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Jim Stokes
MEUA Executive Director
NYMPA General Manager

 

MEUA Executive Director Report

Greetings Everyone,

We have rounded the Labor Day corner and are now enjoying the shoulder months ahead of the coming winds and cold of Winter. At this point, we are continuing to anticipate seasonally high market prices for natural gas and electricity. While we benefit from some of the lowest cost hydro power in the nation, the cost of supplemental power this Winter will be largely driven by market pricing, and those prices are expected to remain high. The ultimate market impact on our customers will be largely dependent on the severity of the Winter weather.

As I write this, the 2022 Annual Conference is only a few days in the past. For all who attended, I hope you found it informative as well as relaxing. I think most everyone that participated enjoyed the baseball outing at NBT Bank Stadium where we watched the hometown Syracuse Mets go down to a 15-8 defeat at the hands of the visiting Rochester Red Wings. The facility was exceptional, and the game was entertaining. Likewise, the stadium staff members showed us great hospitality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also heard many positive remarks about the golf course at Green Lakes State Park as well as the natural beauty and amenities of the park in general. After a rainy start in the morning, the weather cleared, and it turned out to be a perfect late summer day to enjoy the outdoors. The staff at both the golf course and restaurant were great to work with and we appreciate all their assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the educational side, I want to say how much we appreciate the time and effort given by all our professional presenters, including Kevin Brocks, Ken Podolny and Michelle Zaludek of Read and Laniado, Jay Brew of Stone Mattheis Xenopoulos & Brew, Mark Cordeiro and Dylan Marsland of PLM Engineering, Chris Wentlent of Wentlent LLC, John Jennings and Meghan Dorrite of Harter Secrest and Emery, Bill Freitag of BST and Neil Webb and Adam Duerr from Ramboll Engineering. I also want to extend my sincere thanks to NYS Senator John Mannion for joining us and sharing his thoughts at our Wednesday luncheon.

The Annual Conference is underwritten to a significant degree by our corporate sponsors. While there isn’t space enough here to list everyone that contributed, I would like to particularly thank Altec Industries, Read and Laniado, Irby Utilities, Hubbell Inc., PLM Engineering, USA Software, and BST.

The annual meeting of the members of the IEEP was also held during the conference in Syracuse. Mike Lyons did his usual excellent job of presenting the state of the organization and answering questions about the proposed increase in the customer assessment. Watch your email for further information regarding that proposal. 

Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you that keep this organization active and relevant for the members. The cover features our outgoing and incoming Executive Committee presidents, Nancy Mitchell and Andrew Thompson, our incoming Executive Committee member Tom Posella, and Larry Kilburn, who completed his last of many years of dedicated service to MEUA. Time and again over his long career, Larry has answered the call to service, and we wish him all the best in the years to come.

Take care and enjoy the coming beauty of the upstate New York Autumn season.

Jim

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Chris Wentlent

August 2022 Transmission Update

 

 

Happy Fall, and I hope your Labor Day was enjoyable for you and your family.

Climate Action Council Update

On August 23, the Climate Action Council (CAC) met to receive updates from subgroups working on Natural Gas Transition, future Alternative Fuels and how do you fund the economy wide CLCPA mandate. In addition, they received an overview of the written comments provided regarding the Draft Scoping Plan. In total, 35,000 comments including over 900 comments with attachments were received.

Key topics included:

  • Cost Impacts

  • Capacity, reliability and security of the electric grid

  • Rural and Upstate community needs

  • Jobs and the New York economy

  • Alternative fuels

  • Scoping Plan goals, timeline, and process

  • Renewable energy technologies

  • Climate justice and equity

  • Perceived ban on wood burning

  • Economy-wide strategies

Next Steps – the CAC will have two meetings per month starting in September. Meetings through October will include final subgroup reports, Integration Analysis updates, and addressing public and Climate Justice Working Group feedback. November meetings will be utilized to receive CAC member feedback on the revised Scoping Plan. December meetings will be utilized to finalize the Scoping Plan.    

 

NYISO

NYISO 2023 Project Prioritization Process – each year the NYISO stakeholders vote on which projects should be included in the 2023 budget and priorities for next year. In total, our vote covers eight systems. We selected the following projects for next year in the survey provided. The following were the projects, weight of importance and basic explanation:

  • Coordinated Grid Planning Process - 5% - T&D buildout necessary to transition to new grid of resources.

  • Balancing Intermittency - 20% - High intermittency will create new operational challenges to manage the grid. This project will evaluate ways to manage and balance intermittent resources.

  • Constraint Specific Transmission Pricing - 5% - improves the efficient operation of the transmission power grid.

  • Dynamic Reserves - 20% - a higher dependence on intermittency will create challenging gaps such as wind and solar lulls, peak and off-peak issues.

  • Engaging Demand Side - 5% - Demand resources will become a new option and source of resources to manage the grid.

  • Hybrid Aggregation - 20% - solar and energy storage must be maximized together. This project works on that capability

  • Storage as Transmission - 5% - storage could offer quick response, but also potentially as a transmission option especially for congested areas. This project looks at this second element.

  • Enhancing Interconnection Process - 20% -many ISOs/RTOs are facing bottlenecks in the interconnection process. This project will evaluate ways to improve the NY Interconnection Process.

 

At the August 2022 Budget Prioritization Working Group (BPWG) they outlined the final projects that will be incorporated into the 2023 NYISO Budget. All the projects that we weighted as priorities will be incorporated into the 2023 Budget.

Transmission Update

On August 11, the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) approved the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and National Grid's (NGRID) Smart Path Connect Project to increase delivery of clean energy and advance New York's Climate Action Goals.

The 100-mile transmission line in the North Country is needed to meet the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The project, known as Smart Path Connect, represents an upgrade to the transmission backbone system of New York that will improve reliability throughout the State. It will complement the previously approved Smart Path and AC Transmission projects and it will reduce congestion and curtailments currently impacting renewable generation.  The Smart Path Connect project will eliminate existing curtailments and provide congestion cost savings of more than $447 million. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2026.

The North Country transmission line is owned and operated by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and National Grid. The project consists of rebuilding approximately 100 miles of existing 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines to either 230 kV or 345 kV along with associated substation construction and upgrades along the existing right-of-way in Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oneida counties. It includes rebuilding all or parts of: NYPA's Moses-Willis 1 & 2 lines, NYPA's Willis-Patnode and Willis-Ryan lines; and National Grid's Adirondack to Porter line, the extension of the existing 230 kV Rector Road to Chases Lake Line 10, as well as connecting to NYPA's Smart Path (also known as Moses-Adirondack 1 & 2 or MA 1 & 2) right-of-way.

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Chris Wentlent
NYISO Advisor 
MEUA Consultant

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John Jennings
MEUA Lobbyist

Albany Update: John Jennings

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

 

Things have been quiet on the legislative front since our last report.  This is not entirely surprising, because primaries for Congressional seats and state Senate seats were just recently held on August 23rd.    Because of the redistricting process, we saw more primary races than usual.  Many downstate Senate Democrats faced primaries, including the chair of the Energy and Telecommunications committee, Senator Kevin Parker.    Senator Parker has demonstrated a willingness to engage with municipal electric utilities, and over the years, he has been supportive of several issues related to our members.  He did emerge victorious, as did many of the incumbent members who faced challenges. 

 

There were a couple of congressional races that many around the state were watching closely.  First, there was a Republican primary for the newly drawn 23rd Congressional district, which covers parts of Erie County and the Southern Tier.  In that race, Republican State Chair Nick Langworthy narrowly defeated Carl Paladino, an outspoken Buffalo businessman who ran for governor in 2010.  The second race was actually a special election to fill a vacancy in the 19th CD created when Antonio Delgado resigned to accept a position as Lieutenant Governor.  Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan (D) ran against Dutchess County Executive (and former gubernatorial candidate) Marc Molinaro (R).  Many pundits have predicted that this should be a good year for Republican candidates because of broader national trends.  Joe Biden won that district by just a couple of points, and so that district seemed like an interesting test case.  In the end, Pat Ryan pulled out a couple point victory. 

 

Now we move on to the general election, which will be on Tuesday, November 8th.  Governor Kathy Hochul is favored to defeat Republican congressman Lee Zeldin, but recent polling shows that he is closer than many would have predicted.  Democrats hold strong majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly, and that is unlikely to change.  However, it will be interesting to see if Republicans make some gains this election cycle. 

 

The legislature is not expected to reconvene until January.  However, we will keep you updated if they hold a special legislative session in the mean-time.

  

 

Best,

 

John

Employment Ads

Skaneateles: Electric Line Leader

 

The Village of Skaneateles is seeking a full-time line leader for our electric department. This is a non-competitive civil service position involving overhead and underground work on our distribution system. Work will also involve other Village duties as necessary.

 

Qualifications include 4 years of Journeyman level work, with all certifications. Knowledge of distribution electric systems and substations. Ability to plan, develop strategies and implement ideas for crew leadership while performing line construction duties. Must have the ability to direct subordinate employees.

This is a Union position with the benefits commensurate with negotiated contracts. Salary commensurate with contract. Mail resume to Laurie Walter, Village Clerk, 26 Fennell St., Skaneateles, NY 13152.

 

The Village of Penn Yan has an opening for one (1) Senior Lineworker.  This is a competitive NYS Civil Service position that is full time, 40 hours per week and subject to Civil Service rules for eligibility.

Primary Responsibilities

 

-Senior Lineworker will supervise the crew in the absence of the Crew Chief, assuming full

responsibility for the safe and efficient performance of their assigned work

-Engaged in any type of construction, operation or maintenance on distribution lines and associated equipment.

-Apply safety rules and regulations as they apply to line substation and service work.

-Installs, inspect and repair poles, conductor, transformers, meters, hardware and other equipment on or near energized and de-energized lines in keeping with the appropriate specifications.

-Respond to outages to investigate, locate, analyze, correct faults and restore service on distribution equipment.

-Perform line switching, including switching at a transformer or automatic air-switch station.

-Reviews plans and specifications.

-Inform supervisors of equipment and materials required to complete jobs.

-Trains other crew members in construction of electrical distribution systems.

-Performs basic maintenance on equipment.

-Other responsibilities as assigned.

 

Benefits:

Compensation rate is $41.90 to $46.64 hourly rate, dependent on years of experience, Penn Yan also offers a competitive benefits package. (Details shown below)

Competitive insurance that includes health and dental

  • Vacation Time: After 1 year of continuous employment earn 2 weeks (80 hours) paid vacation - Graduated scale thereafter based on longevity

  • Earn 8 hours of sick time each month to accumulate to 240 days that may be used for a retirement cash benefit or health insurance premiums

  • Receive 40 hours personal time June 1st of each year. Unused personal hours will rollover to sick hours annually on June 1st.

  • Step Pay Scale: Advance 1 Step upon each anniversary of hire date current pay increases for Steps:1-4, 9, 13, 18, 22,25,27

  • New York State Disability Insurance

  • 12.5 paid holidays on top of time earned

  • NYS Employees Retirement System

  • Flexible shifts Monday-Friday with on-call availability

 

Keys to success include working effectively with a team, following safety protocol, being respectful to others, and having integrity and pride in your work

 

Minimum qualifications include graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma; AND four (4) years of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience as an Apprentice Lineworker on electric distribution systems; OR one (1) year of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience as an Electric Utility Lineworker. (Must possess Qualified Electric Person (QEP)).  This is a competitive NYS Civil Service position that is full time, 40 hours per week and subject to Civil Service rules for eligibility.

Interested applicants should apply by Friday 3/16/2022 by submitting an application to the Yates County Personnel Office at 417 Liberty St, Penn Yan, NY 14527 or online at https://mycivilservice.yatescounty.org/jobopps.

The Village of Penn Yan is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace.

The Village of Penn Yan Municipal Electric Department is seeking candidates for the full-time position of an experienced Electric Lineworker.

 

Primary Responsibilities

 

-Engaged in any type of construction, operation or maintenance on distribution lines and associated equipment.

-Apply safety rules and regulations as they apply to line substation and service work.

-Installs, inspect and repair poles, conductor, transformers, meters, hardware and other equipment on or near energized and de-energized lines in keeping with the appropriate specifications.

-Respond to outages to investigate, locate, analyze, correct faults and restore service on distribution equipment.

-Perform line switching, including switching at a transformer or automatic air-switch station.

-Reviews plans and specifications.

-Inform supervisors of equipment and materials required to complete jobs.

-Trains other crew members in construction of electrical distribution systems.

-Performs basic maintenance on equipment.

-Other responsibilities as assigned.

 

Benefits:

 

Compensation rate is $39.87 to $43.97 hourly rate, dependent on years of experience, Penn Yan also offers a competitive benefits package. (Details shown below)

 

Competitive insurance that includes health and dental

 

  • Vacation Time: After 1 year of continuous employment earn 2 weeks (80 hours) paid vacation - Graduated scale thereafter based on longevity

  • Earn 8 hours of sick time each month to accumulate to 240 days that may be used for a retirement cash benefit or health insurance premiums

  • Receive 40 hours personal time June 1st of each year. Unused personal hours will rollover to sick hours annually on June 1st.

  • Step Pay Scale: Advance 1 Step upon each anniversary of hire date current pay increases for Steps:1-4, 9, 13, 18, 22,25,27

  • New York State Disability Insurance

  • 12.5 paid holidays on top of time earned

  • NYS Employees Retirement System

  • Flexible shifts Monday-Friday with on-call availability

 

Keys to success include working effectively with a team, following safety protocol, being respectful to others, and having integrity and pride in your work.

 

Minimum qualifications include graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma; AND four (4) years of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience as an Apprentice Lineworker on electric distribution systems; OR one (1) year of full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience as an Electric Utility Lineworker. (Must possess Qualified Electric Person (QEP)).  This is a competitive NYS Civil Service position that is full time, 40 hours per week and subject to Civil Service rules for eligibility.

 

Interested applicants should apply by Friday 2/21/2022 by submitting an application to the Yates County Personnel Office at 417 Liberty St, Penn Yan, NY 14527 or online at https://mycivilservice.yatescounty.org/jobopps.

The Village of Penn Yan is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace.

The Village of Penn Yan has an opening for one (1) Deputy Line Crew Chief.  This is a competitive NYS Civil Service position that is full time, 40 hours per week and subject to Civil Service rules for eligibility.

Primary Responsibilities

 

-Deputy Line Crew Chief will supervise the crew in the absence of the Crew Chief, assuming full

responsibility for the safe and efficient performance of their assigned work

-Assists in design, planning and coordination of line projects

-Engaged in any type of construction, operation or maintenance on distribution lines and associated equipment.

-Apply safety rules and regulations as they apply to line substation and service work.

-Installs, inspect and repair poles, conductor, transformers, meters, hardware and other equipment on or near energized and de-energized lines in keeping with the appropriate specifications.

-Respond to outages to investigate, locate, analyze, correct faults and restore service on distribution equipment.

-Perform line switching, including switching at a transformer or automatic air-switch station.

-Reviews plans and specifications.

-Inform supervisors of equipment and materials required to complete jobs.

-Trains other crew members in construction of electrical distribution systems.

-Performs basic maintenance on equipment.

-Other responsibilities as assigned.

 

Benefits:

Compensation rate is $44.63 to $49.59 hourly rate, dependent on years of experience, Penn Yan also offers a competitive benefits package. (Details shown below)

Competitive insurance that includes health and dental

  • Vacation Time: After 1 year of continuous employment earn 2 weeks (80 hours) paid vacation - Graduated scale thereafter based on longevity

  • Earn 8 hours of sick time each month to accumulate to 240 days that may be used for a retirement cash benefit or health insurance premiums

  • Receive 40 hours personal time June 1st of each year. Unused personal hours will rollover to sick hours annually on June 1st.

  • Step Pay Scale: Advance 1 Step upon each anniversary of hire date current pay increases for Steps:1-4, 9, 13, 18, 22,25,27

  • New York State Disability Insurance

  • 12.5 paid holidays on top of time earned

  • NYS Employees Retirement System

  • Flexible shifts Monday-Friday with on-call availability

 

Keys to success include working effectively with a team, following safety protocol, being respectful to others, and having integrity and pride in your work

 

Minimum qualifications

a) Graduation from a regionally accredited NYS college or university with an Associate’s degree or higher in Engineering Science, Engineering Technology, Construction Technology or closely related field; AND three (3) years of experience in construction, installation, maintenance and/or operation of an electrical utility distribution system as a Lineworker, one (1) year of which involved supervision; OR

b) Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma; AND five (5) years of the experience as described in (a), one (1) year of which involved supervision; OR

c) An equivalent combination of education and experience as defined by the limits of (a) and (b) above.

Interested applicants should apply by Friday 6/3/2022 by submitting an application to the Yates County Personnel Office at 417 Liberty St, Penn Yan, NY 14527 or online at https://mycivilservice.yatescounty.org/jobopps.

The Village of Penn Yan is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free workplace.