CORDOVA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
May 27, 2020
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc. was called to order at 6:02 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, Cook and Beedle. Director’s Cooper, Campbell, Ranney and Pegau participated via gotomeeting. CEO Koplin was also present. Manager of Administration and Finance Merritt, Manager of Production and Distribution Newlun, Executive Assistant/HR Bailer (Recorder), 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.
Cooper moved and Ranney seconded to approve the consent agenda, with the corrections to the April 22, 2020 minutes and the May 18, 2020 minutes, that includes the following:
- a) Minutes of Special Meeting of March 17, 2020
- b) Minutes of Meeting of April 22, 2020
- c) Minutes of Special Meeting of May 18, 2020
Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
CEO Written Report
Coronavirus Economic Impacts: April sales were down significantly in the large power and processor rate classes as outlined in the revenue history supplement in the administrative reports. Many businesses remain closed, and staff anticipates continued poor revenues and substantial uncertainty in our fisheries. Our four summer months of May, June, July, and August typically account for 60% of our revenues, and a sharp drop in sales during those months will have significant year-over-year impacts. As discussed in executive sessions, we may have to consider cost-savings measures if low revenues transpire.
Electrify Alaska Conference: We are tentatively planning to proceed with an October conference and have scheduled a call with our conference coordinator to map out some scenarios. We have had many requests for an updated schedule, so interest by sponsor and attendees remains high.
Updated Work Plan: I have included an updated work plan. The highlights include deferred capital and large maintenance projects, with an emphasis on completing projects that reduce fuel use or are reimbursable to help with cash flow challenges during the year.
Power Creek Dam Replacement: We are nearly through our avalanche season, but stream flows have rise and we will likely have to look toward fall to complete this project.
BESS Update: The battery is performing well, helping us to remain 100% hydro and dispatch the electric boiler to offset most of our plant heating fuel use. We are rapidly increasing our hydro percentage despite low sales and significant spilled excess water.
Orca Boiler Update: The new electric boiler is providing approximately 80% of plant heating so far.
RADIANCE Project Update: The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) made significant gains when the line crew finished gathering all system meter locations this week. I was able to apply this work toward our Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) BESS deliverables for dispatching electricity and I am billing $55,000 in completed PNNL work this week. We got an extension for most of the deliverables, but I anticipate completing most of them this year. I am continuing to prioritize both the PNNL and remaining Sandia National Laboratories data work so that we can get reimbursed to help our cash flow.
Payroll Protection Program Loan. We completed the loan application and anticipate drawing down funds next week.
CEO Travel: None until further notice.
CEO Evaluation 360 degree: We will schedule this for a lighter agenda meeting.
CEO Work Schedule: My work schedules this past week has reverted to mostly CEC work after averaging about 4 hours a day CEC and 6-8 hours a day City pandemic response. By Wednesday through Friday of this week I have been averaging 8 hours a day CEC and 2 hours a day City (in additional to the regular council meetings) and anticipate this to be the norm through the end of the month.
Interest Rate Fix: The variable interest rate has continued to drop, helping slightly with expenses.
Presentation Regarding Electric Heat: A draft report on a high-level analysis of home and community swimming pool heating was prepared by Arctic Engineering Consultants (AEC) and CEC staff recommends proceeding with grant opportunities to install an electric boiler in the community swimming pool to dispatch excess hydro at an interruptible rate to save energy costs for the City and generate new revenues for CEC. An information item memo is included for board concurrence. I will work on a presentation by AEC or CEC staff this summer.
Solar Assessment Update: Staff feels that we should assess the grant/partner landscape to move toward a 200kW community solar project. A memo is included under information items to seek Board concurrence in staff proceeding to look for grants and partners – we have already been in discussion with The Eyak Corporation and see some potential opportunities.
Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Grant Resolution of Support: We submitted grant materials to the Alaska Energy Authority who thanked us for our clear, thorough, and compelling contributions to their grant, including the board’s support resolution – we should hear in the coming weeks if the project was selected.
Updated Draft Work Plan: has been drafted by staff to reduce our overall workload for this year. A memo is included in the information items for board concurrence.
Resolution to Update Billable Rates: Resolution 20-03 is included to update CEC billable rates. We typically do this every other year and an update is needed to keep current with actual costs.
Operations Update: In addition to making progress on projects such as electric boiler installation and operation, power creek unit 5 bearings and valves, and geographic location of all CEC meters in the system for an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) upgrade, significant regular maintenance has been completed in the April and May timeframe, including
- Extensive vehicle, heavy equipment, and light tool maintenance for construction season
- Replacement of filters, wiring checks, fire system maintenance at hydro and diesel plants
- Significant diesel generator maintenance including unit 3 EMD exhaust system repairs
- Final high-resolution fuel meter installations, fuel line pressure checks, fuel system upgrade
- Significant SCADA system maintenance work on sensors, programs, alarms, meters
- Inventory counts and procurement of key replacement parts and materials
- Improved communications through near-companywide daily 7am briefings
I am extremely proud of the high productivity levels and initiative shown by employee’s company-wide, and the significant success in project completions and preventative maintenance over the past 3 months.
CEO Verbal Report
Koplin mentioned he updated the 2020 Work Plan, which he emailed to the Board before tonight’s meeting, that shows the projects we plan on deferring and what we are going to try to complete this year. Koplin reviewed the Work Plan. Upon question Koplin reviewed the reimbursements due from various entity projects.
Merritt reviewed the following reports:
- Financial Report for 4/30/2020
- Revenue Report for April
- Historical Revenue Breakdown – Supplement
- Cash Flow Report for April
- Cash Disbursements for April
- Purchase Order Report
- Generation & Sales Statistics
COVID-19 Suspension of Fees Report and Potential Extension – Ranney moved and Cooper seconded to extend the suspension of late fees, disconnects, and door hanger fees to November 1, 2020. Discussion on date, finances per suspension, and reasons for suspension. Beedle moved and Phillips seconded to amend the motion to extend the suspension of late fees, disconnects, and door hanger fees until the emergency is declared ended or November 1, 2020. Discussion on reasons to extend or not extend the suspension of fees.
Roll call vote on the amendment: Unanimous. Amended motion carries.
Roll call vote on the main motion: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Revised Purchase Order #2240 to Potelcom Inc. for $92,338.00 – Phillips moved and Beedle seconded to amend Purchase Order #2240 to Potelcom Supply Inc. to the amount of $92,338.00. Koplin said this is for the New England Road upgrade materials and that some of the cost is reimbursable. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Purchase Order to ABB Enterprise Software Inc. for $12,000 – Phillips moved and Cook seconded to approve a Purchase Order to ABB Enterprise Software Inc. for the not to exceed amount of $12,000. Koplin said this is for remote technical support for upgrades and possibly site visits. Discussion on contract. Upon question Koplin said this contract was not included in the budget. Discussion. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
CoBank Sharing Success Program Expanded Provisions – Koplin explained CoBank made more funds available for this program but due to COVID he feels more Cooperatives may be applying for it, therefore, he would like to offer it to members earlier than we have in the past. Koplin said CEC budgeted $7500 for the Sharing Success Program. Discussion on what the program is.
Beedle moved and Campbell seconded to direct staff to advertise the CoBank Sharing Success program with a June 17th deadline for consideration at the June 24, 2020 regular CEC Board meeting. Question on methods of advertising and Koplin explained the venues we use to advertise this program. Pegau said the June 17 deadline to receive applications may be to quick and a discussion ensued on possibly having a second date if no applications are received by the June 17 deadline. Board agreed. Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Resolution 20-03 Establishing CEC Hourly Rates for Reimbursement –
A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING HOURLY RATES FOR EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN REIMBURSABLE PROJECTS
WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc. is required to establish hourly rates for employees involved in reimbursable projects in accordance with Policy 30C – Reimbursement for Damages to Cooperative Property;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Cordova Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors approves hourly straight time rates as follows:
Operations Management $185.00
Admin $ 80.00
Laborer $ 50.00
Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve Resolution 20-03 as written. Koplin explained CEC establishes these rates approximately every other year and updates the billable rates. Discussion on rates and which employees are included in each section.
Roll call vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.
Policy 63B- Conflict of Interest – We are waiting for attorney review and postpone this to the next regular meeting.
Solar Project Report – Koplin explained what is involved with the Solar Assessment and the possibility of grant funding from other entities. Discussion. Board directed the CEO to pursue grants and partnerships for a solar array near the Mudhole Smith Airport and report results and opportunities to the CEC Board.
Updated Work Plan in response to COVID-19 – The updated Work Plan was discussed earlier during the CEO verbal report.
Heating Assessment Report – Board directed the CEO to pursue grants for community swimming pool electric heating with excess hydropower and report back to the Board.
Orca and Cordova MHK Project Background Memo – Pegau declared a conflict of interest. Koplin said this was included as an informational item.
CEO Travel – noted
Board Attendance at Regular Meetings – noted
Nate Cain Industry Award – Cain received kudos from the Board on receiving this award, and the Board also commended all employees at CEC for their work and contributions to the Cooperative.
- Policy #58 – Will review at next meeting
- Policy #59 – Will review at next meeting
- Review Board Evaluation Quarterly (January/April/July/October)
- Board training with Counsel on June 3, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
SUMMARY OF BOARD DIRECTION TO CEO
- Include Policy 58 and 59 with the June Agenda packet for review
- Pursue funding for Solar project, Heating Assessment project, and Orca project
- Changes to consent agenda items – minutes
- Include Conflict of Interest Policy in next Board packet
BOARD PENDING EVENTS CALENDAR
EXECUTIVE SESSION – None needed
Cook – Congratulations to Cain for his honors. Good job everyone.
Cooper – No comments
Phillips – Great meeting. Congratulations to Cain. Thanks to staff and Clay.
Beedle – Congratulations to Nate. Am excited to see CEC is looking at new things. Thank you everyone.
Campbell – Thanks to Koplin and staff for the information items. It’s great to have the information.
Ranney – Watched the BESS project presentation and it is really impressive the dept of knowledge Newlun and Cain have on the project. It’s much appreciated.
Pegau – Congratulations to Cain. The CEC staff is outstanding and although we don’t get to interact with everyone it’s great to see they are being recognized for the quality of the work they are doing. I enjoy getting the project reports ahead of time.
Beedle moved and Ranney seconded to adjourn at 7:35 p.m.