CORDOVA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
December 18, 2019
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, Cooper, Faulkner, Johnson, Ranney, and Phillips. Also present were CEO Koplin, Manager of Administration and Finance Merritt, Manager of Generation and Distribution Newlun, Executive Assistant/HR Bailer (Recorder), and Project and Technology Manager Kuntz.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Cooper moved and Cook seconded to approve the Agenda as presented. Johnson asked to include an informational item for discussion on Home Heating Electric Units. Voice vote: Unanimous
Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve the consent agenda that includes the following:
- a) Minutes of November 27, 2019 Board Meeting
Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
CEO Written Report
Humpback Creek Penstock Rehabilitation: Is included in the 2020-2022 three-year work plan as one of the major projects. A detailed work plan and tighter estimates will be pursued upon approval.
2020 Budget and Equity Management Plan Targets: Chairman Pegau requested an operating margin of $250,000 so I modified the budget to meet that target in the attached budget draft. I suggest we be cautious that our planning and monitoring tools of Budget and Equity Management Plan do not take precedence over strategic goals, operating needs, and rate setting.
Power Creek Dam Replacement: This will be an important element of the 2020 work plan.
BESS Update: We continue to operate the battery in unmanned, automatic mode as opportunities arise. We had maintenance training in November for both the SAFT batteries and the ABB inverter. Power production continues to refine the operation of the BESS. This has included significant time this month with our system integrator, Electric Power Systems, working through all the bugs and operating scenarios to improve the stability and reliability of the battery, and look for additional fuel savings.
Orca Boiler Update: CEC is commencing with the wiring work, controls, and automation and hope to have the physical work done this month or next to start automating it. A failed circulating pump was replaced in the existing heat loop.
RADIANCE Project Update: We got approval to remove the Crater Lake pumped storage portion of the project and will instead be pursuing these three goals for the Department of Energy and CEC:
- Model-based Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) analysis for Raging Creek site. (3/31/20)
- Compare PSH with 1MW/0.9MWh Li-ion BESS for grid services (6/30/20)
- Analysis of an additional hydro at Raging Creek, for CEC to achieve 100% hydro operation (6/30/20)
Solar Panel Installation and Assessment Update. The inverters and cables have been received for the CEC panels, which we will probably install in the substation once the data logger is ordered and received. Local data is being gathered for Jannik Kappel to pursue a solar feasibility assessment with ACEP and Sandia National Labs. The Purchase Order to Jannik Kappel will be updated to his final company name as filed in Denmark “Arctic Energy Consultants”, not “Kappel Consulting” as listed in the Board-approved Purchase Order from our last meeting.
CEO Travel: I have been invited to speak at DistribuTECH at the end of January. This places CEC in the middle of the latest technologies and presents our battery energy storage project to a large audience of potential partners and funders for projects like solar, hydro, and more storage. The next Electric Advisory Committee meeting will be in the last week of February and will conflict with the CEC Board meeting that month. I have attended every meeting so far and the department has commented several times that they really value our small utility perspective. I also use the meeting location at NRECA headquarters to meet with those staff. This usually results in articles, interns, technical support for projects like batteries and solar, and other good things. I would be able to call in to the CEC meeting, or I can stay in Cordova and call in to the Energy meeting if the Board prefers.
Cordova Conferences: Three international conferences have been tentatively scheduled for Cordova this Spring and Summer, but two will be absorbed into one conference (wind-diesel and IPS connect). I will keep them here in case the Board wants another chance to look at prior conferences. They are as follows, with links to former websites or agendas:
- 1) Electrify Alaska Conference the week of April 27th (Partners: NRECA, SEPA, REAP, DOE) and link: https://beneficialelectrification.com/electrify-indiana/
- 2a) Alaska Wind-Diesel Workshop the beginning of the week of July 27th (Partners: REAP/ACEP/AEA) link: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eg9kv6r14b07654a&llr=hmdvnysab
- 2b) Isolated Power System Connect the end of the week of July 27th (Partners: IPS Conference, ACEP/REAP and link: http://www.ipsconnect.org/
Substation BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) Recloser: The line crew has been completing the new gear installation at the Eyak substation including the new recloser for connecting the battery to the grid. It is a smart electronic device like the other circuits have and replaces the temporary fuses that have been tying our BESS to the grid.
CTC Meeting: We met with CTC to update our customer service applications to make it easier for a customer to work with both cooperatives and understand how costs and credits for new services work. We discussed fiber optic communications and new and growing applications for electrical utilities and the importance of reliability to carry controls signals. We also discussed the Fleming Spit culvert replacements and potential Second Street work.
Vehicle Maintenance: Power Production worked on vehicle maintenance this month including snow tire installation, repairs, and regular maintenance like oil changes. R
Fleming Spit Culvert Replacement: The State will be replacing culverts in 2020 and is paying CEC to relocate underground wires out of the way for construction. Final design, estimates, and contracts were completed for the project. Alaska Department of Transportation staff visited Cordova to better understand the job and to communicate with project partners.
NWPPA Engineering and Operations Conference: Two of the CEC line crew and Manager attended this conference in Anchorage – offered once every other year. Presentations about various aspects of the industry and a wide selection of vendors we purchase products and services from participate in the show. The training and networking are valuable for building and maintaining skills and best practices.
Main Street and Christmas Lighting: The CEC line crew made (contracted) repairs to the City Street Light outlets on Main Street for the Christmas lighting contest and installed lights on the community Christmas tree. This is a significant job each year.
CEO Verbal Report
Koplin mentioned the Bayview Communications (KLAM) radio station is offering video service and that a video was made explaining the Battery Energy Storage System project.
Koplin said he renewed his Professional Engineering (PE) Business License, which he has used in signing as a PE on various CEC documents.
Koplin said CEC received a nice thankyou card from Katrina Hoffman at the Prince William Sound Science Center thanking the Board and CoBank for their Sharing Success donation.
Koplin mentioned ARECA Insurance Exchange sent CEC a 2018 cash disbursement and that CEC has a credit in ARECA’s CEC reserve account.
Upon question Koplin explained more about the solar assessment update mentioned in his CEO written report.
Pegau mentioned both he and Koplin would be gone for the February meeting, which is when the CEO evaluation is scheduled, and Board and Koplin agreed to move the CEO evaluation to March 2020.
Merritt reviewed and answered questions regarding the following reports:
- Financial Report 11/30/19 – Pegau asked about the Capital Credit reimbursement that was approved for 2019 and Merritt said it would be on the Balance Sheet for December.
- Revenue Report for November
- Cash Flow Report for November
- Cash Disbursements for November
- Purchase Order Report
- Generation & Sales Statistics
Bad Debt Write-offs – Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve the Bad Debt Write-offs totaling $1,443.10 as presented.
- Gannon, Michael J $ 6.36
- Brand, James $308.98
- Moore, Logan E. Sr $349.48
- Larican, Dylon $115.01
- Rogers, Emily $518.44
- Torres, Winter $144.83
Discussion on the low amount to be written off. Koplin explained Customer Service Representatives work hard to contact members with a bad debt to clear them. Discussion. Board is impressed with the low amount of the write-offs. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Disposal of Organic Rankine Cycle – Johnson moved and Phillips seconded to approve the disposal of the Organic Rankine Cycle and accessories. Koplin explained what the Organic Rankine Cycle is, what it does, and why CEC would like to dispose of it. Discussion. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Revisit Bylaw Revision Recommendation – Johnson moved and Ranney seconded to modify the recommendation to Bylaw Article V Section 6 – Board Attendance at Meetings. A discussion ensued on why this was brought back for discussion, that being the absenteeism of Directors for the period recommended could mean the CEC Board would be recruiting Directors during the year. Discussion.
Pegau moved and Johnson seconded to amend the motion to change the proposed Bylaw change to read “Any Board member who fails to attend three regular meetings of the Board in any twelve (12) month period without good cause shall be deemed to have resigned from the Board of Directors, creating a vacancy”. Discussion. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried. Board asked staff to consult with the attorney regarding the change to the wording.
Voice vote on the main motion: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Policy 38D – Comprehensive PCB Policy – Board agreed with staff’s recommendation to leave the Policy as is.
Escheatment of Capital Credits – Merritt explained the escheatment of Capital Credits per CEC Policy 66B – Capital Credits, how some other Cooperatives are doing this, and that she is still consulting with the auditor and attorney to develop an escheatment process for CEC.
2020 Budget / Strategic Plan – Phillips moved and Cook seconded to approve the 2020 Budgets as presented. Discussion on various items in the Budget, specifically the HBC thrust block item. Pegau moved and Phillips seconded to amend the motion to remove the HBC Penstock – Thrust Blocks item in the amount of $300,000 from the Budget. Discussion on the pros and cons of removing this item. Voice vote on the amendment: 2 – Yea (Pegau and Phillips), 5 Nay. Motion failed.
Voice vote on the main motion to approve the 2020 Budget as presented. Unanimous. Motion carried.
NRECA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, February 27 – March 4, 2020 – Faulkner moved and Phillips seconded to authorize up to two Directors to travel to the 2020 NRECA Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Discussion on the value of attending the conference and the cost to attend. Voice vote: 5 – yea, 2 nay (Cook and Ranney). Motion carried. Pegau asked that anyone wishing to attend notify Bailer by January 9, 2020, and for Bailer to let the entire Board know who has expressed interest in attending.
CEO Travel – Koplin mentioned he has not missed attending an Electric Advisory Meeting, (EAC) however, the February meeting is on the same date as the CEC Board meeting. Koplin said if the Board would like him to attend the CEC Board meeting, he would teleconference to the EAC meeting, and if he attends the EAC meeting he would teleconference to the CEC Board meeting.
Various financials for September and October 2019 – Noted. Board thanked Merritt for including these in the packet.
Home Heating Electric Units – Johnson mentioned fireplace electric heating units and the possibility of CEC investing in units to sell to members as another way to diversify our Cooperative. Discussion on CEC Policy and that this would put CEC in a retail business and in competition with other businesses. Also discussed the cost to use these heaters. Koplin said he could conduct a presentation on electric heat including what CEC can and cannot promote for members for an upcoming meeting. Board liked this idea and asked Koplin to work on the presentation for the January or March Board meeting.
- Policy #45B – Smoking Policy – revise policy to including vaping and distance from building for designated smoking areas.
- Policy #46B – Hearing Conservation Program – revise policy per discussion including targeted decibel reduction.
- Review Board Evaluation Quarterly (January/April/July/October)
- CEC Annual Meeting – Monday, March 23, 2020
BOARD PENDING EVENTS CALENDAR
Move CEO evaluation to March 2020.
Board would like the Board Attendance form to be added to future agenda packets.
SUMMARY OF BOARD DIRECTION TO CEO
- Bylaw Article V Section 6 – Board attendance. Check with counsel on new proposed wording.
- Include a presentation at the January or March Board meeting regarding electric heat.
- Revise Policy 45B – Smoking, and Policy 46B – Hearing Conservation Program
Faulkner – Wished everyone a good holiday season.
Johnson – Happy Holidays everyone.
Cooper – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Cook – Merry Christmas. The Christmas party went well. This was a good meeting.
Ranney – Happy New Year and thank you for the wonderful Christmas party.
Phillips – Good meeting. Thanked staff.
Pegau – Thanked staff and Board. Said the budget process is easier with the changes made and went well this year.
Phillips moved and Johnson seconded to adjourn at 7:55 p.m.
Date Approved Secretary/Treasurer