APPA webinar series explores new electricity future

Aug. 15 – Oct. 26

The future is here and resistance is futile. Public power utilities of all sizes are facing a new world shaped by technology, customer preferences and changing policies. These changes are most evident in five key areas:

  • Rate design
  • Community solar
  • Electric vehicles
  • Battery storage
  • Smart meters

The American Public Power Association You are leaving wants to help power providers navigate these changes and explore the opportunities this new environment presents. Beginning Aug. 15, a five-part webinar series looks at new initiatives through the experiences of the utilities that implemented them.

(Art work by American Public Power Association)

The series features experts on utility industry trends and is intended to encourage new thinking on the relationships between consumers, utilities and other energy service providers. Several WAPA customers are among the speakers, including Imperial Irrigation District, You are leaving Los Angeles Department of Water and Power You are leaving and SMUD You are leaving in California, Moorhead Public Service You are leaving in Minnesota and SRP You are leaving in Arizona.

APPA recommends this series for general managers, CEOs, senior utility executives, governing boards, policymakers, utility managers, future leaders in policy and strategy and public communications professionals.

Comprehensive agendas
You can sign up for webinars individually or register for the full series at a discounted rate. Participants will also get access to recordings and slides of the webinars for future reference or if they miss one. All webinars are scheduled for 12-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

Aug. 15 – The Future of Rate Design: Distributed generation and energy-efficiency programs are creating cost-shifting concerns. Catch up on the latest industry rate trends and discover how to move toward stable rate structures that accurately recover costs from all customers. Review the pros and cons of different rate models—time of use, higher customer charge, demand charges and bi-directional billing. Learn how other utilities like yours have created long-term rate plans, selected and implemented new rate designs, and obtained buy-in from board and city council members as well as customers.

Sept. 7 – Community Solar Success Stories: Community solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for utilities that want to increase solar in their generation portfolios and offer this option to customers who cannot install rooftop solar. An industry expert will share experiences, insights and predictions for the future of community solar. Your utility colleagues who’ve launched community solar programs across the country will explain how they made decisions in key areas like program structure, implementation, financing, customer outreach, rates and marketing. They’ll discuss challenges and the secrets to success so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Sept. 26 – Charging Ahead with Electric Vehicles: The price of electric cars is falling, and more fast-charging stations are being installed. The Brattle Group predicts that a steady conversion of vehicles and heating to electricity could possibly lead to a 105-percent increase in electricity demand by 2050. If these new loads start to proliferate in your community, are you ready to support them? Now is the time to plan for EV infrastructure and to make important cost-benefit decisions. Learn about new developments and advances in EVs and how they are impacting the utility industry. Hear about innovative public power EV programs and get insights regarding how to work with customers to spur investment in EVs, develop fair pricing models and plan for potential load growth.

Oct. 12 – Best Practices in Battery Storage: The evolution of energy storage is changing how we produce and consume energy like never before. Technological advances, reduced costs and mandates from regulators have positioned energy storage for unprecedented growth. Get up to speed on where we are and what to expect in the future. Three public power utilities will talk about their award-winning storage projects and the realities of implementation, from selecting a developer and siting to leveraging benefits such as peak shaving and financial impacts. Your pioneering colleagues will help you navigate the bold new path of utility-scale battery storage.

Oct. 26 – Smart Meters for Smart Solutions: Learn from utilities that have installed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Gear up for the real-world challenges and understand how other utilities like yours are using AMI and integrating with other technologies. Understand how to fully leverage the benefits of smart meters — to predict load and usage, implement time-of-use rates, respond better to outages, assess the need for system upgrades and offset peak demand charges. Gather best practices on transitioning rate structures, educating customers and soliciting feedback.

Registration information
You can sign up for the entire series or register for each webinar individually. Individual webinars cost $99 for APPA members and $199 for nonmembers. Register for all five webinars for $395 for APPA members or $795 for nonmembers, a discount equivalent to one webinar.

Source: American Public Power Association, 7/10/17

Department of Interior invests $50 million in water conservation projects in drought-stricken West

Interior’s WaterSMART Program to Support 64 Projects in 12 States

As part of the Obama Administration’s continued effort to bring relief to western communities suffering from the historic drought, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on May 20 that Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will invest nearly $50 million to improve water efficiency and conservation in California and 11 other western states.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (at podium) held a press conference at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, California, to announce federal funding for water and energy conservation projects. (Left to right) L.A. Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar, P.E., Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and LADWP Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer Nancy Sutley joined Secretary Jewell for the announcement. (Photo by US Bureau of Reclamation)
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (at podium) held a press conference at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, California, to announce federal funding for water and energy conservation projects. (Left to right) L.A. Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar, P.E., Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López and LADWP Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer Nancy Sutley joined Secretary Jewell for the announcement. (Photo by US Bureau of Reclamation)

Joined by officials from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power You are leaving (LADWP) and the Bureau of Reclamation, Secretary Jewell made the funding announcement at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, California. The plant, which purifies millions of gallons of wastewater each day, was a fitting setting to launch federal-state partnerships dedicated to a more sustainable and resilient water future.

Through the WaterSMART Program, Reclamation is providing funding for water conservation improvements and water reuse projects across the West. More than $24 million in grants is being invested in 50 water and energy-efficiency projects in 12 western states. Seven water reclamation and reuse projects in California will receive more than $23 million and nearly $2 million will fund seven water reclamation and reuse feasibility studies in California and Texas.

WaterSMART is the Department of the Interior’s sustainable water initiative. Since it was established in 2010, the initiative has provided about $250 million in competitively-awarded funding to non-federal partners, including tribes, water districts, municipalities and universities. These investments have conserved enough water to meet the needs of more than 3.8 million people. Every acre-foot of conserved water delivered means that an equivalent amount of existing supplies is available for other uses.

WaterSMART water and energy-efficiency grants can be used for projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. The 50 projects announced in Los Angeles will be leveraged with at least 50 percent non-federal funding for a total of $133 million in improvements over the next two to three years. For a complete description of the 50 projects, visit the WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency grant website.

Source: US Department of Interior via Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, 5/20/15

Applicants line up for LADWP feed-in tariff

The Los Angeles Department of Water And Power’s Redirecting to a non-government site (LADWP) new feed-in tariff (FiT) already has more applicants for its first round than were planned for in the whole program.

In the FiT program’s first week of accepting applications, requests represented 107 megawatts (MW) of potential new generating capacity. LADWP is offering only 20 MW’s worth of contracts in the first round. The agreements will run for 20 years, and pay from 17 to 13 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Some applications may be deemed infeasible, even before the formal proposal review. But LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager Aram Benyamin was pleased with the tremendous response to the program. “We expect that following the project review that will take place over the coming months, the first FiT projects will be on their way toward generating 20 MW of renewable solar energy for Los Angeles,” he said.

The applications cover 97 projects throughout DWP’s service area, with more than half the proposals sited in the San Fernando Valley. The program splits projects into two tiers: smaller projects from 30-150 kilowatts, and larger ones running up to 3 MW in capacity. Only 22 small project applications were submitted, possibly because the relatively low payment of 17 cents per kWh made those projects less economically viable.

Utilities offering feed-in tariffs contract with smaller power generators to pay a premium rate for all the power the system produces. Unlike net metering, the energy producers are not necessarily tied to a metered account, so instead of offsetting their energy use, they receive payment for their power. Governments and power providers use FiTs as an incentive to develop renewable energy systems. Germany and Australia have implemented different types of FiTs with notable success, if different results in both cases. Source: KCET via SEPA News, 2/19/13

LADWP approves solar feed-in tariff program

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Redirecting to a non-government site Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Jan. 11 approved the first 100 megawatts of a 150-MW program designed to increase local solar power in Los Angeles.

The Solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Set Pricing Program will allow customers, solar companies and other third parties to develop solar or other eligible renewable energy projects within LADWP’s service territory and sell the power to LADWP at a set price for distribution on the city’s power grid, the utility said.

A proposal for an additional 50 MW FiT Program will be discussed with the board in March, rounding out the full 150-MW FiT program.  The 100-MW program will begin as soon as Feb. 1 and continue through the end of 2016, the utility said.

“Today we took another major step forward in transitioning to a clean energy future for Los Angeles,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “I’m proud of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners for moving Los Angeles forward to become the largest city in the nation to offer a feed-in tariff solar program. The FiT program takes advantage of our abundant sunshine to spur new private sector investment that will create jobs and decrease our city’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels.” Read moreRedirecting to a non-government site Source: APPA Public Power Daily, 1/17/13