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CAPX Transmission Update

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Benjamin Franklin, often considered the Father of Electricity, gave sage investment advice, “Drive thy business or It Will Drive Thee.” This advice especially rings true for public power utilities as they seek to get in the driver’s seat as transmission owners to mitigate related rising prices. According to CMPAS analyses and that of others, transmission ownership is the only long-term hedge against increasing transmission rates. To demonstrate this point, CMPAS recently hosted a CAPX Brookings Project overview for 15 Minnesota and Iowa public power participants that invested in the Agency-sponsored project.

With the completion of 2016 MISO Attachment O regulatory filings and an outside financial audit, CMPAS provided a comprehensive overview that made a strong case for continued investment. As the project aggregator, CMPAS serves as the fiduciary advisor for the group’s 3.9-percent investment in the CAPX Brookings Project. Public power utilities in the group include four Iowa utilities in Independence, Indianola, Montezuma and Waverly; an d11 Minnesota utilities in Blue Earth, Elk River, Fairfax, Granite Falls, Janesville, Kenyon, Mountain Lake, Sleepy Eye, Springfield, Windom, and Willmar.

Although most of the “heavy lifting” for the CAPX project is completed, bond covenants require CMPAS to monitor and maintain numberous funds over the 30-year life of the investment. Prior to the distribution of revenue to participants, bond requirements must be satisfied including higher debt principal payments in the first five years. The project’s debt obligation will be completely paid in the year 2041 as represented in the chart below.

CMPAS utilities are learning first hand that transmission ownership brings a rate of return and other financial benefits that mitigate transmission cost increases. Over the 40-year life of the CAPX Brookings project, participants are projected to earn a return of $17.8 million dollars in excess of expenses in the form of distributions and savings from their $32 million investment. CMPAS also recovers a portion of the expenses attributable to its transmission function that the Agency uses to reduce A&G cost by nearly $1/MWh.

At the meeting, Chris Kopel, Chief Operating Officer, discussed the Agency’s long-term plan to help utilities increase their load ratio share of transmission. He reminded attendees that failure to adequately invest in the still young MISO marketplace could expose their customers to substantially higher transmission rates. 

Waverly Utilities CEO Darrel Wenzel welcomes the opportunity to work with CMPAS in the future. “The August presentation was a continuation of the transparent process that CMPAS consistently follows. Waverly looks forward to collaborating with CMPAS as transmission opportunities occur in the future,” he said.

Within days of the Agency’s CAPX update, a report, “2017 MISO Transmission Investment Analysis,” validated CMPAS’s assessments of transmission investment benefits. The MCR Performance Solutions report also shows how municipal utility and generation and transmission cooperatives have not invested at a rate consistent with their load ratio share and have not produced enough transmission revenue to offset transmission tariff costs. In fact, only 11 of 31 MISO municipals are investing at a level sufficient to replace annual depreciation.

To prepare for future transmission purchases, CMPAS recommends that municipal utilities educate local commission and city council members about the financial and risk management benefits of transmission ownership. Local leaders should understand the process and necessary commitments so they are ready to participate in and approve CMMPA transmission opportunities when they occur.

Tags:  CAPX  CMPAS 

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Register Now for Iowa One Call's "Excavation Safety Awareness Program" Meetings

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Each year, Iowa One Call travels the state to update excavators, locators, and facility operators on one-call requirements. The Excavation Safety Awareness Program meetings are free, and lunch is provided. Registration is required. The first meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 in Johnston. For a schedule of dates and locations, and to register for a meeting, click here.

This year, Iowa One Call will provide an overview of its protocol, educate on private facilities, discuss best practices for communication between contractor and locate firms, and teach how to effectively use NextGen for accurate, timely locates.

Tags:  Iowa One Call  NextGen 

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OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Course - January 24th & 25th

Posted By Josh Trout, Monday, December 11, 2017

Registration is now open for the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Outreach Course to be held at IAMU on January 24th & 25th.

This course will explain OSHA’s role in worker safety and health, jobsite hazard recognition, correction and prevention methods and how to read the OSHA standards. Participants will receive a completion card from the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA certifying successful completion of this OSHA 10-Hour course. 29 CFR 1926 CFR Book & course material furnished.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to OSHA
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Fall Protection
  • Caught-In and Struck-by Hazards
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Health Hazards in Construction

Who Should Attend:
This basic safety course is recommended for workers and supervisors, or those who have been given the task of developing and managing their employer’s safety program.

A Certificate of Attendance will be provided to attendees.

If you hire Contractors: Many cities also require their contractors to maintain a safety program to be eligible to work for them. The OSHA 10-Hour course will help those owners, managers, and employees develop a solid safety foundation at their company to hopefully avoid incidents while working for the city or utility. Hiring a contractor to perform work for the city/utility does not eliminate all liabilities to the city.

For more information, and to register click here.

Tags:  OSHA  OSHA 10-Hour  Safety Services 

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OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Course - January 29th & 30th

Posted By IAMU, Monday, December 11, 2017

Registration is now open for the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach Course to be held at IAMU on January 29th & 30th.

This course will explain OSHA’s role in worker safety and health, job-site hazard recognition, correction and prevention methods and how to read the OSHA standards.  Participants will receive a completion card from the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA certifying successful completion of this OSHA 10-Hour course. 29 CFR 1910 CFR Book & course material furnished.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to OSHA - 2 hours
  • Walking & Working Surfaces & Fall Protection - 1 hour
  • Emergency Action Plans - 1 hour
  • Electrical - 1 hour
  • Personal Protective Equipment - 1 hour
  • Hazard Communication -1 hour
  • Machine Guarding - 1 hour
  • Lockout / Tagout - 1 hour
  • Permit Required Confined Space - 1 hour

Who Should Attend

This basic safety course is recommended for workers and supervisors or those who have been given the task of developing and managing their employer’s safety program.

If you hire contractors: Many cities also require their contractors to maintain a safety    program to be eligible to work for them.  The OSHA 10-Hour course will help those owners, managers, and employees develop a solid safety foundation at their company to hopefully avoid incidents while working for the city or utility.  Hiring a contractor to perform work for the city/utility does not eliminate all liabilities to the city.

For more information, and to register click here.

Tags:  OSHA  OSHA 10-Hour  Safety Services 

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Select Presentations From The 2017 Energy Conference Available Online

Posted By IAMU, Thursday, December 7, 2017

Select presentations from the 2017 Energy Conference are now available online. 

To view them, click here.

*If you need your member sign-in information, contact Josh Trout at jtrout@iamu.org.*

Tags:  Energy Conference 

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