Joint EMP Meeting

Joint EMP PhotoEvery month KMEA participates in the Energy Management Project Group meetings for EMP 1, EMP 2, and EMP 3, however, last week KMEA hosted a Joint EMP meeting, bringing all three EMPs together in Kansas City. The joint meeting was well attended and included a full agenda.

KMEA kicked off the meeting with market report presentations, followed by a congestion and transmission hedging activity presentation. KMEA went on to share the status of several projects that are in progress for the EMPs. The meeting also included a KMEA website demonstration of the recently launched Sharfile system, which provides a virtual file cabinet to all KMEA member cities.

The joint meeting concluded with status updates from EMP 1 Chairman, Bob Mills, EMP 2 Chairman, Jeff Scott, and EMP 3 Chairman, Matt Rehder. The Joint EMP meeting offered a great opportunity to provide topical demonstrations and presentations and allowed for information exchange between the EMPs. We would like to thank everyone who took time out to attend the joint meeting, particularly those who drove a great distance to attend.

Coffeyville Groundbreaking Ceremony

Coffeyville groundbreaking1Wednesday was a momentous day for Coffeyville Municipal Light and Power (CMP&L) as local leaders, utility officials and dignitaries held a groundbreaking ceremony for Generation Facility No.2. Construction will officially begin October 12th and the new plant, located in the Coffeyville Industrial Park, is expected to be in operation by January 1, 2017.

The construction of the $58, 000,000 plant is the result of a power purchase and sale agreement with the Grand River Dam Authority. The contract led to an agreement to purchase and install 3 – 18.7 MW Wärtsilä generating units, which adds an additional 56 MW of generating capacity. Burns & McDonnell is the engineering firm for the project.

One of the significant benefits of the plant is the quick start capability of the new generators. Should Coffeyville experience a power loss, the new generators could be up and running, and restoring power to the city within 10 minutes. This is an exciting step forward for CMP&L, which has grown into one of the largest municipally owned utilities in Kansas, servicing over 60 square miles and over 6,300 customers. Construction of Generation Facility No.2, just adds to the rich legacy of CMP&L, which has been providing power since 1901.

Public Power Week October 4 – 10

Public_Power_Week_logo_rgb_outlinedPublic Power Week is just around the corner, celebrated the first full week in October every year. This year Public Power week is October 4 -10, 2015. This is an opportunity for public power utilities to remind their communities of the value and distinct advantages that public power offers. Public power has a rich history in the United States. Locally owned public power utilities have been around for over 100 years and the number of utilities has grown rapidly. Today, 49 States (all but Hawaii) have a public power system and comprise a collection of more than 2000 community-owned electric utilities, serving over 45 million people.

First and foremost, we at KMEA want to thank you, our member cities, for all the hard work you do day in and day out to further the cause of public power and joint action for the betterment of your communities. On the KMEA website “Events “ tab, Click here you will find Public Power Week APPA links that provide great templates and other resources that you may find useful. Among the resources you will find are sample letters, which also provide great talking points to express your appreciation to your public utilities team. Everyone should share in the recognition and appreciation. Once more, all should feel proud to be a part of such and honorable profession. Thank you for all do!

 

Recognizing Your Capital Improvements

Capital Improvement picWith the 2013 Annual Conference, KMEA started what has now become a popular tradition – recognizing member cities’ capital improvements. Last year, we were honored to recognize Baldwin City’s city-wide water and electric meter upgrades, Garden City’s completion of several major projects, including construction of the Jameson Energy Center, Oberlin’s progress with their ongoing electrical infrastructure improvement plan, Garnett’s replacement of 100 city street lights with new, more efficient, LED lights, along with celebrating 100 years of generating electricity. We also had the privilege of recognizing Pratt’s project of overhauling their steam unit, and Russell’s retro-fitting three generating units and beginning a multi-year project to upgrade and improve reliability of their electrical distribution system.

KMEA is aware that many of you are continuously making improvements to your municipal systems and we would like to recognize those of you who have made capital improvements to the electric or gas utilities in your communities at our November 5-6 Annual Conference. Whether the capital improvements are new improvements just underway, project updates since last year or progress toward a multi-year project, we want to shine the light on you. Please help us by sending photographs and a clear description of your improvements to Patrick Ryan at ryan@kmea.com by October 12th

SPP Website Improvements

spp

 

 

 

KMEA recently attended an SPP presentation where it was announced that a vastly improved version of the SPP website is on the way with a go live date targeted for October 31st.  The project is touted as a major overhaul of the SPP website, and has been in testing for many months.

The primary purpose of SPP’s “Website Replacement Project” is to enhance the website’s content management, information architecture, functionality, search capability, aesthetics and overall end user experience.  The enhanced site will offer user profile and log in capabilities that will provide access to a number of resources and multiple Org Group Pages, which offer Org Group email exploder lists.  Additionally, the redesign will result in a comprehensive “clean up” of website content so accurate and current content is a couple of clicks away, and historical information is appropriately archived.  All content will follow a common folder system and a standard document naming convention, which will result in a more intuitive environment for end users.

Solar Energy – From the Archives

lok

Interestingly, a news clipping about Solar Energy, preserved as a keepsake during the days of the Korean War, was recently shared with KMEA. Note the caption of the article from the Tuesday, April 7, 1953 Pacific Stars & Stripes publication, titled “Solar Energy Switch Hailed by Scientists.” Back in 1953, the solar energy conversion efficiency was very low, however, the concluding sentence of the article makes a rather prophetic statement: “The new method (solar energy) converts about 1 percent of the sunlight absorbed into chemical energy. But there is no obvious reason why the efficiency cannot be increased to such an extent that the method may become of economic importance.”

Today, the conversion rate is in the neighborhood of 25% and new technologies continue to emerge that could harvest more of the sun’s energy. The industry has been considering solar energy for decades and is still dealing with the “economic importance” issue.   We are thrilled to have APPA’s Paul Zummo as one of our featured speakers at the KMEA Annual Conference, who will be giving a solar presentation.

Solar Energy Photo

 

 

Rod Willis appointed to KMGA Executive Committee

Rod Willis Photo 9.1.15Rod Willis, City Manager for Osage City, was appointed as an at large member of the KMGA Executive Committee at the August 18th Executive Committee Meeting. Rod was appointed to fill Mike Gilliland’s unexpired term through May 2017. Rod brings a wealth of leadership and municipality experience. Prior to accepting the City Manager position for Osage City in June of 2014, Rod was the City Manager of Sterling for eight years. Additionally, Rod served on the city council and was the Mayor of Sterling for three terms. Rod is a worthy and welcome addition to the KMGA Executive Committee.

KMEA Introduces ShareFile

Sharefile photo2

KMEA is pleased to announce that a new application is available to its electric and gas members. In the near future you will be receiving an email with a link to allow you to access ShareFile. ShareFile is a document server that will allow KMEA to post documents for each city in a secure manner. Each city will be allowed as many users as they want with access to the system at no charge. Each member city will be given access to different areas of the system based on the projects the city belongs to. KMEA plans to use this system for a wide range of documents, from daily operational information and monthly meeting documents to billing invoices. Documents that might be too large to fit in an email attachment can be easily accommodated on the ShareFile system. It is our hope that this new system will create easier access for our members to retrieve information and documentation. Please feel free to send any questions to Neil Rowland (Rowland@kmea.com)

Chris Weiner new City Administrator for Girard

Chris Weiner Photo

We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Chris Weiner who was recently appointed City Administrator for the City of Girard. Chris hails from southeast Kansas. Devoted to public service, Chris was the Assistant City Administrator of Cherryvale, Kansas prior to accepting the Girard City Manager position.

Additional areas of experience Chris brings to the table include grant writing, former member of the Sunflower Rails-Trails Conservancy (SRTC), current member of both the ICAM, the International City/County Management Association, and KACM, Kansas Association of Court Management. Chris graduated with a B.G.S. in Public Administration, minoring in Economics and Sociology from Kansas State. Please join us in congratulating Chris on his new position as Girard City Manager.

Chris Lowe Accepts New Position in Colorado

Chris LoweChris Lowe, Baldwin City Administrator and KMEA Executive Committee Vice President, recently announced that he has accepted the position of Town Manager of Monument, Colorado, a city of about 5,800, north of Colorado Springs. Baldwin City has been home to Chris and his family since July 2011, when he was hired as Baldwin City Administrator. Chris’ dedication and commitment to improving Baldwin City is evidenced by his long list of accomplishments. Numerous city revitalization projects were completed during Chris’ four years, including street reconstruction, expansion of the public library, upgrades to the municipal golf course, city parks and city power and sewer plants, just to name a few. Chris also improved the city’s finances and renegotiated the city’s wholesale water agreement with the city of Lawrence, reducing Baldwin City’s wholesale water rate by 25%.

In addition to his leadership and contributions to Baldwin City, Chris faithfully served on the KMEA Executive Committee from 2012 to 2015. This past May, he was elected to an officer position, as Vice President of the Executive Committee. Chris’ last official day in Baldwin City is September 21. Please join us in congratulating and extending our best wishes to Chris on his future success in Colorado.