CEO’S Report – August 2015

Western Area Power Administration has conducted a preliminary review of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program-Eastern Division Firm Power Rate Drought Adder component. The review is conducted annually in early spring and provides customers advance notice of any foreseen changes to the Drought Adder. Western recently notified customers that the preliminary review resulted in no estimated change to the Drought Adder component in January 2016. This year, the mountain snowpack peaked on March 9 at 72% of the normal peak above Fort Peck and 78% of teh normal peak on March 14 in the Fort Peck to Garrison reach.

Western will continue to monitor water conditions as they progress into the fall. They will make a final rate adjustment determination and send a notification letter in October. Information concerning the current Firm Power Rates can be found online at www.wapa.gov.

In other News…

  • South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard recently awarded more than $2.8 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to six projects throughout South Dakota. The money will assist with projects totaling more than $15.3 million. Wessington Springs received a $237,500 grant to assist with water and wastewater infrastructure improvements while they restore the street surface, replace sidewalks, and install curb and gutter to provide improved drainage of Main Street. The CDBG program provides local governments with funding to complete projects that improve living conditions. The CDBG program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. For more information, visit www.sdreadytowork.com/finance.
  • Groton Area High School in Groton, S.D. ranked 158th in Newsweek Magazine’s top 500 highest performing schools in the nation in the magazine’s report released last fall. Newsweek’s list of “America’s Top High Schools” is a ranking of schools based solely on achievement. The schools are ranked based upon performance indicators.
  • On Thursday, August 20, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources will host the first of two meetings for utilities and other stakeholders to provide feedback on the Energy Savings Platform (ESP) online program for reporting Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) data and managing utility CIP programs. The agenda includes a background on the ESP, as well as next steps in development, including what’s working and not and priorities for improvement. Any utility with questions or concerns about ESP is encouraged to attend.
  • On July 22, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and committee ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., on July 22 released a 357-page energy bill that pulls together dozens of bills considered by the committee during public hearings over the last several months. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 includes language that addresses efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability and conservation reauthorization. The accountability title of the legislation, among other things, calls for transmission organizations to submit a report to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within six months that identifies, describes, and evaluates the electric capacity resources available to the transmission organization and assesses the current and projected state of reliability. With respect to efficiency, the legislation includes provisions that include agreements on everything from longer-term utility energy service contracts to the reauthorization of the weatherization and state energy programs. The legislation’s infrastructure title addresses, among other things, enhanced grid security, electricity and energy storage and electric transmission infrastructure permitting.