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electric spotlight on critical energy issues

An Industry Race with Technology, Communication and Regulations

ISSUE 2 / 2012

Green Jobs and Renewable Impacts AMI Do’s and Don’ts Energy Policy Outlook Social Media and Customers of the Future Plant Repairs and Risk Mitigation

AMEC is a focused supplier of engineering, procurement, construction (EPC), environmental and project management services employing more than 27,000 people in 40 countries worldwide. With annual revenues of more than US$5.2 billion,

Fossil Air Quality Control Nuclear Geothermal Biomass Solar Wind Transmission & Distribution

AMEC designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex assets for its clients. Our Power & Process Americas (PPA) division provides these services to the Power, Nuclear, Transmission & Distribution, Renewables, and Bioprocess industries. PPA offers full service capabilities from initial planning to EPC and EPCM services.



is one of the leading industrial contractors serving today’s Power industry. With over 44,000 MW of installed capacity, TIC is differentiated by its direct-hire capabilities, financial strength and diverse project experience, including: EPC: Coal–fired units including

large utility boiler installations (in excess of 750 MW) IGCC: Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for the Polk Power Station project CFB: Extensive Circulating Fluidized Bed boiler experience AQCS: Major scrubber, baghouse,

FGD, SCR and DCS installations and retrofits

Renewable Power experience includes: WIND: Over 1,000 US wind

turbine units HYDROELECTRIC: Powerhouse

structure and turbines, major penstock installations and water distribution systems GEOTHERMAL: Nearly every major geothermal project in the US, including its first EPC and first global projects SOLAR: Large scale solar

installations, nitrate salt technology, water/steam receivers and oil/rock thermal storage systems

TIC is a complete Power contractor. STEAMBOAT SPRINGS OFFICE

PO Box 774848 Steamboat Springs CO 80477 2211 Elk River Road Steamboat Springs CO 80487 970-879-2561 fax 970-879-5052



16 38

Features 10 A Rational Look at Climate Change, Green Jobs and Renewables by Kimball Rasmussen, President and CEO, Deseret Power

16 Customer Buy-In for AMI: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Victor M. Prep, Executive Consultant and Kayla J. Buckingham, Analyst, Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC

24 Outlook for United States Energy Policy: Look to the EPA by Ted Kury, Director of Energy Studies, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida

32 Social Media Strategies for Electric Utilities by Matthew Burks, Senior Manager, Utility Customer Experience Services, E Source


elec tric energy | summer 2012

38 Keys to an Effective ClientContractor Partnership for Internal Repairs of Large Diameter Circulating Water Piping by Matt Frye, Senior Project Manager & Derek Walz, Chief Technologies Officer, Structural

Departments 06 Board of Directors 08 2012 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention 44 RMEL Membership Listings 48 2012 Calendar of Events 50 Index to Advertisers



At POWER Engineers we thrive on having many irons in the fire. With strategic thinking and perseverance, Ross Pritchard and the POWER Engineers team will guide your program from conception to completion— no matter the size, no matter the scope.


Ross Pritchard – Director, Program Management POWER Engineers T&D Project Management Group III


rmel information

RMEL Board of Directors Officers President Kelly Harrison Westar Energy VP, Transmission President Elect Andy Ramirez El Paso Electric Company VP, Power Generation Past President Larry Covillo Yampa Valley Electric Association, Inc. President Vice President, Membership Dan Schmidt Black & Veatch Corp. VP, Energy

Directors Vice President, Education Tony Montoya Western Area Power Administration Interim Administrator Vice President, Finance Stuart Wevik Black Hills Corporation VP, Utility Operations Vice President, Vital Issues Richard PeĂąa CPS Energy Sr. VP, Energy Development Vice President, Member Services Mike McInnes Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn. Sr. VP, Production

Doug Bennion PacifiCorp VP, Engineering Services & Capital Investment

Mike Hummel SRP Associate General Manager

Tim Brossart Xcel Energy VP, Construction Operations & Maintenance Mike DeConcini UNS Energy Corporation Sr. VP, COO

Mike Morris Zachry Holdings, Inc VP, Business Development, Engineering Jackie Sargent Austin Energy Sr. VP, Power Supply & Market Operations

Scott Fry Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC Managing Director Jon Hansen Omaha Public Power District VP, Energy Production & Marketing

Rest Easy.

Tom Kent Nebraska Public Power District VP & COO

Pat Themig PNM Resources VP, Generation Secretary Rick Putnicki RMEL Executive Director Published Summer 2012 Published For: RMEL 6855 S. Havana St, Ste 430, Centennial, CO 80112 T: (303) 865-5544 F: (303) 865-5548 Electric Energy is the official magazine of RMEL. Published three times a year, the publication discusses critical issues in the electric energy industry. Subscribe to Electric Energy by contacting RMEL. Editorial content and feedback can also be directed to RMEL. Advertising in the magazine supports RMEL education programs and activities. For advertising opportunities, please contact Deborah Juris from HungryEye Media, LLC at (303) 883-4159. P u b l i s h e d b y:

Westwood’s solutions support the siting, design, and construction of electric transmission and energy projects. With offices and professional registrations across the U.S., we are able to service projects almost anywhere. Put your project in our hands. At the end of the day, you will rest easy.

800.852.0857 Brendan Harrington president Deborah Juris publisher (303) 883-4159



elec tric energy | summer 2012

Lindsay Burke creative director / ad production

Carol Rolland copy editor

Since 1994, Rkneal has been involved with several sophisticated control system projects ranging from wet flue gas desulfurization (WFGD) assignments to complete migrations, upgrades, and conversions from older legacy systems to mode rn controls. In addition to automation controls, Rkneal provides services related to NERC CIP compliance, cyber security, real-time historians, NFPA burner management design & review, electrical design, and startup & commissioning. Contact Rkneal today to learn how our talented staff can assist you. To learn more, visit


fall convention

R M E L 2 0 1 2 Fa ll E x e c u t i v e L e a d er s h i p & M a n ag eme n t C o n v e n t i o n

Gambling on

Our Future with

Uncertain Resources Se p t em b er 9 - 1 1 , 2 0 1 2 S u mmerl i n , NV


oin electric energy industry senior executives for RMEL’s 2012 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention Sept. 9-11 in Summerlin, NV. The theme of RMEL’s 2012 Fall Convention is Gambling on Our Future with Uncertain Resources, and presentations will help electric energy executives keep the lights on while dealing with regulations, renewable impacts and affordability. The RMEL Fall Convention attracts over 300 senior-level utility managers and executives. Find chief executives, company officers, vice presidents, general managers, decision makers and senior management of energy companies at this event. Attendees represent the many utility ownerships including IOU, G&T, municipalities, cooperative and government agencies.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

Former NBA All Star, Mark Eaton, President, LLC, will kick off the educational sessions with strategies to lead your team to greater heights in performance and achievement. In this high energy insightful presentation, Mark shares how he rose from auto mechanic to NBA All Star, and after twelve amazing years with the Utah Jazz reinvented himself and became a business leader, entrepreneur, radio and TV personality and subject of a soon to be released film. In this economy, most utilities are not seeing any residential growth, and some aren’t able to grow revenue at all. David Eves, President & CEO, Public Service Co. of Colorado, Xcel Energy, will share ways utilities can grow revenue in this environment. Predicting what’s on the horizon for the electric energy industry isn’t easy, but Hank Courtright, Sr. VP, Global Strategy & External Relations, EPRI, Dr. John Caldwell, Director of Economics, EEI and Dennis Pidherny, Senior Director, Sector Head, Public Power, Fitch Ratings will provide important details for a utility roadmap to the future. During a CEO Panel, Gary Gates, CEO, Omaha Public Power District; Luis Reyes, CEO, Kit Carson Electric Coop-

erative; Larry Weis, CEO, Austin Energy; Mark Ruelle, CEO, Westar Energy; and Michael Yackira, President & CEO, NV Energy, will share their strategies for moving forward with today’s biggest industry challenges. Over the next quarter century the natural gas-fired generation share of the North American energy market is expected to grow to more than 45% of total installed capacity. Phil Wright, Sr. VP, Corporate Development, Williams Pipeline, will present key strategic, operating and financing issues that could smooth the power industry’s transition to increased natural gas use. Thomas Casey, Managing Principal, Discussion Partner Collaborative LLC, will discuss the emerging talent shortage and the need for innovative human capital practices that incorporate approaches aligned with the four separate and distinct demographic cohorts in the global workforce. As power producers and distributors invest in new digital systems targeting smart grid, smart meters, or portfolio management applications, planning to manage the influx of new data is critical. Martin G. Travers, President, Telecommunications, Black & Veatch, will show examples of how

some utilities are successfully navigating these new challenges and opportunities. Even with the prospect for longer term competitive natural gas pricing, coal generation remains a highly competitive and key fuel resource across much of the country. Grant E. Grothen, P.E., Principal, Burns & McDonnell, will explore the fundamental economics of coal versus gas, impact of both planned and likely retirements on the energy markets, and prediction of industry environmental regulatory compliance investments through 2020. The Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention is a three-day event that begins on a Sunday with a golf outing followed by an evening reception hosted by the RMEL Champions. Monday is a full-day of educational presentations ending with an RMEL Champions reception, dinner and the RMEL Foundation Silent Auction. The final day includes the RMEL annual meeting and a half day of presentations. A guest program, awards presentation and plenty of time to relax and network are also part of the tradition. Go to for more information and registration. w w w. r mel .o rg



elec tric energy | summer 2012

A Rational Look

at Climate Change, Green Jobs Renewables By K im ba ll R asm usse n , Pre s i d e n t a n d C E O, Des ere t P ow er


limate change concerns

seem to be taking a back seat to the economy. The environmental push for renewables mandates are facing some serious headwinds. The American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011 foundered in congress and more states are seeing significant increases in power rates to cover the high costs of renewable energy production. A more effective off-theshelf solution is worthy of consideration. The “real world” analysis of wind-driven energy shows only a small contribution toward reducing carbon emissions. This may be surprising to many.

Wind Generation

The obvious allure of wind is the promise of low emission electricity (e.g. carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, particulates, etc.). So how well does wind energy perform? The national average output efficiency (capacity factor) for wind is slightly less than 30%. This means, for instance, that a 100 MW wind farm will average only 30 MW of output. This might come in the form of near 100% output for 30% of the time, and 0% output during nearly 70% of the time, with numerous iterations in between. But over

time the average will be about 30 MW. Thus the ability of wind to displace our coal is “energy limited” because of the intermittent actual output. A prospective wind resource cannot be scheduled other than the operator’s best estimate of forward looking weather patterns. The primary challenge of wind is the intermittency of the supply. Unless it is backed up with another peaking resource (usually gas turbines) we cannot use the wind (by itself) as a complete coal replacement. In comparison, the national capacity factor of coal is 67%. Thus, a 100 MW coal unit typically operates with w w w. r mel .o rg


67 average MW output. The maximum replacement (albeit highly unlikely or even impossible) that we can get from the wind is 30 of the 67 average MW, or a 45% displacement and this assumes perfect storage and shaping. We are unavoidably left with at least 37 average MW of coal that must operate when the wind is not blowing. This is an extreme upper limit of what wind can actually do; in fairness, the wind is likely to produce some of its energy (probably about 30% of the time) during periods when the coal plant is not operated at all. In addition wind tends to be strongest during off-peak periods – the same periods where the coal plant is most likely to be scaled back to minimum load. And if the wind energy comes on during these periods the coal plant cannot be further reduced, unless it is taken completely off line (which would subsequently incur restart costs and ramping challenges). Therefore the wind will most likely displace some other resource, such as gas or possibly hydro. Obviously the carbon reductions from wind will be much lower, or even nonexistent, in this circumstance. So the range of coal displacement that can be accomplished by wind is somewhere in the range of 20% to 45%, with 30% as a generous central estimate.

The Solution

The goal remains: U.S. utilities need to offset carbon emissions from coal generation. Is there a smarter way to do this? Is the U.S. government pushing renewables before proper engineering and technology due diligence can be performed? The answer to both questions is yes. A typical coal plant is currently operated a little less than 67% of the time primarily due to the fact that the coal plant is “dispatched” or operated to conform to load requirements. The plant normally runs at very high “availability” rates – in excess of 90% – but is “scheduled” to match consumer load requirements. A gas plant can easily take the place of a retiring coal unit as the new gas unit can perform with similar characteristics as the retiring plant. A new combined cycle gas plant can be sited flexibly near load. It is fueled by a combustion process that can be operated to match the consumer load requirements at any time. Combustion of natural gas produces about 45% less carbon dioxide emissions than combustion of coal. Further, gas units are more efficient (better heat rates) than their coal counterparts, meaning they use less fossil fuel to generate the same amount of electricity. When the increased efficiency is accounted for, a combined-cycle gas plant can be expected to produce about 60% less carbon dioxide than coal. Because gas can be run essentially all of the time, and can easily ramp up or down to match consumer loads, it is a natural operational substitute for coal. Therefore, if we were to install a new 100 MW combined-cycle gas-fired plant (instead of the 100 MW of wind in our example), this would result in a net carbon dioxide emissions reduction of about 60%, compared to coal.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

What is the significance of this analysis? With the same installed capacity a combined cycle gas turbine can provide net reductions in carbon dioxide that are greater than wind – probably about double the environmental benefit. In addition, wind energy is significantly more costly when compared to gas. A new wind farm can be expected to have an installed cost that is about double the price of a new combined cycle gas turbine.

Solar Generation

Another popular source of renewable generation is solar generation. Solar has an even smaller capacity factor than wind at 18.4 percent. Still while solar energy is costly, it is also grid friendly. Indeed the general rate of change of the solar output curve is as calm as a morning sunrise or as smooth as an evening sunset. The peak solar output precedes a typical system demand peak, with only about 60 percent of the solar

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through the retooled green policy. JEDI is a static model, and there are no feedbacks for increased power rates in the general economy. Also “gross jobs” are being counted in this model, not net. There is no recognition of offsetting effects on employment in other energy sectors. As an example, look at the construction industry. The net loss of jobs is not compared to job gain. This doesn’t tell the whole story. When doing a national comparison of green jobs to the amount of jobs being lost from coal plant retirements, the results are astounding. Each new green job removes 1.5 to 2.7 coal jobs. So we will lose an average of 2 jobs for every 1 new green job. In addition, the capital investment for coal is $105 billion less than wind. Coal operating costs are 40 percent below the operating costs for wind. maximum still available at the time of actual utility demand peak. Compared to wind, the solar output shows a significant advantage as a fairly reliable peak-period supplier, especially when combined with a reasonable investment in complementary storage and/or backup resources. The major hurdle with solar is cost. However, significant strides are being made to bring down the cost and increase the reliability. Solar is not “in the money” yet, but is likely to be a capable and significant resource of the future, at least in some regions of the country.

The Promise of Green Jobs

Even if solar and wind generation are expensive and face the inherent challenges of intermittency, they are touted to bring millions of green jobs to the economy. The Departments of Energy “Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model” (JEDI) estimates the jobs impacts of constructing and operating power generation at the local and state levels. The model was specifically designed to analyze how many “green” jobs could be expected based on a national build-out of 20% renewable energy by the year 2030. The green jobs are categorized into direct, indirect and induced jobs. Direct jobs are project specific, construction, turbine manufacturing jobs where people are working on building and operating the renewable generation sources. Indirect jobs are those in support activities, such as cement quarry and trucking operations. Those who work in induced green jobs work for companies where direct and indirect workers are spending their money, so people who work at a restaurant where direct and indirect workers stop and eat are factored in as well. Of the total projected green jobs, only 28 percent are direct positions, while a whopping 72 percent are in the indirect and induced categories. JEDI also overstates the jobs by definition. If a person moves around and takes a job at a different company, that is counted as 2 jobs instead of 1 job. We gain or lose more jobs in one month than JEDI says we might gain in 10 years


elec tric energy | summer 2012

Renewable Portfolio Standards

Renewable Portfolio Standards are government mandates to force an increase in wind and solar generation. Typically, U.S. State Public Utility Commissions are pushing utilities to reach 20% renewable generation by a specific deadline, depending on the state. That percentage sounds reasonably low, but taking a closer look it’s not as easy as it sounds. The first issue is availability. Solar and wind operate in the 18% to 30% range of capacity factor, due to intermittency. Coal, on the other hand, operates about three times that level. So utilities must overbuild to meet the mandate. The second problem is cost. The average depreciated book value of existing coal is slightly less than $700 per kilowatt compared to $2,100 per kilowatt for a new build-out with wind generation. When we combine the 3:1 ratio of capacity factors with the 3:1 ratio of build cost we net a 9:1 combined impact to “go green.” Thus a 20% RPS can impact the plant rate base by nine times that amount, or a 180% increase in generating plant rate base.


Looking years into the future, it is quite possible that a completely new technology will be available to generate electricity. Monumental scientific discoveries in energy storage could make the intermittency and capacity problems of solar and wind generation a thing of the past. As we gather more and more real-world data on the performance of renewables, gas is an alternative generation resource that helps utilities reduce carbon emissions without sending costs sky high and cutting jobs in half. Kimball Rasmussen is President and CEO of Deseret Power based in South Jordan, Utah. He has lectured nationally and written several papers on the subjects of climate change and renewable energy. His recent works include, A Rational Look at Climate Change, A Rational Look at Green Jobs, and A Rational Look at Renewable Energy. To request copies of these papers e-mail


More Power to Deliver The changing energy environment makes decision-making challenging. We can’t predict the future, but we have tools that can help. For example, HDr combines engineering expertise with risk analysis, because pricing long-term variables gives you more control. We also provide expertise in water, transportation and waste to streamline infrastructure decisions. With blended teams looking at challenges from every angle, we’ll help you find the best solutions for your needs. E n E r g y UnDerSTooD ®

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Customer Buy-In for AMI:

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly By Victor M. Prep, Executive Consultant and Kayla J. Buckingham, Analyst, Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC

Given the current market trend, it is predicted that by 2016 over 75 percent of the U.S. market will have Advanced Metering Infrastructure (“AMI”) meters, and by 2030 $2 trillion will have been invested globally in AMI or Smart Grid technology1. Notwithstanding implementations based on policy decisions, the level of benefits required for a sound AMI business plan can only be achieved through customer education and acceptance. Customers’ willingness to change lifestyle and energy use is the critical issue in achieving the economic benefits associated with AMI. But this key component is exceedingly difficult to achieve. This case study describes the do’s and don’ts that resulted from detailed planning and implementation of AMI to a targeted demographic in the City of New Orleans.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

Case Study Background

Entergy New Orleans, Inc. (“ENO” or “Company”) provides electric services to approximately 115,000 residential customers, 55 percent of which fall under the “low income” classification established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Company’s AMI Low Income Pilot program2 (“Pilot”) is a two-year pilot program which began monitoring customer behavior in June 2011 with the goal to test this demographic group’s willingness to use AMI technology. The $10 million Pilot was approved for 50 percent funding from the U.S. Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided a stimulus grant for rapid deployment and integration of AMI, with the remainder funded from New Orleans ratepayers via customer rates. ENO enrolled 4,500 participants in the AMI Pilot, which was subdivided into five programs.

Our role, as Technical Advisors to the New Orleans City Council,3 was to provide insight and recommendations and to oversee the planning and development of the programs, marketing materials and methods used to solicit customer participation. Once participants were enrolled in the Pilot, our focus shifted to monitoring and evaluating the Company’s performance in customer education, hardware installation, and follow-up evaluation on behalf of the City Council.

The Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down Strategies for Customer Acceptance and Education

An initial challenge was the development of customer solicitation and enrollment materials that would garner program acceptance from a difficult-to-reach demographic. The AMI Pilot focused on various methods of solicitation including: bill inserts, cold calls, broA M I Low- I n co m e P ilot P r o g r a m s chures, media, and information kiosks at customer Program Participants Description care centers to notify customers of the existence of, and benefits gained, from participation in the Pilot. Air Conditioning 400 Smart Thermostats, which turn off Focus groups, U.S. Census data, online enrollment Load the central A/C up to 20 minutes and non-profit community organizations were used Management per hour for no more than three to tailor this information to the target demographic. consecutive hours per event. Participants are compensated with a $12 monthly bill credit, provided they did not override the A/C control more than two events per month. Peak Time Rebate


In-Home Display Devices (IHDs), which offer a $0.24/kWh incentive to reduce load during peak time events. The Peak Time Rebate Program conducted 20 events during the four-month summer measurement period.

In-Home Display Device


Designed to measure the energy savings from participants who were given access to an Internet portal and their real time energy use information displayed on the IHD.

Internet Portal


Designed to give access to an Internet portal depicting their energy usage with a one day lag, rather than the IHD real time energy use display.

Control Group


AMI meter installed to provide a baseline of continuous energy usage for comparison with the other groups.

Focus Groups  Customer feedback and third-party-managed focus groups provided insight into the most effective methods for targeting potential Pilot participants. Materials describing the Pilot were specifically tailored to gain customer interest and acceptance. The immediate benefits of participating in the Pilot were emphasized, including the potential savings in utility bills that each participant could experience. Recognizing the participants’ sensitivity to being identified as low income customers, the enrollment and education materials were carefully formulated to protect participants’ income level and personal information.

U.S. Census Data  A large portion of customers were reluctant to provide any proof of income, so local market research data collected from U.S. Census responses were used to identify low income neighborhood blocks. Customers residing in these neighborhoods were not required to provide proof of income, thereby providing a much needed boost to program enrollment.

w w w. r mel .o rg


Online Enrollment 

There was mixed success with the different methods of enrollment. Given society’s aptitude for technology, the Pilot offered online enrollment. However, this proved to be a challenge for many low income participants due to lack of access to computers and the internet.

Participant  Education

Each participant was given a choice between three levels of education, or “touch levels.” The face-to-face (“high touch”) education option offered participants in-person education classes held at community partners’ locations. Approximately 18 percent of the participants chose this option. Training sesCommunity Partner, Green Light New sions were conducted simultaneCommunity Orleans, daily planning tool for enrollment. ously for all five programs, but Partners program-specific information was Partnering with local non-profit presented separately. The instructors distributed IHDs afcommunity organizations was an invaluable resource ter the training sessions. A more effective method would for AMI pilot implementation. Establishing a relationhave been to separate the meetings by program and disship with community partners was guided by the foltribute IHDs to participants before the meeting so they lowing steps: could use their IHD as a visual aid during the training. Selecting community partners interested and capable of reaching out to prospective Pilot customers. Approximately 5 percent of the participants chose the over-the-phone (“medium touch”) training option via mulDesignating activities for each community partner, tiple telephone seminars. including participant solicitation and enrollment or education. The written (“low touch”) training option was chosen by approximately 77% of the participants, a Implementing a fair incentive to compensate each surprisingly high number, causing concern on the level community partner. The AMI Low Income Pilot offered of interest in the program at enrollment. a per enrollment incentive for community partners Every participant received printed education materiworking on participant solicitation and enrollment as als encompassing setup, connection, and use of the IHD, well as a rental payment for the use of the community Smart Thermostat, and Internet Portal, emphasizing the partners’ facilities for participant education sessions in objective of saving energy and reducing bills. a community setting. Many community partners offered door-to-door solicitation and enrollment activities, which increased participant involvement. The benefits of including community partners extended beyond increased solicitation and enrollment capabilities. Community partners provided insight into effective methods of participant identification, solicitation, and enrollment. They also provided participants with an independent, familiar third party who could answer questions that participants might not feel comfortable asking the Company. A strong partnership between the Company and the community partners added credibility and helped to reinforce a positive image of the utility and Pilot. The renting of the community partner facilities by the Company for education sessions proA training session to explain functionality of the In-Home vided a familiar, nearby meeting space for participants Display (IHD) device as was used in the Pilot program. during the education process.


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Delivery Mechanism Smart Thermostats  Smart Thermostats were installed at participants’ homes by certified professionals, and limited training was provided at the time of installation.

Delivery Mechanism IHD 

IHDs were either mailed to participants or distributed at face-to-face training sessions. The IHD distribution included written instructions regarding the functionality of the device and a customer service number for further assistance. To no surprise, 49 percent of the IHDs still did not have connectivity with the AMI meter three months after Pilot initiation! Although some firmware problems existed, the low connectivity was mainly attributed to inadequate face-to-face training on IHD functionality. As observed by Council Utility Committee Chair Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, “Mailing IHDs to participants was not an effective means of distribution to this demographic.” Many participants never set up their IHDs, installed its battery or even opened the shipping box. Follow-up in-home installations, or customer face-to-face contact were necessary to heighten customer interest and improve participation in the Pilot.

Equipment Not Funded by Individual participants Providing in-home devices at no direct cost to participants expanded access to a broader number of customers, but it also could have attributed to weak stakeholder support for the Pilot. With no vested interest in the Pilot, some participants had little or no perceived value associated with the IHDs and Smart Thermostats. Requiring participants to purchase the IHDs and Smart Thermostats may reduce the number of participants because the choice to participate entails evaluating the IHD or Smart Thermostat cost relative to the potential benefits. Participants who contribute to the cost of the IHD or Smart Thermostat are more likely to use it to achieve energy savings. Requiring participants to shoulder some portion of the IHD or Smart Thermostat cost would also be a good indication of the actual level of interest in the AMI program.

Midterm Customer Service Outreach AMI program issues in the implementation of new technology into an untested market complicated the difficult task of achieving a partnership with participants.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

Connectivity problems with the IHDs and Smart Thermostats were discovered when each AMI meter was periodically queried using the meter data management system and back haul network. The Company immediately began several months of customer service outreach via telephone and active site visits to participants’ residences where IHDs and smart thermostats were not communicating with the AMI meter. Approximately 50 percent of all site visits ended with an equipment replacement and a firmware upgrade.

Coping with Participant Opt-outs  Continuing from the inception of Pilot implementation, participants elected to opt-out at a steady rate each week. This represented another obstacle in attempting to create a partnership with participants. Approximately 11 percent of the 4,500 enrolled participants opted out within 10 months of the Pilot’s launch date. According to the opt-out surveys, 75% of the opt-outs were due to participants moving from the residence in which they lived at the time of enrollment. The planning for the AMI Pilot assumed that participants moving from their residence would not be a significant factor over the two year period. This opt-out issue raised concerns regarding the demographic screening criteria in the enrollment process, since the majority of these opt-outs were participants who rented their dwelling and frequently changed their primary residence. Accounting for 24 percent of the opt-outs were participants who simply lost interest in the Pilot and their ability to achieve savings. While a final evaluation is still forthcoming, it appears that this lack of interest can be attributed to inadequate customer training on the devices’ operation, insufficient reinforcement of the program benefits, and a general failure to instill a sense of partnership between the participant and the Company.

Follow-Up to Peak Period Programs  Participants of the Peak Time Rebate and A/C Load Management programs were required to fill out a follow-up survey summarizing their experience during the four-month peak period in order to receive an additional cash incentive. With participant opt-outs considered, the returned surveys represented 65% of the original enrolled participants, despite the cash incentive to complete the survey. Since the survey was issued to participants three months after the end of their program involvement, this could have been a contributing factor to the 65percent return rate.

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Case Study Conclusions Achieving the economic benefits for AMI implementation through the necessary reduction in customer demand will be a difficult task for this demographic group. This case study demonstrated that despite the enabling technology and a detailed implementation program, it will require significant time and effort to gain a partnership with participating AMI customers in this demographic. Nonetheless, the lessons learned regarding customer enrollment, education and equipment installation were beneficial for the future application in program design and implementation. Customer enrollment should be reinforced through strong relationships with non-profit community groups, focus studies on the demographic, and by geographically identifying potential participants. Education materials, enrollment mechanisms, and the use of only mature technology should be designed for the target participant demographic. An emphasis on face-to-face educational sessions with the equipment available should be integrated into program development. Delivery mechanisms should emphasize interactive training with the participant to improve connectivity. A mid-term program evaluation should include adjustments to customer service approaches to ensure optimum customer partnering and acceptance in the use of IHDs and Smart Thermostats.

All follow-up materials and surveys should be timely to ensure relevant and valuable participant responses. While a difficult demographic to reach, this customer group with proper program planning and implementation incorporating the lessons learned by this Pilot can participate in an effective manner in the use of AMI technology. Victor M. Prep is an Executive Consultant with Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC in Denver, CO. Mr. Prep is a Professional Engineer in the states of Pennsylvania and Colorado and is an accredited Certified Energy Manager by the Association of Energy Engineers. Mr. Prep has over 30 years of consulting experience in both public and privately owned electric, gas and water utilities, and in engineering related to industrial facilities. He can be reached at Kayla J. Buckingham is an Analyst with Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC in Denver, CO. Ms. Buckingham is a Certified Rate of Return Analyst and specializes in providing in-depth financial analysis for both publicly and privately owned utilities with experience in ratemaking, fuel hedging analyses and energy efficiency and demand side management programs. She can be reached at

©2012 Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC



McHale, Allan. “Global Smart Grid Market to Invest $2 Trillion by 2030, Peaking at $155 Billion in 2021/22 Infrastructure.” Power Grid International Mar. 2012: 19. Print.


L  ow Income is an extremely difficult demographic to reach for such programs. The Pilot was restricted to customers with a total household annual income of $33,520 or less.


Pursuant to the Louisiana Constitution and the City of New Orleans Home Rule Charter, the City Council exercises regulatory jurisdiction over the rates, terms, conditions and quality of service for utilities providing electric and natural gas retail service to Orleans Parish customers.

elec tric energy | summer 2012

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Outlook for United States Energy Policy:

Look to the

By Ted Kury, Director of Energy Studies, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida1


n his state of the union addresses, President Obama has presented ideas for various energy initiatives. The same attention to energy policy, however, seems absent in Congress, which has been much more focused on other matters such as debt ceilings and the federal budget. One might be tempted to look upon Capitol Hill’s inaction and conclude that the U.S. has no energy policy, but that would be a mistake. Inaction can be a policy statement itself, and we should recognize that this may very well be the current policy statement of the legislature. Given this vacuum, then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has emerged as the organization


elec tric energy | summer 2012

that observers look to for definition of the country’s energy policy. Over the past 24 months, the EPA has proposed new standards to limit SO2 and NOX emissions from power plants, mercury and other air toxics, and CO2 emissions from new power plants. Existing questions regarding the disposal of ash from coal fired power plants have remained unresolved, but may be reignited in the wake of a recent federal lawsuit. People interested in the future of energy policy in the U.S. would be wise to follow the EPA’s rulemaking proceedings, as they continue to shape the landscape of our business. There has been no further movement on energy policy relating to a price on

the emissions of CO2 in the U.S. since the Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer bills of 2009. The European Union continues to expand its emissions trading system, subjecting airlines to the system at the beginning of 2012. The inclusion of airlines from outside of Europe in the program has met with resistance, however. An appeal by North American airlines was thrown out of the European Court of Justice in December, and China has expressly prohibited its airlines from complying with the program. The Obama administration has supported the position of the U.S. airlines in this matter, spearheaded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

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Revised 2012 CSAPR Emissions Allowance less 2010 Power Plant Emissions SO2


West Virginia









North Carolina





















New Jersey



South Carolina






New York













































table 1 Kury’s analysis from the EPA’s October allowance revision and actual 2010 plant emissions (from the EPA as well).

The EPA has promulgated a number of rules over the past 24 months with the potential to shape the future of our energy markets. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule is envisioned as the successor regulation to the Clean Air Interstate Rule


elec tric energy | summer 2012

EPA Map of Transport Rule States

States controlled for both fine particles (annual SO2 and NOx) and ozone (ozone season NOx) (20 States) States controlled for fine particles only (annual SO2 and NOx) (3 States) States controlled for ozone only (ozone season NOx) (5 States) States not covered by the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

figure 1 Source: EPA

(CAIR), and affects the states shown in Figure 1. When the EPA released the initial allowance allocations for 2012 last summer, the regulation was met with a tremendous outcry, with markets such as Texas fearing that the rule would lead to electricity outages. While the allowance allocations were revised by the EPA in the fall, a comparison of the revised 2012 allowances in Table 1 with actual 2010 power plant emissions shows that most states still project to have insufficient credits to meet actual emission targets, thus providing certain states with more opportunities for mitigating their emissions. West Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama seem to benefit the most under the current allocation scheme, while Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas fare worst. The rule was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on December 30, with implementation now expected to begin in 2014. The EPA has also issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards applying to all coal and oil-fired power plants with capacity of 25 MW or greater. The standards require that any new construction must be as effective as any current comparable unit, and that existing construction must be as effective as the top 12

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EPA Impact Analysis of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Generation Mix

5.0 4.5

Million GWh

4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5

0.289 0.286

0.289 0.286

0.252 0.286

0.250 0.2886









0.333 0.286

0.333 0.286






Oil Non-Hydro Renewables

1.5 1.0









Hydro Natural Gas

0.0 Base









Nuclear Coal

figure 2 Source: Integrated Planning Model run by EPA, 2011.

percent of existing comparable units. The impact on overall generation mix from this rule is not significant, as shown in Figure 2 from the EPA’s impact analysis report. However, a recent Brattle Group report cites 30 GW of coal generation to retire in the face of the regulation, with another 93-248 GW requiring environmental control upgrades. A third rule concerns the disposal of coal ash, spurred by the containment failure at Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston plant in 2008. The EPA had proposed two approaches to regulation, but had not finalized the ruling. The first proposal would be to treat coal ash as hazardous waste, and the EPA would provide standards for its disposal. The second proposal would treat ash as non-hazardous waste, and while the EPA would supply guidelines for its disposal, the individual states would be left to establish guidelines. A recent federal lawsuit by EarthJustice on behalf of 11 environmental groups may encourage the EPA to finalize its rulemaking, but given the delay, the final rule may look more like the second proposal. A fourth rule, issued on March 25, would limit the CO2 emissions from new power plants to 1,000 pounds per MWh. Because this standard is not achievable with current coalfired technology, the rule is seen as a death knell for new coal construction. The EPA has mitigated this concern somewhat by allowing power plants to achieve this target ‘on average’ over the first 30 years of a power plant’s operating life. However, unless carbon capture and storage projects become commercially viable on a large scale, it is unlikely that potential investors in new generation would accept the risk of the availability, effectiveness, or cost of this technology over the next 30 years.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

The EPA is also expected to issue a final rule to establish requirements for cooling water intake structures at existing power plants this July. The rule would establish upper limits on the number of fish killed by impingement, require the study of site specific controls to limit aquatic organisms sucked into cooling systems, and require new generation at existing facilities to add technology equivalent to closed cycle cooling. However, if the current drought conditions persist or worsen, this rule may very well end up being moot. On the energy supply side, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has revolutionized the natural gas industry. Despite this boom, concerns about the environmental impact of this practice remain, and guidelines on well integrity and the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking are expected. However, significant risks remain that could impact the price of natural gas, despite its significance in the U.S. energy industry. For example, a significant seismic event in close proximity to a fracking site, regardless of whether fracking is identified as the cause of the event, might be sufficient to alter this practice, and put additional supply side pressures on natural gas. The current low natural gas prices are a fundamental artifact of the lack of export capacity in North America. While gas prices remain low on this continent, they are much higher in Europe and Asia. The recent federal approval of the Sabine Pass export facility should lead to North American natural gas flowing overseas, and begin to equalize natural gas prices between North America and the rest of the world. Future terminals are shown in Figure 3. This change in the U.S. supply of natural gas has been profound. According to the 2006

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Export Terminal proposed to FERC 6. Sabine, LA: 2.6 Bcfd (Cheniere/Sabine Pass LNG) 7. Freeport, TX: 1.8 Bcfd (Freeport LNG Dev/ Freeport LNG Expansion/FLNG Liquefaction) 8. Corpus Christi, TX: 1.8 Bcfd (Cheniere – Corpus Christi LNG)

6 11 7 14



Proposed canadian sites identified by project sponsors 9. Kitimat, BC: 0.7 Bcfd (Apache Canada Ltd.) 10. D  ouglas Island, BC: 0.25 Bcfd (BC LNG Export Cooperative)

As of February 28, 2012 US Jurisdiction FERC MARAD/USCG

Proposed and Potential LNG Terminals

Import Terminal proposed to FERC 1. Robbinston, ME: 0.5 Bcfd (Kestrel Energy – Downeast LNG) 2. Astoria, OR: 1.5 Bcfd (Oregon LNG) 3. Calais, ME: 1.2 Bcfd (BP Consulting LLC) 4. Corpus Christi, TX: 0.4 Bcfd (Cheniere – Corpus Christi LNG)

POTENTIAL u.s. sites identified by project sponsors 11. Lake Charles, LA: 2.0 Bcfd (Southern Union & BG LNG) 12. Cove Point, MD: 1.0 Bcfd (Dominion – Cove Point LNG) 13. Coos Bay, OR: 1.2 Bcfd (Jordan Cove Energy Project) 14. Hackberry, LA: 1.7 Bcfd (Sempra – Cameron LNG) 15. Brownsville, TX: 2.8 Bcfd (Gulf Coast LNG Export)

proposed to marad/coast guard 5. Offshore New Jersey: 2.4 Bcfd (Excalibur Energy – Liberty Natural)

potential canadian sites identified by project sponsors 16. Prince Rupert Island, BC: 1.0 Bcfd (Shell Canada)

figure 3 Source: Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Annual Energy Outlook, overseas LNG imports were expected to be over 2 trillion cubic feet by 2010, almost 10% of projected U.S. consumption. In the most recent report, the U.S. is expected to be a net exporter of LNG by 2016, and all natural gas by 2021. Costs are commonly cited as a deterrent to implementing energy policy. This might be a valid concern if the act of not making a decision was itself costless, but it’s not. First, there may be social costs related to the manner in which we use energy, and the magnitude of this social cost is potentially large. However, even if there isn’t a social cost to energy usage, there are still costs associated with the absence of a decision. Utilities and consumers continue to make long term investment decisions in electricity generating equipment that has long engineering lives, based on assumptions of what type of policy the U.S. will ultimately adopt to price power plant emissions. Some of these participants base their decisions on the assumption that these costs will be small, and some are assuming that these costs will be large. One of these groups is going to be wrong. The stranded cost decisions related to electric restructuring in the late 90s and early 2000s resulted in billions of dollars paid by electricity


elec tric energy | summer 2012

consumers, and we may very well be having those discussions again within the next 10 years. And the government won’t be paying them this time, either. In conclusion, the relative inaction of the federal legislature has given way to the EPA as the prime mover of U.S. energy policy, but key EPA decisions have stalled or been stayed in the courts. Considerable uncertainty, then, remains in U.S. energy policy, making it difficult for industry participants to make decisions regarding the future. This has the potential to harm producers and consumers of energy alike, both now and in the future. Ted Kury is the Director of Energy Studies at the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. He is responsible for promoting research and outreach activities in energy regulation and policy. His current research interests include the economic and developmental impacts of environmental and energy policy. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He can be reached at Director of Energy Studies, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida. I wish to thank Lynne Holt for her valuable insight. All remaining errors are my own.


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Social Media Strategies for Electric Utilities By Matthew Burks, Senior Manager, Utility Customer Experience Services, E Source


h e u t i l i t y i n du s t ry h as c ome a long way over the past four years in its view of, and sophistication around, social media. Social has found its current niche providing alerts and real-time information to critical stakeholders, but will continue to trend towards customer support and facilitating a new relationship with consumers based on transparency, responsiveness and increased humanity. The reality is that we face a generational and technological tsunami that will, in relatively short order, disregard the traditional communication practices, channels and norms we rely on. The strategic and tactical implications of this shift will be significant and should be heavily weighted in communication strategic planning. It is also important to recognize that aspects of this fundamental shift, like social media, are simply new channels. Social, as a channel, does not change what you say as a company. It simply provides a different, admittedly more interactive and open, venue to say it in. It is similar to interactions with neighbors or discussions at corporate community events. To put it differently, social media is NOT a strategy by it-

self. It is one tool in a toolbox and part of a larger corporate strategy that every utility must define for itself. If just stepping into the social sphere, here are a few fundamental questions to consider: Who is your target audience?  hat do you want to accomplish? What does “success� W mean in this effort? What are your specific goals?  hat site(s) will you use and how will it (they) be used W to meet those stated objectives?  hat content will you cover? Do you have enough W interesting/useful/good content over the long-term? Who will own the site(s)? Who will be accountable for content (ideally one person)? How will you staff your social presence? Who will serve as a backup(s)? How will you operate the site in crisis situations? Can existing channels get the job done? What is your organizational culture? w w w. r mel .o rg


There are plenty of additional questions, however, answering these key ones will help bring your social aspirations into focus and define the foundational business case. The approach is even more useful if you already have an established presence and there are other internal stakeholders wanting to create new social channels. These provocations will help contribute to the broader strategic context. Although the notion of developing core social channels now, to ensure they exist when needed in the future (whether crisis or generational shifts), is valid, it is important to look before you leap. Stepping into social without an expressed internal desire and a comprehensive plan is a potential disaster. Social doesn’t happen on its own and requires

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elec tric energy | summer 2012

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resources and forethought. Contrary to what some purveyors say, social is not free. Even without development costs, it takes time and effort in perpetuity. The good news is industry data shows social will not overwhelm your organization or resources; however, you should budget for planning and, depending on the size of your customer base, assume a minimum of one hour per day for monitoring and maintenance.

The Social Story The 2012 - 2013 utility social story is, and will continue to be, growth and sophistication. Although utility follower numbers may appear somewhat anemic compared to outside industry, it is important to remember where we came from. Three years ago, utility social managers were ecstatic when they hit 100+ Twitter followers. In our 2011 – 2012 survey 36 percent of utilities had more than 3,000 Twitter followers, 18 percent had more than 5,000, and two utilities reported more than 12,000. Facebook saw similar increases. Only 5 percent of utility respondents reported more than 2,000 followers in 2010, which has now swelled to 30 percent in 2011, with 18 percent notching 5,000+. Although not Coke and Pepsi figures, these are still impressive, especially when contextualized with the traditional conservative and internally-focused posture many utilities have maintained for the last 50 years. Customers are starting to get the message that their utility is providing useful, timely and customer-centered information through social channels. As a result, follower numbers are starting to pop. It is also critical to recognize that all growth to this point has

been “organic.” No utilities had any financial support in 2011 to run campaigns designed to proactively boost their social numbers. We will see this change in 2012 as several leading utilities will actively market their social channels to targeted demographics and geographic regions, helping to take followership to new heights. Their success will bring greater scrutiny to the lack of marketing and communication dollars for social media. At the highest-level, social media’s business case will start coming into focus over the coming 12 – 24 months. We will see more direct integration with contact center operations and a greater willingness to provide customer care through social channels. From these efforts, we’ll see compelling cost savings and productivity numbers that will push the industry further and faster towards social. Utilities will start actively investing in their social properties and presence for pragmatic customer satisfaction and cost-saving reasons. Followership will develop more quickly, increasing and legitimizing social’s influence and role within utility marketing, corporate communications and customer care. Finally, mobile communication will continue its meteoric rise in 2012 - 2013 and social will ride that wave. We will start to see utility pilots combining social and gaming to create a more interactive and engaging customer experiences. Social managers will gain more flexibility and freedom to bring utility content and desired functionality to life. Social can be leveraged for more traditional corporate messages, but we’ll see content delivered in more creative and cutting-edge ways to ensure compelling, relevant and engaging customer experiences.

We Have Come a Long Way, But... The utility industry as a whole has come a long way. There are obvious differences between the resources and capabilities of different organizations; however, size does not serve as a clear indicator for social media effectiveness and leadership. Some of the most progressive social projects over the past several years were driven by lone individuals with little or no resources. Passionate employees, who were focused on the customer and willing to take educated risks, accomplished extraordinary feats. Although we should pat ourselves on the back for these successes, we must also recognize the collective industry response to social media has generally been one of fear, instead of

w w w. r mel .o rg


opportunity. We are a conservative industry, but the speed of high-tech innovation and the resulting expectations of our customers are rapidly making the “traditional” communications landscape unrecognizable. We must assess the communication needs of our future customers and critical stakeholders and compare those to our corporate goals. These are very exciting times filled with immense possibilities and, sometimes, overwhelming change. The reality is that this is happening all over the world. These same communication technologies are toppling governments, fundamentally altering long-held marketing strategies, and forcing some of the most powerful brands in the world to operate more transparently and proactively. In time, this demographic, technological and communication tsunami will come into clear focus; however, many utilities don’t have the luxury of time. We need to start preparing for these profound changes and think about what they mean for our long-term corporate and communications strategies.

The Utility Social Value Equation So, where is social currently driving value? The most commonly cited is crisis situations, where speed, continuous information flow and a more robust and three-dimensional narrative (in written and visual formats) are of premium importance. These are key moments of truth where people want information and expect it in real-time through their laptops or mobile phones. Twitter has been the “go to” channel for utility crises, which partially explains why 96 percent of the 50 utilities we surveyed in our E Source 2012 North American Utility Social Media Survey stated they had an active Twitter account. Facebook engendered similar growth with 80 percent of utilities now leveraging that


elec tric energy | summer 2012

channel for a mix of uses. Flickr remains relatively anemic at 38 percent, despite its potential. Photo sharing sites generally are being held back by utility concerns over potential legal and brand exposure. Increasingly complex issues like rate increases, executive pay, smart meters, electric vehicles, demand response, renewable energy, etc… require more in-depth explanations than some channels allow, making Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs more attractive. Eighty percent of surveyed utilities now use Facebook (up from 65 percent), while almost 90 percent utilize YouTube (up from 71 percent last year). Part of this growth can be attributed to crisis and outage, but communicating more nuanced responses on sophisticated topics is a critical piece of the equation as well. Matthew oversees E Source’s residential marketing and strategic communications services for the utility industry. He can be reached at

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Keys to an Effective Client-Contractor Partnership for internal repairs of large diameter circulating water piping systems in an outage environment By Matt Frye, senior project manager & Derek Walz, chief technologies officer, Structural

Abstract After implementing an “assess and address” program for aging large diameter circulating water piping systems, the opportunity to implement multi-step corrective repairs on this critical asset is typically limited to planned outages with a compressed number of execution days. The scope of this paper is to discuss ways in which the plant operator and their specialty contractor can partner in preplanning to mitigate risks and manage the multiple phases, thus ensuring a successful outcome during a scheduled outage. The basis of this paper is the 2011 carbon fiber composite strengthening and repair of the Unit #1 Circ Water lines at Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s Craig Station.

Introduction Many of the power generation plants throughout the United States and North America use large diameter piping as part of their circulating water systems, or to in some way supply and discharge cooling water from the plant. In most cases these existing pipelines have performed very well for the past 30 plus years considering the aggressive environment they are exposed to. However, there has been an increase in the occurrences of pipe failures due to causes such as: presence of high chlorides in soil that lead to corrosion and eventual breakage, low quality of materials used in pipe fabrication, coating delaminations, and fluid pressure exceeding design value, amongst others. In many cases these pipes are not subject to regular inspections as they are “out of sight, out of mind.” While the cost of an inspection program can sometimes be significant, in almost every case it is much lower than the cost of a potential blowout which could lead to a substantial unplanned outage. w w w. r mel .o rg


Another item that is very imThere has been a significant portant is the location of the reamount of research conducted and pairs within the system. How far papers published on the benefits of are the repairs from the access implementing an “assess and adpoint? How far are they from the dress” program for buried piping. point where ventilation air enters The focus of this paper is not to the pipe? Are any of the repairs debate the benefits of such a proon contiguous segments? Are gram, but rather to discuss how the repairs in an intake line, in a plant operator and a specialty a discharge line, or both? These structural repair contractor can are all very important questions work successfully as partners when that will affect the amount of it does come time to implement the equipment, manpower and other multi-step rehabilitation project. resources needed to complete the For purposes of this discussion, repairs within the given schedule. it is assumed that an inspection Internal CFRP liner installation in a large diameter PCCP. Internal liner projects are very program is in place, that the line logistics intensive and the more in question has been inspected and that is known up front, the better prepared a contractor will be. analyzed, and that repairs are required. It is also assumed that Something that may be slightly less obvious, but is nonevarious repair options have been evaluated and that an internal theless important in the planning stage, is the importance fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) liner has been found to be the of knowing the elevation profile of the pipe or pipes being most advantageous type of repair. Once the scope of the repairs worked on. If elevation drawings of the pipe are available, has been determined, there are numerous steps that both the these are very helpful to share with the contractor during the contractor and the plant operator can take, both before the planning stages. This information will help the contractor outage starts and once the repairs are underway, to help ensure plan for whether there will likely be incidental water left in that the project is completed both on schedule and on budget “bellies” in the pipe that will have to be removed. It will also and is successful for all parties involved. help the contractor understand which way the water will tend to flow during the initial dewatering stage and surface prepaPre-Outage Stage ration phases of the work, which will help him plan for the As anyone who has ever done outage work knows, proper equipment and labor necessary to remove this water. It is also planning is the basic key to any successful project. This is important for the plant operator to understand that in order especially true for an internal FRP repair on a large diameter to install the FRP liner, the section of pipe being lined must be pipeline. This work involves entering confined spaces, the use completely dry. In addition, if there is standing water in other of high-pressure water blasting equipment, temperature sensisections of the pipe that are not being repaired, this too can tive storage, mixing and installation of epoxy materials and cause problems by introducing additional moisture into the other steps that all involve a high level of planning and interaction between a plant operator and their specialty contractor. dry air that is being blown into the pipe, thus extending the time required to dry the areas being worked on. Finally, understanding and sharing any information about Plant Operator Assistance the natural airflow tendencies within the system will help to One of the best ways that a plant operator can help their condetermine the type and positioning of ventilation equipment. tractor be prepared for an upcoming FRP liner project is to share This is important not only to ensure adequate ventilation, and as much information as available with the contractor as far in thus a safe working environment for the workers in the pipe, advance of the outage as possible. Knowing the exact number of but also to aide in drying the surfaces of the pipe quickly folpipe segments that are to be repaired and having a final engineerlowing surface preparation. Surface preparation is performed ing design for these repairs well in advance of the outage may with high pressure water blasting equipment to remove any seem obvious, but such information is not always available on dirt and contaminants from the surface and to ensure an open a timely basis. If there is a chance for scope creep due to further pore structure to form a tight mechanical bond between the deterioration since the time of inspection, it is good to discuss concrete surface and the new FRP liner. The strength of this this with the contractor and agree on an amount of repairs to bond is paramount to the performance of the repair. Once the prepare for. Many of the materials used in an internal FRP liner project are highly specialized materials that have a finite shelf life, surface preparation is complete and the resulting water has been removed, it is often necessary to supply warm dry air to and there is often some lead time involved with procuring them. the repair site to help the substrate dry out to the point that In most cases it is better to plan for the worst and hope for the the liner can be installed. Knowing the natural draft tendencies best, than to risk being under prepared and having to extend a of the pipe will help the contractor know what type and size project due to material procurement.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

of ventilation equipment will be needed, where it would be most advantageous to set up this equipment and where “air-dams” may be needed to ensure that the air is getting where it needs to go and drying the pipe effectively.

From the Contractor’s End There are many things that a contractor should do in order to properly prepare for an internal FRP repair project in an outage environment. The most important one is to know the lay of the land to be able to plan for the logistics of the site. As mentioned earlier, these projects are very logistical in nature and proper planning for this portion of the work will make the project go much more smoothly once the work is under way. It is definitely advantageous for the contractor to visit the site prior to work starting, particularly if it is a plant where he has not worked before. Even though it is likely not possible to get inside of the pipes to see the actual work area, it is important to be able to identify the access and egress points, locations for ventilation equipment, lay down area, crew break area, etc. While many of these things may seem obvious, each plant has unique characteristics that may affect any or all of these logistical concerns. A major logistical item to consider is material handling, storage, and mixing. Most FRP systems utilize epoxy based resins. These materials are sensitive to temperature variations. Even though the temperature at the point of installation is within the manufacturer’s allowable limits, having material that has been stored either above or below the ideal working temperature can in many cases significantly affect both working and curing time, and can cause significant headaches and potentially delays. An ideal working temperature for most epoxy systems is between 60ºF and 70ºF but may vary depending on the particular product being used. It is important to consider where and when the job is being performed and what the expected high and low temperature ranges will be. The material may need to be stored in a heated or cooled area to ensure optimal working conditions. Another consideration related to the environment is the location and setup of the mixing and preparation area. In addition to being stored in a controlled environment the epoxy materials must be mixed, and the fiber sheets must be saturated, in a similar environment. Ideally this location will be as close as possible to the access point to the pipe, and the entire path from mixing and saturating area to the entrance of the pipe will be protected from the elements. Planning for this ahead of time will eliminate the need to scramble when an inevitable storm does hit. Finally it is important for the contractor to understand what resources will be available to him during the outage. In almost all cases, there will be a significant number of independent and inter-related projects taking place simultaneously during the outage. Counting on the plant to provide a vacuum truck to help with final dewatering is not a good idea if that truck is already committed to another project


Construction with Pride and I ntegrity 5401 N. Peterson Rd Sedalia, CO 80135

303 - 660 -3784 w w w. r mel .o rg


that is going on concurrently and can lead to significant downtime and schedule delays. It is important that all parties are on the same page as far as who will be providing critical components such as confined space rescue equipment, a confined space attendant or hole watch, dewatering equipment, temporary power, fuel etc. These are all items that can be covered in a pre-construction meeting. It is also prudent for a contractor to plan for contingencies in the event that either the plant or the contractor experiences unforeseen conditions and cannot allocate resources as originally planned.

Execution Stage If the pre-outage planning stage is performed well and all of the above items are covered prior to mobilizing the site, the execution stage will ideally go smoothly and any unexpected situations can be dealt with in stride. However, as we all know, even the best laid plans can go awry, and there are things that both the plant operator and the contractor can do during the execution of the work to ensure the project is completed as planned.

From the Plant Operator As with any successful project clear and timely communication is one of the most important factors that will lead to a successful client-contractor relationship and a successful project. From the plant operator’s end, that means clearly communicating with the contractor anything that is going on with other work during the


elec tric energy | summer 2012

outage that may have some impact on the pipe repair project. An example of this could be another scope of work that has expanded and will require some plant equipment that was previously made available for the pipe repair work. The sooner the contractor knows about this change, the better he will be able to prepare and execute a contingency plan. Another example would be work that may directly affect the pipe repair work taking place, such as cleaning a condenser box that could introduce a small trickle of water into the bottom of the pipe. Even a small trickle of water can create a large problem on freshly-laid FRP materials. Although almost any project can and will have some unforeseen conditions arise, the sooner both parties discuss the situation and develop a plan to move forward, the less overall impact these conditions will have on the project.

From the Contractor From the contractor’s point of view, it is basically the same scenario but in reverse. It is critical that the contractor be in constant communication with the client regarding the progress of the work and any changed conditions or challenges that may arise. An issue that may have a significant effect on the work taking place may be a simple fix for an informed client. For instance, a certain valve being closed may completely change the direction of the airflow in the pipe which could not only extend the required drying and curing times, but could also potentially compromise the safety of the workers inside. Communicating this changed condition to the

client quickly will help both parties be able to develop a solution and maintain the workflow.

Conclusion Although there are a lot of factors that can affect the outcome of a circulating water system repair project, careful preplanning for execution risks and a good working relationship between the plant operator and the specialty contractor, can lead to a very successful project within the tight timeframes of a planned service outage. Here is a checklist of items to consider:

execution Adequate above ground space adjacent to access points for - Dehumidification/heating equipment - Material mixing and saturating area Climate controlled material storage area 24 hour access to the pipe Matt Frye is a Senior Project Manager for Structural. He has over nine years

of project management experience in the energy, commercial and municipal sectors, with an emphasis in structural repair, rehabilitation and change of use. Matt can be reached at Derek Walz is the Chief Technologies Officer for Structural, and leads the company’s products and engineering division, known as structural technologies. Derek can be reached at

Pre outage  lan and profile as-built drawings P with notation of repair locations and access points  inalize design (if separate from F install contract) at least two weeks prior to commencement of installation to allow for specialty material procurement  rioritize repair pipe segments P in the event the outage duration becomes a constraint Clearly communicate schedule constraints including time required to de-water the pipe and to return it to service following repairs


Cleary communicate all QA/QC execution steps to ensure no schedule conflicts Ensure that contingencies are made for additional repairs discovered during the dewatering phase Complete dewatering of the pipe to no more than 1" standing water in the line Identify leaking joints and pipe apparatus that need to be addressed to prevent water infiltration into work area Clearly delineate plant provided and project dedicated resources and services - Dewatering equipment (vacuum truck) - Power source/fuel - Confined space equipment and rescue

There’s more at Merrick Merrick’s client-focused project delivery teams have served the energy industry since the firm’s founding in 1955. At the core of our services is an understanding of your business, operations, industry, and marketplace conditions. That understanding is combined with the expertise of the firm’s talented professionals to deliver vital solutions that work. When you’re looking for more, call Merrick. Contact: Chris Biondolilo, PE - Project Manager 2450 South Peoria Street Aurora, CO 80014-5475 303-353-3876

Distributed Generation Renewable Energy Biomass Utilization Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

Employee Owned

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member listings

RMEL Member Companies 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53


ABB, Inc. ABCO Industrial Sales, Inc. ADA-ES, Inc. Alexander Publications Alstom Power Altec Industries, Inc. AMEC American Coal Council AREVA Solar Inc. Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Arizona Public Service Arkansas River Power Authority Asplundh Tree Expert Co. Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. ATCO Emissions Management Austin Energy AZCO INC. Babcock & Wilcox Company Babcock Power, Inc. Basin Electric Power Cooperative Bechtel Power Corporation Black & Veatch Corp. Black Hills Corporation Black Hills Electric Cooperative Boilermakers Local #101 Boone Electric Cooperative Border States Electric Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services Brooks Manufacturing Company Burns & McDonnell Butler Public Power District C.I.Agent Solutions Carbon Power & Light, Inc. Casey Industrial, Inc. CBS Arc Safe Center Electric Light & Power System CH2M Hill Chimney Rock Public Power District City of Alliance Electric Department City of Aztec Electric Department City of Boulder City of Cody City of Farmington City of Fountain City of Gillette City of Imperial City of Yuma Co-Mo Electric Cooperative CoBank Colorado Energy Management, LLC Colorado Powerline, Inc. Colorado Public Utilities Commission Colorado Rural Electric Association

elec tric energy | summer 2012

54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105

Colorado Springs Utilities Colorado State University Commonwealth Associates, Inc. Continental Divide Electric Cooperative Core, Inc. Corporate Risk Solutions, Inc. County of Los Alamos Dept. of Public Utilities CPS Energy Delta Montrose Electric Assn. DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, LLC Dowdy Recruiting LLC E & T Equipment, LLC E3 Consulting El Paso Electric Company El Paso Natural Gas Company Electrical Consultants, Inc. Electrical Reliability Services Emerson Process Management The Empire District Electric Company Empire Electric Association, Inc. Encompass Energy Services LLC Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC Energy Reps Equal Electric, Inc. ESC engineering Estes Park Light & Power Dept. Exponential Engineering Company Finley Engineering Company, Inc. Foothills Energy Services Inc. Fort Collins Utilities Foster Wheeler Fuel Tech, Inc. Garden City Municipal Utilities GE Energy Genscape, Inc. Glenwood Springs Electric System Golder Associates, Inc. Grand Island Utilities Grand Valley Rural Power Lines, Inc. Great Southwestern Construction, Inc. Hamilton Associates, Inc. Hamon Research - Cottrell Harris Group, Inc. Hartigan Power Equipment Company HDR, Inc. Heartland Consumers Power District High Energy, Inc. (HEI) High Plains Power, Inc. Highline Electric Assn. Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd Holy Cross Energy Homer Electric Association, Inc.

106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158

Honeywell Process Solutions Howard Electric Cooperative Hughes Brothers, Inc. IBEW, Local Union 111 IMCORP Independence Power & Light Intercounty Electric Coop Association Intermountain Rural Electric Assn. Irby Irwin Industries, Inc. J.L. Hermon & Associates, Inc. Kansas City Board of Public Utilities KD Johnson, Inc. Kiewit Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Kleinfelder Klondyke Construction LLC KVA Supply Co. La Junta Municipal Utilities La Plata Electric Association, Inc. Lake Region Electric Coop Inc. Lamar Utilities Board Laminated Wood Systems, Inc. Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc. Lauren Engineers & Constructors LEADERSHIP A Business Imperative, Inc. Lewis Associates, Inc. Lincoln Electric System Longmont Power and Communications Loup River Public Power District Loveland Water & Power Luminate, LLC Marsulex Environmental Technologies Merrick & Company Missouri River Energy Services Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. Morgan County Rural Electric Assn. Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. Mountain States Utility Sales Mountain View Electric Assn. Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC NAES Corp. Navigant Navopache Electric Cooperative, Inc. Nebraska Public Power District NEI Electric Power Engineering, Inc. NMPP Energy Nooter/Eriksen, Inc. Norris Public Power District North Platte Light & Power Northeast Community College Northwest Rural Public Power District Novinda Corporation


CollaboraTE. ConnECt. ComplETE. • • • • • • • • •

Feasibility Studies Siting & Permitting Power Plant Design Plant Upgrades & Retrofits Air Quality Control Services transmission & Distribution Substations & Switchyards Construction Management & Inspection Services owner’s Engineer

Need more from your electrical distributor? Quality products. Value-added services. Customized solutions. Every one of your needs is covered. Phoenix AZ Tucson AZ Denver CO Billings MT Missoula MT

602.244.0331 520.294.1414 303.336.7360 406.256.6266 406.549.4115

Albuquerque NM Farmington NM Rapid City SD Amarillo TX Gillette WY

505.344.1313 505.324.8800 605.348.5104 806.457.4100 307.682.6777 R

Global Engineering Service Provider Energy. Environmental. Transportation. Water. 800.878.6806

Construction • Industrial • Utility

We couldn’t have done it without you. A century of providing quality electric utility construction • overhead and underground distribution • transmission • substations • emergency restoration • renewable energy w w w. r mel .o rg


member listings cont’d

159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190

NV Energy O I C Outage Omaha Public Power District Omnicon Technical Sales On-Ramp Wireless Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. Otero County Electric Cooperative PacifiCorp Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Assn. PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. PCS Mobile Peak Power Engineering, Inc. Peterson Co. Pike Electric, LLC Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. Pipefitters Local Union #208 Platte River Power Authority PNM Resources Poudre Valley Rural Electric Assn. POWER Engineers, Inc. Power Equipment Specialists, Inc. Power Pole Inspections Power Product Services PowerQuip Provo City Power Quanta Services Raton Public Service REC Associates Reliability Management Group (RMG) Reliable Power Consultants, Inc. Rkneal, Inc. Rocky Mountain Generation Cooperative, Inc. 191 Sabre Tubular Structures 192 Safety One Inc. 193 SAIC 194 San Isabel Electric Assn. 195 San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative 196 San Miguel Power Assn. 197 Sangre De Cristo Electric Assn. 198 Sargent & Lundy 199 Scientech 200 Sega Inc. 201 The Shaw Group 202 Siemens Energy Inc. 203 Sierra Electric Cooperative, Inc. 204 Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services, Inc. 205 SNC-Lavalin Constructors Inc. 206 Solomon Associates 207 South Central PPD 208 Southeast Colorado Power Assn. 209 Southeast Community College 210 Southern Pioneer Electric Company 211 Southwest Generation 212 Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc.


elec tric energy | summer 2012

213 Southwestern Power Group II 214 Southwire Company 215 SPIDAWeb LLC 216 Springfield Municipal Light & Power 217 SPX Cooling Technologies 218 SRP 219 Stanley Consultants, Inc. 220 STEAG Energy Services LLC 221 STRUCTURAL 222 Sturgeon Electric Co., Inc. 223 Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative 224 Sundt Construction 225 Sunflower Electric Power Corporation 226 T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc. 227 Technically Speaking, Inc. 228 Thomas & Betts Steel Structures Division 229 TIC - The Industrial Company 230 Total-Western, Inc. 231 Towill, Inc. 232 Trachte, Inc. “Buildings & Shelters” 233 Trans American Power Products, Inc. 234 Trees Inc 235 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn. 236 Trimble 237 Trinidad Municipal Light & Power 238 UC Synergetic 239 Ulteig Engineers, Inc. 240 United Power, Inc. 241 Universal Field Services Inc. 242 University of Colorado 243 University of Idaho Utility Executive Course College of Business and Economics

244 UNS Energy Corporation 245 URS Energy & Construction Inc. 246 Utility Ethernet Forum 247 Utility Telecom Consulting Group, Inc. 248 Victaulic 249 Wagner Equipment Company 250 Wärtsilä North America, Inc. 251 Waukesha Electric Systems, An SPX Company 252 Wazee Companies LLC 253 West Plains Engineering, Inc. 254 Westar Energy 255 Western Area Power Administration 256 Western Cultural Resource Management, Inc. (WCRM, Inc.) 257 Western Line Constructors Chapter, Inc. NECA 258 Western Nebraska Community College 259 Western United Electric Supply 260 Westwood Professional Services 261 Wheat Belt Public Power District 262 Wheatland Electric Cooperative 263 Wheatland Rural Electric Assn. 264 White River Electric Assn., Inc. 265 White River Valley Electric Cooperative 266 William W. Rutherford & Associates 267 WorleyParsons Group, Inc. 268 Wyoming Rural Electric Association 269 Wyrulec Company 270 Xcel Energy 271 Y-W Electric Association, Inc. 272 Yampa Valley Electric Association, Inc. 273 Zachry Holdings, Inc.

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rmel 2012 calendar

2012 Calendar of Events January 19, 2012

April 11-13, 2012

August 24, 2012

Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop Denver, CO

Distribution Overhead and Underground Design and Staking Workshop Denver, CO

Safety Roundtable Fort Collins, CO

April 24-25, 2012

Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention Summerlin, NV

February 7-8, 2012 New Distribution Engineers Workshop Denver, CO

February 24, 2012 Safety Roundtable Denver, CO

March 1-2, 2012 Power Supply Planning and Projects Conference Denver, CO

March 2, 2012 Generation Vital Issues Roundtable Denver, CO

March 6-7, 2012 Transmission Planning and Operations Conference Denver, CO

Health, Safety and Security Conference Denver, CO

September 9-11, 2012 September 27, 2012

Safety Roundtable Denver, CO

2013 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference Planning Session Denver, CO

May 20-22, 2012

October 9, 2012

Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference Omaha, NE

OSHA Update Workshop Denver, CO

June 14-15, 2012

Renewable Planning and Operations Conference Denver, CO

April 25, 2012

Plant Management Conference Location: Las Vegas, NV

June 15, 2012 Plant Management Roundtable Location: Las Vegas, NV

March 7, 2012

June 21-22, 2012

Transmission Vital Issues Roundtable Denver, CO

NERC Planning, Operations and Compliance Conference Denver, CO

March 8-9, 2012

July 10, 2012

Distribution Overhead and Underground Operations and Maintenance Conference Denver, CO

RMEL Golf Tournament Westminster, CO

October 16, 2012 November 2, 2012 Underground Distribution Design and Protection Workshop Denver, CO

November 16, 2012 Safety Roundtable Westminster, CO

March 9, 2012 Distribution Vital Issues Roundtable Denver, CO

March 20, 2012 Electric Utility Workforce Management Roundtable Denver, CO


elec tric energy | summer 2012

continuing education certificates Continuing education certificates awarding Professional Development Hours are provided to attendees at all RMEL education events. Check the event brochure for details on the number of hours offered at each event.

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advertiser index


(770) 810-9698

Border States Electric


(701) 293-5834

California Turbo, Inc.


(800) 448-1446



(800) 542-8072

Colorado Powerline, Inc.


(303) 660-3784

DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, LLC


(318) 448-0274

ERG Consulting


(203) 843-0600

Great Southwestern Construction, Inc.


(303) 688-5816

HDR, Inc.


(402) 399-1000

Harris Group, Inc.


(303) 291-0355

Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd.


(908) 605-2800

Hughes Brothers


(402) 643-2991

(913) 928-7000



Inside Front Cover

Back Cover



(303) 217-7500

Laminated Wood Systems, Inc.


(402) 643-4708

Merrick & Company


(303) 751-0741

National Electric Coil


(614) 488-1151

Nebraska Public Power District


(402) 564-8561

Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc.


(620) 356-4111

POWER Engineers


(208) 788-3456

Power Product Services


(720) 859-4625

RK Neal


(270) 442-9880

Rocky Mountain Power


(866) 870-3419

Sabre Tubular Structures


(817) 852-1700


Inside Back Cover

(303) 696-8446

Sega, Inc.


(913) 681-2881

Stanley Consultants, Inc.


(303) 799-6806

Sturgeon Electric Co. Inc.


(303) 286-8000

T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc.


(800) 843-7994

TIC – The Industrial Company


(970) 879-2561

Trees Inc.


(866) 865-9617

Ulteig Engineers, Inc.


(701) 237-3211

Wazee Crane


(720) 281-2847

Wazee Electric


(720) 279-8449



(952) 937-5150

Young & Franklin


(315) 457-3110

Zachry Holdings, Inc.


(210) 588-5000



(800) 481-4700

elec tric energy | summer 2012

© Siemens AG, 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fifty states, fifty states of energy. The nation’s need for energy needs answers for all types of energy.

In the Northeast, storms threaten the reliability of power. In the Southwest, heat waves tax the grid. Big cities dot the Atlantic seaboard. While out West, towns are separated by hundreds of miles of wilderness. It‘s a massive country, with energy needs that can differ massively depending on where you are. That’s why a single answer is not enough. Siemens has a wide range of lasting energy answers to help the utilities that power the country meet their unique requirements. We provide our customers with efficient

energy solutions fitted to their diverse local, ecological and economic needs. And, as we tackle environmental challenges, we keep finding ways to make conventional fuels cleaner than ever before. We help customers integrate renewable power, and we remain committed to using our nation’s resources responsibly. The journey to a new kind of energy system needs all types of answers. Answers today, and answers that last. /energy

RMEL Electric Energy Issue 2 2012  

The RMEL Association's flagship publication. Highlighting critical energy issues in the electric energy industry.

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