Minutes of Regular Meeting NRPPD Board of Directors, September 19, 2016, Unapproved

The regular meeting of Directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) was held in the Conference Room of the District September 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Lee Ahrens.  Directors who answered the roll call were Bruce Troester, Lee Ahrens, Gary Fuchser, Terry Terrell, and Robert Rickenbach.

Also present were Chance Briscoe, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Ron Olson, operations manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Tony Hindman, employee, and three members of the public.

The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged. 

All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.

A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, to accept the order of business as published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.

A motion was made by Gary Fuchser, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, to excuse Wayne Cobb and Mike Van Buskirk from the meeting; motion carried.

During the Public Comments portion of the agenda, two members of the public stated their reason to attend the meeting was to support the passage of the Green Power Rate and the other member of the public stated that he was interested in hearing more information regarding the solar project the District is currently working on. 

A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, that the minutes of the meeting held August 30th be approved as published and provided to all directors on September 12th; motion carried.

The Board reviewed the Check Register and Payroll Summary for the month of August.

The LB436 DG Rate was discussed. A proposed revision was considered to adopt an updated kWh rate to reflect changes made in the wholesale rate. In addition it was proposed to make the changes retroactively applied to January 1, 2016. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Terry Terrell, to adopt the proposed changes to the LB436 DG Rate; motion carried.

A Green Power Rate was proposed. Through the wholesale power supplier, NRPPD has had a green power program available for many years. Due to a recent request from a customer to participate in the green power program a Green Power Rate was proposed for consideration. After discussing the mechanics of how the rate would work, what the offer would be, and input from the public that attended the meeting, a motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach, to adopt the Green Power Rate as presented; motion carried.

An update was given on the 2MW solar project being considered by NRPPD. It was reviewed that a Letter of Intent has been signed and delivered to the developer, Innovative Solar LLC. The developer has begun investigating potential sites for the solar installation. No additional action was taken.

The three members of the public left the meeting upon conclusion of the solar project discussion. 

The financial reports and load charts for August were reviewed. A motion was made by Robert Rickenbach, duly seconded by Gary Fuchser, to accept the August financial reports; motion carried. 

The Safety Statistics for August were reviewed. The Safety Report was discussed including the injuries, near misses, and property damage. The training for the month was also discussed. A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Robert Rickenbach, to accept the August Safety Report; motion carried.

A report was given on the status of the Gordon and Chadron substations. The Gordon substation is offline and being fed from the Rush Creek substation. The construction work to reorganize the Gordon substation has now begun. The Chadron substation was taken offline to allow NPPD to complete some required work. The customers saw a short outage during the switching to feed the area from the Crow Butte substation and some customers directly from NPPD. 

An update was given on NRPPD personnel changes and that Abe Young has accepted the Serviceman position, Darren Drabbels has accepted the Sub-Foreman position and an open position on the Hay Springs line crew will be filled in time. 

The August Outage Report was reviewed. In August NRPPD experienced outages that affected several customers due to wind and lightning storms.

The General Manager’s report included information related to two committees attended at Tri-State G&T. The Contract Committee met to continue discussions related to a possible request for contract extension, the current 5% self-generation limitation, an in-depth review of the current contract, and the possibility of Tri-State extending their contract with Basin Electric. The Rate Committee met for the first time since being re-convened. The discussion was focused on a review of the 2016 rate and its performance year to date and a preview of a discussion of the Standby Rate from Tri-State. 

Gary Fuchser reported on the Tri-State Meeting he attended. The report recapped the financial and generation performance of Tri-State through August 2016 and the 2017 proposed budget and rate increase. Tri-State received numerous comments from its members requesting additional actions to be taken to mitigate the originally proposed 2017 rate increase of 6.78%. The Tri-State CEO recommended to utilize an additional $30 million of deferred revenue in 2017 to result in approximately a 4.25% increase, which the board adopted. 

An item for the October agenda was the continued progress on the solar project. 

Upcoming meetings include the NRECA Annual Meeting and a few of the Directors tentatively plan to attend for NRPPD.

The October board meeting will be held October 27 at 1:00 PM.

There being no further business to come before the Board, the president declared the meeting adjourned at 2:41 PM.

Approved: President

Signed: Secretary

Published: October 19, 2016