
CEO Work Schedule: I took most of the past three weeks off as personal leave to participate in the City of Cordova Emergency Management Organization for response to coronavirus COVID-19. Even though I have removed myself from direct participation in the planning and response, I am still the primary point of contact for the community with the state and federal government, and the meetings and workload is averaging 4-6 hours per day. All that time to meeting date has been taken as personal leave. I would appreciate consideration by the CEC Board for 20 hours of administrative leave per week over the next 4 weeks or until no longer assisting, whichever is less, with the understanding that I would only work the hours necessary to support the City efforts and use administrative leave for only that purpose. All other work hours would be performing CEC duties which will remain my priority. Meanwhile, I have delegated most of my projects, CEC overall workload has been reduced, and I am participating in the daily CEC briefings and performing all executive-level decision-making and purchases. I will keep Chairman Pegau appraised of my workload and schedule at least weekly.
Interest Rate Fix: Interest rates continue to rise, while fuel oil price has dropped sharply.
Presentation regarding electric heat is postponed, but we are working on a scope for Arctic Engineering Consultants to assess the CEC HQ building for air source heating, and this may be a better way to present the opportunity to the Board. We will bring the assessment to you for consideration.
Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Grant Resolution of Support: We participated in this grant request some months ago and the grant was selected. It provides the opportunity to get electric vehicles and charging stations to organizations and businesses in the community in exchange for collecting data. It is an opportunity for CEC and other organizations in the community to contribute up to $375,000 of EV, charger, and in-kind contributions toward over $750,000 worth of electric vehicle and charging infrastructure. The Department of Energy and Alaska Energy Authority would contribute over $375,000 as their match. I recommend the Board authorize resolution 20-01 as no money would be spent until after August and more likely October or November 2020, and our final application can put most of the budget in years 2 and 3 until we see what our new financial world looks like. We can withdraw from the grant before making financial contributions and we have also requested a 2-4-week extension to better prepare our final application.
Updated Draft Work Plan: has been drafted by staff to reduce our overall workload for this year.
CEO Verbal Report
Koplin mentioned the electric boiler is working and ran on Monday evening.
Upon question Koplin said the Battery Energy Storage System is fully functional, however, it is taken out of automatic mode when there is not enough water (hydro) due to costs and extending the life of the battery.
Ranney asked about the solar project assessment and Koplin said the final draft has been received, is being reviewed, and will be available for the Board soon.
Koplin explained how the Orca boiler works and mentioned with the 100% hydro we are currently receiving we are using the electric boiler to keep the diesel engines warm and ready.
Merritt reviewed the following reports:
- Financial Report for 3/31/2020
- Revenue Report for March
- Cash Flow Report for March
- Cash Disbursements for March
- Purchase Order Report
- Debt Summary for March
- Generation & Sales Statistics
- Member Disconnects & Senate Bill 214
Appoint Bylaw Committee – Pegau appointed Cook, Cooper and Campbell to the Bylaw Committee and elected Cooper as Chair.
Appoint Board of Adjustments – Pegau appointed Phillips, Ranney and Beedle to the Board of Adjustments.
Acceptance of Audit – Phillips moved and Beedle seconded to accept the 2019 Audit as presented. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Rate Analysis – Emma explained the Rate Analysis process and reviewed it with the Board. At this time the Board agreed to leave the rates as they are.
Koplin asked to revisit his CEO verbal report and said the Alaska Power Association (APA) is asking for additional support due to reduced revenues resulting from the lack of training for members and conferences. Koplin mentioned APA is working closely with legal counsel regarding COVID-19 issues, they are sharing the information with their members, which saves their members (CEC included) on legal fees. Board directed Koplin to move forward in sending APA a $1000 donation.
Resolution 20-01 – Electric Vehicle Grant –
A RESOLUTION OF COMMITMENT FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE GRANT MATCH
WHEREAS, it is the strategic goal of Cordova Electric Cooperative to eliminate dependence upon fossil fuels for producing or utilizing energy in Cordova; and
WHEREAS, electric vehicles (EV’s) can be integrated into the Cordova Electric Cooperative grid to improve grid resilience and provide local sources of transportation energy in our small and isolated road system; and
WHEREAS, EV’s are an excellent complement to the Cordova Electric Cooperative locally available and occasionally excess renewable energy; and
WHEREAS, EVs reduce the use of fossil fuels, grow energy sales from existing CEC infrastructure, provide local independence for transportation needs and meet the strategic goals of Cordova Electric Cooperative; and
WHEREAS, the Cordova Electric Cooperative grid offers the ideal site and location to integrate EV and EV charging applications to advance technical knowledge and performance characteristics,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative Inc. commit up to $375,000 in cash and in-kind match for an electric vehicle and charging infrastructure grant from the US Department of Energy over the three-year, 39-month project commencing as early as August, 2020.
Koplin explained how the electric vehicle grant match works and a discussion ensued.
Phillips moved and Campbell seconded to approve Resolution 20-01, a Resolution of Commitment for Electric Vehicle Grant Match. Roll call vote: 6 yea, 1 nay (Cook). Motion carried.
Policy 53B – Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy – pending Counsel’s review and recommendations.
CEO Travel – noted
Board attendance at regular meetings – noted
Quarterly Board Self Evaluation Review – Board completed first quarter evaluation review.
Pegau asked to move Executive Session to the end of the meeting and the Board agreed.
- Policy #1G – Functions of the Board of Directors – annual review
- Policy 63A – Conflict of Interest Policy –Policy was reviewed and Board directed staff to work on editing it as discussed.
- Review Board Evaluation Quarterly (January/April/July/October)
- Board training with Counsel
SUMMARY OF BOARD DIRECTION TO CEO
- Edit Policy 63A – Conflict of Interest
- Add the following to the May Agenda –
- Solar update
- Updated work plan
- Revisit and possibly extend the COVID-19 suspension of fees
BOARD PENDING EVENTS CALENDAR
Phillipa moved and Ranney seconded that the Board go into executive session at 7:57 p.m. to discuss cash flow options, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect on the finances of the Cooperative. Staff was excused from the meeting.
The Board came out of executive session at 8:31 p.m. where they discussed the cash flow issues and CEO potential administrative leave. No action was taken.
Pegau moved that CEC provide up to four hours per day of administrative leave for the next four weeks for Clay Koplin, CEO, to use for City Mayoral related duties, seconded by Phillips. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Beedle – Thank you all, I learned a lot tonight in the new director orientation and at the meeting.
Campbell – Thanks to Koplin and Merritt for the new director training before the meeting, it’s helpful and I feel like I’m getting up to speed.
Cook – Thanked Koplin for the job he’s doing and the crew and Bailer for helping him with setting up his gotomeeting. Cook thanked Pegau for doing a good job running the meeting.
Cooper – Appreciates Koplin for all the work he is putting in including Mayor duties with COVID-19. This was a good meeting with an interesting format but it went well. Thank you to everyone for a good meeting. Thank you to Koplin.
Ranney – Thanks to Merritt for a successful audit, it’s great that we got a good opinion out of it. He thanked Koplin for his time and effort with both the Mayoral duties and CEC. Thanks to the rest of the staff as well. Thank you to all the Directors for their time tonight – it was a good meeting.
Ranney – Congratulations to Merritt for a good audit, it is commendable to have two clean audits in a row. Thank you to Merritt.
Pegau – Commended Merritt for providing the rate analysis and for the clean audit and congratulations to staff for their work on the audit also. A call out to all staff in catching things for Koplin while he is working on City duties during the COVID-19 pandemic and making sure the lights stay on. The whole crew is doing an amazing job keeping this place going and keeping the lights on. He appreciates Koplin’s time for both the City and CEC saying it’s good for the Cooperative to share our resources including our personnel.
Phillips moved and Cooper seconded to adjourn at 8:38 p.m.
Date Approved Secretary/Treasurer