The regular meeting of directors of Northwest Rural Public Power District was held in the Conference Room of the District July 25, 2013 at 1:00 P.M.
The meeting was called to order by the president, Robert Rickenbach. Directors who answered the roll call were Mike Van Buskirk, Wayne Cobb, Robert Rickenbach, Lee Ahrens, and Bruce Troester. Gary Fuchser and Jim Johnson were absent.
Also present were Rolland Skinner, manager; Arlene Lahaye, office manager; Russ Reichenberg, line superintendent; Ron Housh, planning engineer; Les Tlustos, consumer services; Terry Curtiss, District Counsel; Troy Bredenkamp, NREA manager and Dan Bruning, NRECA.
Wayne Cobb made a motion to excuse Gary Fuchser and Jim Johnson’s absence from the meeting. The motion was duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk; motion carried.
The Open Meeting Law posting was acknowledged.
All votes are unanimous upon a roll call vote unless noted.
A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Lee Ahrens to accept the order of business published and supplemented at this meeting; motion carried.
A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded Wayne Cobb, that the minutes of the meeting held June 27th be approved as published and mailed to all directors on July 25th motion carried.
Troy Bredenkamp, Nebraska Rural Electric Association (NREA) Manager, introduced himself to the board and reviewed his past employment history prior to becoming the NREA manager. Troy also gave the Board some history on NREA. NREA was created in 1935 and currently represent 34 member systems (25 Public Power Districts and 9 Rural Electric Coops). The purpose of NREA is to provide services to our members more efficiently and effectively than what could be accomplished individually. A discussion with the Board occurred concerning industry challenges.
Troy Bredenkamp left the meeting at 1:50 PM.
The office manager reviewed the June Financial reports, graphs on purchased and sold power, demand and cash flow were reviewed. A motion was made by Wayne Cobb, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to accept June financial reports; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner discussed and had a presentation on who owns Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). The following are a few of the points made:
1. Claims about purchasing renewable energy should only be made if REC ownership can be documented.
2. It’s difficult and expensive for the Qualified Facility (QF) owner to certify the REC’s.
3. Tri-State will certify them for Northwest Rural
4. Older QF contracts did not articulate ownership of the REC’s because REC’s were not defined or traded until the late 1990’s.
5. FERC has previously declared that the states have the responsibility for implementing PURPA and FERC’s rules, and found that disputes over specific provisions of PURPA contracts are for states to decide.
6. Under PURPA’s enforcement scheme, a declaratory order issued by FERC would be merely advisory.
7. Attributes of some QF’s, such as lack of dispatch ability, impose additional costs on the purchasing utility that are not reflected in the avoided cost paid.
8. Avoided cost rules under PURPA cannot be the basis for transferring ownership of REC’s to the utility purchasing the power.
9. FERC left it to the states to decide the REC ownership question.
10. REC’s are the creation of states, and that PURPA does not address the ownership of REC’s.
A discussion followed.
Ron Housh reported on the construction projects. The contractors are working on the Tiensvold project and we are hauling poles in order to finish the Rolling Meadow project.
Russ Reichenberg reviewed the Safety Report for June. A discussion was held on the vehicle accident and injury that occurred. Incidents involving non-NRPPD personnel were also discuss. Russ informed the Board the fire damage north of Hay Springs there are approximately 30 poles left to change out, also approximately 15 poles south west of Chadron.
Russ informed the Board that Cale Anderson has been hired to replace Bryce Buhr. John Hessler has been hired as full time to assist in the metering department and to help on the service crew. Wade Hanks has accepted the position of foreman in Crawford.
An Open House has been scheduled for Jim Anderson at the Ranch House in Crawford on August 29th. A motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to accept the June Safety Report; motion carried.
The August meeting is scheduled for August 28th.
Rolland Skinner addressed the Board concerning his actual retirement date. A discussion was held concerning the NPSIG issues and retaining Rolland to see NPSIG through to the end.
Dan Bruning, NRECA’s Executive Search, addressed the Board on the process of hiring a manager and the time line involved.
A motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to go into an executive session at 2:05 PM to discuss the manager search with Dan Bruning; motion carried. Rolland Skinner, Arlene Lahaye, Russ Reichenberg, Ron Housh, and Les Tlustos left the meeting.
A motion was made at 3:40 PM by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Wayne Cobb to come out of executive session; motion carried.
Rolland Skinner, Arlene Lahaye, and Les Tlustos rejoined the meeting.
Dan Bruning left the meeting at 3:45 PM.
At 4:10 PM a motion was made by Bruce Troester, duly seconded by Mike Van Buskirk to go into an executive session to discuss NIPSIG issues. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, abstain; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, absent; Jim Johnson, absent; motion carried. Arlene Lahaye and Les Tlustos left the meeting.
At 4:29 PM Arlene Lahaye rejoined the meeting.
At 4:30 PM a motion was made by Mike Van Buskirk, duly seconded by Bruce Troester to come out of executive session. Lee Ahrens, aye; Mike Van Buskirk, aye; Bruce Troester, aye; Wayne Cobb, absent; Robert Rickenbach, aye; Gary Fuchser, absent; Jim Johnson, absent; motion carried.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the President declared the meeting adjourned at 4:31 P.M..
Published: August 21, 2013