KMEA Develops New Five Year Strategic Plan

On July 26th and 27th in Salina member city representatives, KMEA staff, and Steve VanderMeer, the moderator, worked on developing a new 5 year strategic plan for the agency.  This exercise helps define the needs of KMEA members from power supply, member services, supply chain, and operational needs of their utilities to name a few, and how KMEA can support those initiatives.  This exercise also develops the needs of KMEA from staffing, facilities, technology, equipment, etc. to help support our members.  This plan will be presented to the Executive Committee in the future and ultimately presented to the full membership for acceptance.  The goal of Strategic Plan for KMEA is to be the trusted partner providing industry-leading service and innovative solutions to our member communities.

 

KMEA Dighton Line Crew assists Garden City

The KMEA Dighton Lineman Services crew headed to Garden City, Kansas to assist with line work July 24th through July 27th. They assisted with hauling, framing, and setting poles. They helped with moving and wiring a transformer bank, transferring service, and energizing secondary. KMEA line crew worked side by side with the Garden City crew.  Garden City is a participant in the regional line crew program that utilizes the KMEA line crew to aid in the maintenance and repair of multiple member city’s electric utility.

Biden-Harris Administration Launches Rebate Programs for Transformers and Critical Industrial Equipment

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million to support the installation of energy efficient distribution transformers and extended product systems that use equipment with electric motors, such as pumps, air compressors, and fans. This funding, made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be distributed through two rebate programs, one focused on transformers and another on extended product systems.

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KMGA Regional Meetings

In 2023, KMGA started to organize regional meetings for the members. The regional meetings provide the opportunity for member cities and KMGA staff to meet in a small group setting.  Information and updates within the natural gas industry and KMGA are shared.  Regional meetings are a great means of meeting personnel from other member cities to build relationships and networking opportunities. The first meeting was in McPherson in May. They met twice in July, first in Humboldt and then in Spearville. The members just met a couple days ago, on August 1st in Moundridge. The last meeting of the year will be on August 15th in Osage City.

Biden-Harris Administration Invests Over $200 Million in States and Tribal Nations to Modernize America’s Electrical Grid

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nine states and three tribal nations as the third cohort to receive a combined total of $207.6 million in Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants. Supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, these grants will help modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of climate-driven extreme weather and natural disasters while also ensuring power sector reliability. This funding will ensure all communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity while helping deliver on the President’s ambitious clean energy goals.

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Solar for All

On June 28, 2023, EPA released the $7 billion Solar for All Notice of Funding Opportunity. Through this competition, Solar for All will award up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment—enabling millions of low-income households to access affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy.

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Barry Hodges received the APPA’s Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award

Barry Hodges, City Clerk/Administrator of the city of Minneapolis was awarded the Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award at the American Public Power Association’s annual conference held in Seattle, Washington.  This award recognizes managers of small utilities serving fewer than 2,500 meters. These managers have a very small staff and must assume multiple roles.  Congratulations to Barry for his recognition of the Larry Hobart Seven Hats award.

Mike Muirhead receives APPA’s Mark Crisson Leadership and Managerial Excellence Award

Mike Muirhead, Director of Public Works and Utilities for Garden City received the Mark Crisson Leadership and Managerial Excellence Award as part of the American Public Power Association’s annual conference held in Seattle, Washington.  This award recognizes managers at a utility, joint action agency, or state or regional association who steer their organizations to new levels of excellence, lead by example, and inspire staff to do better.  Mike has served in his current role leading the city through multiple projects and transitions for 12 years.  Mike has also served in leadership roles for KMEA and KMU, serving multiple officer positions in each organization.  Congratulations to Mike for this well deserved award.

2023 Golf Outing and Joint EMP Meeting

The 2023 Golf Outing and Joint EMP meeting took place on June 7th and 8th in Salina, KS. We had 29 golfers participate in the Golf Outing at Lindsborg Golf Club.

On Thursday morning prior to the Joint EMP meeting some members toured the Sunbelt Solomon Transformer Facility in Solomon, KS.