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Cordova Electric Cooperative > Minutes  > November 2019
Cordova Electric Cooperative

November 2019

CORDOVA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

November 27, 2019

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of Cordova Electric Cooperative, Inc. was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Vice Chair Cook. Members present were Faulkner, Ranney, and Phillips. Pegau participated via gotomeeting. Directors Johnson and Cooper were absent. 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 Coordinator Kuntz.

MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION

Krysta Williams was in attendance.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Faulkner moved and Phillips seconded to approve the Agenda as presented. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

PRESENTATION OF COBANK SHARING SUCCESS AWARDS – Cook presented Krysta Williams, Mt Eccles 6th grade teacher, with checks from CoBank and CEC for the Sharing Success Grant Program. Williams thanked the Board for the donation and showed them the LED bracelets students at Mt Eccles will be making with the inventory purchased from these funds. The Prince William Sound Science Center also received a grant.

CONSENT AGENDA

Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve the consent agenda that includes the following:

  • a) Minutes of October 23, 2019 Board Meeting

Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

MANAGEMENT REPORTS

CEO REPORTS

CEO Written Report

Humpback Creek Penstock Rehabilitation: Is included in the 2020-2022 three-year work plan.

2020 Budget: Customer Service and 2020 Plan Goals: The key elements of the customer service plan for 2020 will include advanced metering “smart meters” that provide new options, tariff revisions, and a 2020 communications plan by staff.

Power Creek Dam Replacement: This will be an important element of the 2019-2020 work plan, we will finish what work we can this year, weather and resources permitting.

CTC Collaboration: I included correspondence with CTC in this packet. We plan to discuss potential partnering on several fronts in the coming weeks including any interest in sharing building space on Main Street to develop options for alternatives to investments in upgrading the CEC headquarters building.

BESS Update: The system is being operated in automatic mode. Unfortunately, this resulted in one unexpected outage due to an equipment fault (which we later reset) while operating in a mode that we had already operated it in. We continue to refine the automation program to maximize the diesel savings while keeping the system stable.

Power Creek Road Repairs: We will be monitoring the road for performance.

Tariff Revisions: This is included in the 2020 work plan.

Orca Boiler Update: The boiler and mechanical (water piping connections) are complete; the wiring and controls work will be completed largely by CEC employees, probably after the holidays.

RADIANCE Project Update: The cybersecurity plan is being implemented; new network switches were installed last week, and other elements of the plan implementation are in progress. We are working on the specifications for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a draft has been prepared.

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. I have begun collecting local data to pursue a solar feasibility assessment with ACEP and Sandia National Labs.

Kappel Consulting Contract: A not-to exceed contract for the next 12 months is included in the packet. Due to delays and complications in Visa processing, we have not been able to bring our new engineer on board. I worked with an immigration attorney to develop options in the interim and hiring the engineer as a contractor is the timeliest and most cost-effective approach; equal to or less than costs of the normal recruitment and employment costs for an employee. Our engineering work keeps dropping farther behind including work order process, 2020-2022 work plan projects, grant applications, and RADIANCE project work. Because this is a contract, it needs Board approval to proceed, though we budgeted for the cost last year and this year in the budget as payroll.

CEO Travel: I attended remote power system workshops in Iqaluit this week. There is high interest in the Cordova conferences being scheduled for this April and July, and presentations by Greenland, Canada, and Alaska utilities got me caught up on the renewable energy project installations in the North including solar, hydro, wind, batteries, smart grid, and heating systems.

Cordova Conferences: Three international conferences have been tentatively scheduled for Cordova this Spring and Summer. 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/

2) Alaska Wind-Diesel Workshop the beginning of the week of July 27th (Partners: REAP/ACEP/AEA) and link: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eg9kv6r14b07654a&llr=hmdvnysab

3) Isolated Power System Connect the end of the week of July 27th (Partners: IPS Conference, ACEP/REAP and link: http://www.ipsconnect.org/

CEO Verbal Report

Upon question Koplin spoke about the three conferences that are being scheduled for Cordova this summer, two for the last week of July and one for April. Koplin gave an update of the Battery Energy Storage System project and upon question said the Power Creek road is holding up good.

NEW BUSINESS

Moss Adams LLP Audit Engagement Letter & Professional Services Agreement, Purchase Order #2213 for $28,000 – Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve Purchase Order #2213 in the amount of $28,000 to Moss Adams LLP and the Engagement Letter and Professional Services Agreement with Moss Adams LLP as presented. Fees for the audit preparation are estimated to be $28,000 plus out of pocket expenses at cost. Discussion on the price this year compared to last year. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

Appoint Nominating Committee & Chair for Committee – Faulkner moved and Phillips seconded to appoint Tori Baker, Belen Cook, Deb Eckley, Jason Ellingson, Deb Ethier, Kris Kokborg and Leif Stavig to the Nominating Committee, and Leif Stavig as Chair of the Committee. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

Power Creek Avalanche Forecaster Agreement – Sluff Management – Phillips moved and Faulkner seconded to approve the Power Creek Avalanche Forecaster Agreement with Sluff Management LLP as presented. Discussion on the cost and Sluff Management’s history with CEC. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

Kappel Consulting Contract – Phillips moved and Faulkner seconded to authorize the CEO to execute a twelve month contract with Kappel Consulting for a not to exceed amount of $150,000 for projects as assigned by the CEO. Koplin said CEC advertised for an engineering position and Kappel was the only respondent. He mentioned Kappel is in Denmark and the national VISA is taking more time than anticipated to be processed, therefore, this is a bridge until the VISA is approved and he can be hired as a full-time employee, hopefully before the contract ends. Koplin said Kappel will try to come to Cordova in January, including meeting the Board at the January Board meeting. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

Radiance Project Go/NoGo – Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to approve participation in year three of the RADIANCE project per Department of Energy approved plans and budgets. Koplin explained what year three includes. Discussion on the project. Voice vote: Unanimous. Motion carried.

UNFINISHED BUSINES

None

INFORMATION ITEMS

2020 Budget – Strategic Plan – Koplin and Merritt reviewed the proposed 2020 Budget and discussed it with the Board. The Budget will be included on the December agenda for Board approval.

CEO Travel – Koplin mentioned he would be attending the Alaska Power Association December Meeting Series and will be meeting with the Governor while in Anchorage.

Board attendance for regular monthly meetings – Discussion on when this Policy will go into effect. Bailer stated it is a proposed Bylaw change for the membership to vote on at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Discussion on when it starts if passed. Assumption is once it is adopted it starts.

Electric Advisory Committee letter dated October 17, 2019 – Noted.

Cordova Telecom Cooperative / CEC correspondence re: fiber optics – Koplin explained maintaining separation for CEC / CTC equipment, maintenance, and ownership. He mentioned CEC and CTC are collaborating more now than in the past and CEC does not want to duplicate efforts. Discussion on projects both utilities have been working on. Upon question Koplin verified CEC has radio and FCC licenses.

AK Power Association State Legislative Conference, Juneau, January 29-30, 2020 – Board discussed the State Legislative Conference and asked if any Directors would like to attend. Faulkner moved and Ranney seconded to approve Cook, Phillips and one other Director to attend the Alaska Power Association State Legislative Conference in Juneau in January 2020. Voice vote: Unanimous.

NRECA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, February 27 – March 4, 2020 – Cook mentioned this is an informational item that will be included in the December agenda.

OTHER ITEMS

Christmas Decorating Contest – Date for Judging – Board discussed dates when judging could take place.

Policy Review

  • Policy #43C – Underground Locates – noted
  • Policy #44C – New Exempt Employee Moving Expenses – noted

EXECUTIVE SESSION

None

PENDING AGENDA

  • Review Board Evaluation Quarterly (January/April/July/October)
  • CEC Annual Meeting – Monday, March 23, 2020
  • Policy 38D – Comprehensive PCB Policy
  • CEC Christmas Party at the Reluctant Fisherman on Friday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.

BOARD PENDING EVENTS CALENDAR

Noted

SUMMARY OF BOARD DIRECTION TO CEO

  • Contact Talkeetna regarding the cost and production of their solar panels.

Koplin thanked Merritt for completing the Budget and staff for their work on it.

BOARD COMMENTS

Phillips – Thanked Merritt for the Budget presentation. Good meeting everyone.

Ranney – Thanked staff for the Budget breakdown saying he would be reviewing it more.

Pegau – Thanked the Board for allowing him to participate in the meeting via gotomeeting.

Faulkner – Thanked Koplin and Merritt. She mentioned the Board requested the Budget be presented sooner and thanked them for the extra effort. The Board has done a lot of work with good attendance and has had public participation on different projects. Thank you to the Board for participating and asking questions. She thanked Koplin and his staff.

Cook – Thanked the Board for letting him Chair the meeting – said it feels good.

Phillips moved and Ranney seconded to adjourn at 7:15 p.m.

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