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Empowering the Electricity Consumer Keeping Electricity Affordable Westar Energy’s Customer Experience Navigating a Rapidly Evolving Industry for Consumers Modularization for Cost-effective, Timely and Safe Projects ISSUE 1 / 2015

Grand River Dam Authority’s Coal to Natural Gas Strategy

Ulteig’s work improves lives! Substation

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FEATURES 12 Keep Electricity Affordable A Campaign to Drive Consumer Action for Consumer Benefit

22 Westar Energy’s Customer Experience By Robin Seele, Director, Customer Experience, Westar Energy

24 Evolving Marketplace

One Size Fits All Is A Thing Of The Past By Erwin Furukawa, Principal & Founder, EF Strategy & Planning Group

30 Can Modularization Help

Your Project Be a Success? By CII Modularization Community of Practice

38 Largest Gas Turbine in the Country to be Installed

By Mike Rippy, MHPSA, Regional Director of Sales and Charles Barney, GRDA, Assistant General Manager



DEPARTMENTS. 06  President’s Message 08  Board of Directors and

Foundation Board of Directors

10  2015 Spring Management, Engineering & Operations Conference

42 RMEL Membership Listings 44  2015 Calendar of Events 46 Index to Advertisers


President’s Message AS WE FORGE THROUGH THE FIRST half of 2015, a familiar quote comes to mind, “Change brings opportunity.” If that quote is true, then the electric utility industry is experiencing an unprecedented level of “opportunity!” Every segment of our business is experiencing dramatic change—from generation technologies being deployed, through addition and expansion of sophisticated delivery infrastructure, to heightened consumer expectations related to value for their energy dollar. I’m confident that the electric utility industry will deliver impressive results on the deluge of future opportunities, both known and unknown. As we look for those secrets of future success, we won’t find the answer in a comprehensive national energy policy. We won’t find the answer in breakthrough energy storage technology or invincible cyber/physical security defenses. Those answers—our secret of success —will come from our greatest assets, the dedicated, innovative industry professionals that we employ. Our employees are our greatest asset. To attract, retain and stimulate the very best employees, we must invest in their development. RMEL can and should be a component of your company’s employee investment and development solution. As a member-driven organization, RMEL is focused on delivering an education curriculum developed by member representation and distinctly aligned with current industry needs. Workshops and conferences explore real-time issues and opportunities. And, I challenge you to find another organization that allows industry players to sit alongside and benefit from such a diverse member representation that includes investor-owned utilities, cooperatives, municipalities, G&T associations, public power and consultants/manufacturers/suppliers. Your RMEL association continues to make great progress. A few highlights from 2014 include: · Record-breaking attendance at the 2014 Spring Conference (nearly 350 attendees) · During 2014 alone, the RMEL Foundation awarded $84,000 worth of scholarships to students committed to careers in the electric utility industry · Eight individuals from our 300+ member association were recognized as inaugural Emerging Leader Award winners



· RMEL staff continues to add value to participating companies by: launching conference app’s that provide attendees real time information and interactivity; coordinating and administering over 30 workshops, roundtables and conferences during the year; and conducting member surveys with a goal of best serving member needs. The opportunities continue in 2015. The Spring Conference will be held May 17-19 in St. Louis, Missouri. Multiple educational tracks will be available, and, specific sessions will include discussion on 111(d) regulations, T&D asset management, distributed energy/resources, and net metering. We also look forward to an interactive COO panel. The Fall Conference is scheduled to be held September 20-22 at the Intercontinental Kansas City at the Plaza, in Kansas City. Industry leaders will gather to discuss key topics such as regulatory impacts on coal and natural gas infrastructure, as well as a discussion with a panel of industry CEO’s. We will also have a unique opportunity to hear from a member company, SRP, as they share a behind the scenes perspective of what it took to successfully power the 2015 Super Bowl held at University of Phoenix Stadium. I encourage you to leverage the opportunity (and responsibility) that each of us have to develop the team of employees around us. Your association and participation with RMEL provides your team leverage and access to a wide range of relevant educational offerings. Finally, my sincere thanks for your continued involvement and support of RMEL. I look forward to seeing you at upcoming RMEL events! Enjoy this publication and please log on to for much more information. Sincerely,

Stuart Wevik 2014 – 2015 RMEL PRESIDENT Vice President, Utility Operations Black Hills Corporation


RMEL Board of Directors OFFICERS PRESIDENT Stuart Wevik Black Hills Corporation VP, Utility Operations PRESIDENT ELECT Tony Montoya Western Area Power Administration COO PAST PRESIDENT Dan Schmidt Black & Veatch Corp. Sr. VP, Power Generation Services VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE Tom Kent Nebraska Public Power District VP & COO

VICE PRESIDENT, EDUCATION Jon Hansen Omaha Public Power District VP, Energy Production & Marketing VICE PRESIDENT, VITAL ISSUES Mike Hummel SRP Associate General Manager VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP Scott Fry Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC Managing Director VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBER SERVICES Kelly Harrison Westar Energy VP, Transmission

DIRECTORS Paul Barham CPS Energy Sr. VP, Energy Delivery Services Doug Bennion PacifiCorp VP, Engineering Services & Asset Management Joel Bladow Tri State Generation and Transmission Sr. VP, Transmission Assn. Tim Brossart Xcel Energy VP, Construction Operations & Maintenance Tom McKenna UNS Energy Corporation VP, Energy Delivery Tammy McLeod Arizona Public Service VP, Resource Management


Cheryl Mele Austin Energy COO Mike Morris Zachry Group VP, Business Development, Engineering Andy Ramirez El Paso Electric Company VP, Power Generation Jackie Sargent Platte River Power Authority General Manager Neal Walker Texas New Mexico Power President, TNMP SECRETARY Rick Putnicki RMEL Executive Director


Foundation Board of Directors


VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE Kent Cheese TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc. VP, Sales

PRESIDENT Paul Compton Kiewit Sr. VP, Business Development VICE PRESIDENT Walt Jones Intermountain Rural Electric Assn. Assistant General Manager, Operations & Engineering (retired)

CHAIR, FUNDRAISING Jim Helvig AMEC Director, Power Delivery CHAIR, MEMBER DEVELOPMENT Mike Jones SRP Director

DIRECTORS Kelly Harrison Westar Energy VP, Transmission Scott Heidtbrink Kansas City Power & Light Executive VP & COO Karin Hollohan Platte River Power Authority Director, Corporate Services

STAFF LIAISON James Sakamoto RMEL Coordinator, Analytics and Communications Rick Putnicki RMEL Executive Director

Tammy Mallaise Zachry Group VP, Employment Published Spring 2015 PUBLISHED FOR: RMEL 6855 S. Havana St, Ste 430, Centennial, CO 80112 T: (303) 865-5544 F: (303) 865-5548

Kathryn Hail EDITOR (303) 865-5544 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: 800.852.0857 Brendan Harrington PRESIDENT

Deborah Juris PUBLISHER

(303) 883-4159 Lindsay Burke CREATIVE DIRECTOR & AD PRODUCTION



Attend RMEL’s Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.


O I N 3 0 0 M E M B E R S O F R M E L’ S T R U S T E D community to learn, network and discover solutions at RMEL’s Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference, May 17-19, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. If you are managing people or projects, engineering, planning or operating systems in the electric utility industry, this conference is for you. The Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference has been a tradition since RMEL’s early beginnings. Known for providing outstanding continuing education and networking



opportunities, this conference is a must attend event for engineering, operations and management personnel in the electric energy industry. With 30 presentations, this conference covers issues in generation, transmission, distribution, safety, customer service, human resources and other management topics. The timely topics and breakout structure of the conference allows attendees to customize their education experience to focus on presentations and resources that address their needs. Ample time is also provided to network with industry peers and visit with exhibitors.

The event will Experience ROI and Getting Customer Centric. St. Louis, MO May 17-19, 2015 feature a keynote This event offers something for every person in presentation from the utility industry, whether you need to make the Roy Barnes, President, Blue Space right contacts or find the right answers. Utilities of all types of ownership particiConsulting/ pate including IOU, G&T, municipal, cooperative and others. Vendors of all types and an Executive Leadership Panel are valued participants in the conference and community dialogue to improve featuring Jon Hansen, VP, Energy operations and enhance customer service. Production & Marketing, Omaha NETWORKING GOLF OUTING Public Power District, Joel Bladow, Sr. Enjoy a golf outing at Stone Wolf Golf Club on May 17th. The format will be a VP, Transmission, Tri-State Generafour-person scramble and proceeds will benefit the RMEL Foundation scholartion and Transmission Assn., Tammy ship program. McLeod, VP, Resource Management, Arizona Public Service; and Jelynne GUESTS AND SPOUSES ARE WELCOME LeBlanc-Burley, Executive VP & Chief Bring your guest to the 2015 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Delivery Officer, CPS Energy. Conference. If your guest registers for the full conference, they are registered for Educational breakout sessions will all meals and the Champions Receptions on Sunday and Monday. If they register take place in three tracks: generation; for an individual day, they will be registered for meals and the Champions Receptransmission and distribution; and tion for that day only. Guest registration prices simply cover the cost of meals. management. All attendees will receive a continuing education certificate. The certificate The slate of generation track provides professional development hours based on participation. For more inforpresentations will guide attendees mation and to register for the Spring Management, Engineering and Operations through topics like a Clean Power Conference, go to or call (303) 865-5544. Plan Panel; Austin Energy Resource Planning, Operation & Investments in a Changing Climate; Distributed Generation; Coal Combustion Residuals Handling and Transport Options; Renewable Balancing Resource Planning; A Full-Service Risk Assessment; Opportunities to Provider of Electrical Improve the Efficiency of the Existing Construction Capabilities Fleet; and Utility Solar Scale. In the T&D Track, look forward to Transmission Lines Substations topics like a Security Panel; Use of Distribution Systems Beyond Line of Sight UAS in Electric Transmission Line Applications; IEC61850 Application on Main-TieMain Bus Automatic Transfer Scheme; Distributed Generation, Renewable and Conventional; Maximizing the Transmission Transfer Capability and Reliability with a Static Var Compensator (SVC); an Asset Management Panel; an OSHA 1910.269 - Changes to Arc Flash Protection Requirements and Minimum Approach Distances The third track of presentations, focused on management, covers an Electricity Rate Panel; Xcel Energy and Solar Distributed Generation; CASTLE ROCK, CO EL PASO, TX DALLAS, TX TAHLEQUAH, OK The Role of Asset Management in Providing turnkey electrical construction services since 1977 Risk Analysis; Labor Risk Mitigation; Leadership; Customer Service; InGreat Southwestern Construction is a subsidiary of MYR Group. Visit us at and f t in yt M/F/DISBLED/VETERAN Š2015 MYR GROUP INC. source vs. Outsource; and Customer

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ROM AN AFFORDABILITY perspective, electric utilities are headed into possibly the most challenging times ever. With the Clean Power Plan and other proposed carbon emissions rules, regulatory scares related to coal ash management, the implementation of Utility MACT rules and the many other electric energy regulations hitting utilities, customers should be concerned that they will take on the brunt of the costs. Given this unprecedented regulatory environment, it has never been more important to get the facts out to the customers so they can make informed decisions and get more actively involved in policy debates that affect their electric bills. While Americans hear from the media and policymakers that the electric generation industry is ready to go fully “green” at

a large scale and quick pace, the truth is that, while the industry can further diversify its generation options, it’s going to take time and be costly, and consumers have a need to understand the issues and have a voice as those issues are debated. With Twitter, Facebook and other online channels playing an increasingly prominent role in public relations strategies, lines of communication between utilities and customers are more open than ever before. The Keep Electricity Affordable campaign offers one example of effective grassroots outreach through a strategic combination of digital communications and face-to-face interaction with electricity consumers.

GRASSROOTS VOICE AND INFLUENCE An independent, non-profit and non-partisan grassroots initiative supported by rural electric cooperatives, Keep Electricity Affordable launched in 2011 in response to a set of state carbon management rules that had been promulgated in New Mexico the

year before. According to the state’s cooperatives and various business, agricultural and other interests, the regulations would have raised electricity costs, driven business away and hurt New Mexico economically while doing little to protect the environment. In early 2012, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board voted unanimously to repeal the regulations – motivated, in part, by the more than 18,000 petition signatures gathered through canvassing at public events by Keep Electricity Affordable team members. As an editorial headline in the April 2012 issue of Enchantment, the New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NMRECA) monthly magazine, put it, “Co-op Members Spoke, Policymakers Listened.” Providing that grassroots voice for cooperative customers on complex legislative and regulatory matters was the primary goal for the electric cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming that support the campaign. “From the start, Keep Electricity

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Affordable has strived to educate electricity customers about policy matters that could affect their lifestyles, their personal and business finances and the economic well-being of their communities. With the unprecedented rush of new energy regulations coming out of Washington, D.C., in recent years, this has included a strong focus on federal regulations,” explains campaign spokesman, Drew Kramer. “At the same time, the DNA of Keep Electricity Affordable comes from electric cooperatives in four sparsely populated Western states, which brings a strong rural focus to the campaign.”

CONTENT, COWBOYS, CARTOONS AND CANVASSING That rural focus comes across clearly in much of the content shared through the Keep Electricity Affordable web site, Facebook page, Twitter account and print materials. The campaign’s blog, for example, often repurposes articles from the statewide associations’ magazines and features guest commentary from farmers, educators, economic development professionals and others who bring a rural perspective to energy and electricity issues. In addition, the campaign’s extensive library of colorful infographics – which uses engaging, cartoon-like images to remind people about the importance of affordable electricity in our everyday lives – includes entries on dairy farms and the challenges of bringing electric power to rugged and remote 14


areas of the American West. Even the iconic give-away item at Keep Electricity Affordable canvassing booths offers rural character: a beverage koozie shaped like a cowboy boot: The agriculture connection is particularly well reinforced, notes

Kramer, given that farmers and ranchers can have monthly electric bills running into the five- and six-digit figures. “Even a relatively modest two or three percent increase in those bills due to unreasonable and unnecessary regulations on rural utilities can eat




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into an entire farming season’s profits,” he says. “That’s why Keep Electricity Affordable’s mission is so important. Electricity is a fundamental fuel for the economy, just like gasoline – every time prices at the pump go up, there’s a ripple effect that increases the cost of groceries, airline tickets, construction, shipping, etc.” To date, Keep Electricity Affordable (KEA) counts more than 100,000 individual supporters. The majority of these people have joined the campaign after engaging with KEA teams working booths at state and county fairs – another staple of rural culture. Since 2011, KEA has had a presence at dozens of these events, including not only the major state fairs in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming, but also the prestigious National Western Stock Show (which brings nearly 700,000 visitors to Denver each year), smaller fairs and themed festivals, auto shows and home and garden expos. According to Kramer, the campaign’s mission and messages resonate loudly with these audiences. “No matter the size and scope of the event, when people stop by a KEA booth and talk to the teams, roughly 75-80 percent end up signing on as campaign supporters,” says Kramer. “This has been consistent over time and across geographies, and it’s about more than offering people a free boot-shaped koozie. What the campaign is really offering is thoughtful, substantial, fact-based information that educates people about the policies affecting their access to affordable electricity. These are complex issues, but the average consumer has a much greater capacity to understand them than he or she gets credit for – and, frankly, most people are tired of public debates that devolve into shouting matches over regulations vs. jobs or energy production vs. the environment. You can’t 16


reduce these issues to bumper sticker slogans, but you can explain them to people in understandable ways that get folks interested and involved.” To that end, KEA takes pride in offering substantive descriptions of policy issues on its website so that supporters can better understand a particular piece of legislation or proposed regulation at the state or national level. The writing is conversational and engaging, with limited technical detail but links to other sources where the truly interested can delve into more background information if they so desire.

CALLS TO ACTION While education is central to KEA’s mission, the campaign also helps electric consumers have their voices heard around specific policy matters. The importance of having more than 100,000 supporters, notes Kramer, is that a strong grassroots voice can be heard on legislative or regulatory proposals affecting access to affordable, reliable electricity. KEA has issued several calls to action making its supporters aware of pending legislation and regulatory matters at both the federal and state level. Working through both its own

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information channels and collaborative initiatives with national energy and utility trade associations, the campaign has helped give a voice to thousands of consumers at the federal level to express concern with rules that could drive up electricity costs. It has also helped consumers weigh in on energy issues in the states, as well as provided an opportunity to sign on to letters to policymakers requesting a reasonable, thoughtful approach to energy policy.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT: MAKING THE ELECTRIC ENERGY INDUSTRY TANGIBLE TO CONSUMERS “People don’t have to understand all the physics and engineering behind how electricity is generated and transmitted to their homes, businesses and communities,” notes Kramer, “but they should understand how important electricity is and what decisions our elected officials and 18


government regulators are making that impact our ability to keep the lights on at a reasonable cost. Keep Electricity Affordable tries to provide the tools that enhance that understanding and enable action.” As a modern, Web-based information resource, KEA is free and accessible to anyone who wants to go online and visit the campaign’s website and social media pages. Still, signing up for the campaign – which can be done in a matter of seconds on the website’s homepage – adds a level of convenience and other advantages, regardless of whether you pay your electric bill to a rural cooperative, a municipal utility or an investor-owned utility. Though Kramer says the campaign is conscientious about not overwhelming its supporters – who undoubtedly receive thousands of sales pitches, solicitations and other unwanted electronic messages each year – it will be proactive

in contacting people when there is a major legislative or regulatory development they should be aware of and might be able to influence. Supporters might also get occasional messages offering opportunities to volunteer at KEA booths at events in their areas, or they may receive links to interesting articles and infographics that can be easily shared with friends and neighbors. The campaign will occasionally even run fun contests that offer the opportunity to win gift cards or other prizes. “KEA wants to keep people engaged because, like clean water, electricity is a commodity that can easily be taken for granted in a first world country like the United States. We assume the lights will come on, the dishwasher will work and the garage door will rise as soon as we flick the switch, and only the temporary inconvenience of a power outage will make us appreciate the value and hard work of electricity,” says Kramer.

Empowering the Bakken The oil boom brought 30,000 new workers to the Bakken, but we didn’t blink. We’ve streamlined the rapid expansion of the area’s electrical infrastructure to meet 50 percent increases in electrical loads annually, well above the typical 1 to 2 percent growth. This is where great begins.

“Yet, that appreciation is fleeting, and we quickly go back to taking affordable, reliable power for granted.� Equally important, he adds, is that consumers should be continually reminded that electricity does much more than heat our food, cool our homes, run our appliances and power our electronic gadgets. Electricity is a powerful tool for entire communities, ensuring hospitals, fire stations, stop lights and other critical services and infrastructure work properly and reliably. It is also key to economic development, as chambers of commerce and other organizations strive to bring new businesses to a town or region. Like land and housing costs, local workforce talent and access to major transportation routes, electricity prices are a major factor for companies looking to locate stores, warehouses, data centers, corporate headquarters and other facilities. Keep Electricity Affordable works hard to bring these messages to electricity consumers across its four-state region. The campaign always welcomes new supporters and new visitors to its Facebook and Twitter pages. KEA, says Kramer, continues to explore how it can serve its mission more effectively.




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Westar Energy’s

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE By Robin Seele, Director, Customer Experience, Westar Energy

AS CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AROUND NOT JUST reliable electric service, but all customer interactions with utilities change, Westar has set out to transform our business by improving the experience we give each and every one of our customers. Our employees interact with our customers in multiple ways: calls into our call center; our field employees working around customers’ homes; even each of us out in our communities wearing Westar Energy shirts. Our transformation started with a team of employees who defined what we intended our customer experience to be. The team also identified nearly 200 “TouchPoints,” 22


which are definable customer interactions. Over the past year we developed 11 different teams to look at specific TouchPoints that can often be pain points for our customers and to improve the overall experience we give them. The challenge of TouchPoint Team 7, which tackled the high volume turn on requests associated with students returning to college, illustrates the process. TouchPoint teams consist of six or seven employees, who are pulled from their normal duties for 20 working days and sequestered to focus on their assigned customer interaction. In addition, five or six stakeholders, employees

who own or have expertise related to the interaction, continue in their normal work but are on stand-by to answer questions and offer counsel to the core team. Departments that might provide information or prototypes to support the TouchPoint team are asked to make the requests a priority. The TouchPoint team first lays out how the process looks for the customer from start to finish, then develops a list of suggested changes to improve the experience, then selects and implements changes. The goal is to have changes in place by the time team members return to their normal jobs. Team 7’s assignment was to address the influx of service requests during college rush, which occurs late July and early August. Manhattan, Kan., is home of Kansas State University, with nearly 25,000 students. The city is not equipped with AMI, so when the college students move back into town for school, we have a massive number of homes and apartments that need service transferred or turned on. In the past, these students would call to order new service and be given service date eight to 10 days in the future. For example, if they called on August 1 to start service, they would be given a date between Aug. 8 and 10 -- maybe even later, when electricity would be available under their account. For addresses where service was transferring from one customer to another, the previous account holder for that address would be paying for the new tenant’s electricity until the service order was completed. As our team began looking at issues from the customer’s perspective, a team member said it best, “What kind of customer service is this? We looked at this process from our customers’ perspective and knew we had to look at the whole process to see what we could change to make it flow better and get their service on the day they wanted it.” TouchPoint, Team 7 implemented changes that improved our daily operations around this busy time of the year, fixing the way we handle the influx of service orders with specific dates for turn-on. This team analyzed the process flow of resources, both available and needed, to get all the orders completed the day the customer wanted. To accomplish this, they opened up more appointment windows so that we could schedule and complete more orders on the

Customer Experience Touchpoints Throughout the first year of the Customer Experience initiative, Westar Energy completed and implemented changes for 11 TouchPoints:

Application for new service

Damage to overhead and underground service entrance

Deposit policy for all classes of customers

Payment options

Customers service requests: Right of Way aesthetics

Street lights and security lights

High-volume turn on (college rush)

Enhanced customer experience in the field

Claims processing (damage to customer property)

Tree trimming

Customer inquiries/ automated phone system

specific days that the customers requested. We had to ramp up staffing of field employees, by bringing in people from other towns, and of our call center to process the higher number of web orders. Team member Cynthia McCarvel said, “We were able to bring all-hands-on-deck— bring as many people in as we needed—to get the work done.” For August 1 alone, more than 1,000 orders needed to be worked. Change like this does not come easy. This team was suggesting and implementing changes just a few days before the college rush period began. According to Cynthia, “As we were working on our TouchPoint project, we realized that it was going to be implemented as we were reviewing it right then. We were on the time of ‘college rush.’ As we were making changes, the changes were being implemented, and we were going to see results in the next few days. There was a little resistance at first, but once everyone understood the big picture and how much better our service was going to be. Everybody got on board with it. We were able to implement some software changes, personnel changes; just a few minor tweaks and we were able to make that customer experience better.” Throughout the first year of the Customer Experience initiative, Westar Energy completed and implemented changes to 11 TouchPoints. While making these changes, we also began training our employees–including linemen, designers, supervisors, meter service persons and utility clerks–how to properly interact with customers in the field. Going forward, we plan to continue training other departments including customer service representatives and substation technicians while continuing the TouchPoint redesign process. Through continuing this process, we will gain more information about our customers’ wants and needs which will help as we continue to make improvements in our operations. In the end, we look to improve the experience our customers have with Westar Energy by making both major and minor changes. As Cynthia said, “All-in-all, this is all a project about efficiency and how we could make the customer experience better.” Robin Seele is the Director, Customer Service, Westar Energy. He can be reached at

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EVOLVING MARKETPLACE One Size Fits All Is A Thing Of The Past By Erwin Furukawa, Principal & Founder, EF Strategy & Planning Group

A LOT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE UTILIT Y SECTOR. We hear about smart grid, distributed generation impacts, rate increases, regulatory policies, etc.; but hear very little about what impact this has on our customers. We are all customers to a variety of companies and services. As customers we see change happening constantly. Because of this, we are often confused about what’s the best value, option, technology, etc. Utility customers are no different. As the pace of change accelerates, it’s up to the utilities who have been a “trusted energy advisor” for decades to educate, enable and engage customers along the change journey. 24









N IO T SI Customer agrees on what action is optimal

Customer understands what it means to his/her specific business

Customer Engagement Framework ACTION


Customer completes actions in optimal manner

Customer understands issue/opportunity


Customer recognizes value provided and shares experience with others



Customers today are bombarded with choices about energy alternatives. They are promised savings if they use other energy sources. They hear and read about what their hometown utility, is doing—not always from sources that give the best view of the utility. Most disturbingly, the utility story doesn’t always come through from the utility but is told by others. Other industries have undergone similarly significant transformations. The telecommunications industry is one where technology, competition, public policy and customer behavior converged into what is today a robust,




dynamic and competitive environment. Over the space of years telecommunications moved from a fully regulated industry, one where choice was either a wall phone, princess phone, rotary or touchtone, to a product that bundles multiple content into the household. Who would have ever thought that the same customers who once worried about long distance rates of 5 cents a minute would now be paying the same company over $200 a month for multiple “phone” services that include long distance, high speed internet, entertainment, and wireless?

This transformation didn’t happen overnight. To get to this point customers underwent a challenging, confusing and often frustrating journey. Choice was first seen as a positive benefit in bringing affordability and innovation to the marketplace, but what started as choice soon became a bombardment of advertising, telemarketing calls, media releases, promotions, and sales calls all aimed toward switching customers from one company to another. Sometimes these changes happened without the customer even knowing it. Frequently during those times

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Vision to Execution VISION/MISSION GOALS

the incumbent telephone company information and begins to betwas treated as the trusted resource to ter understand what it means help customers understand or resolve to them. This is one of the these choices. biggest challenges that utilities This is why energy utilities are in a face since historically they strong position to play such a critical have presented a one-sizerole in helping customers through fits-all offer. For customers this this new journey. The relationship is not impactful. Customers that utilities have built with their who are presented material customers over the past century need to know that what’s beperfectly positions them as an expert ing offered is something that guide in this rapidly changing energy fulfills a need that is relevant to market. The struggle utilities now them specifically. When this is face is how to target customers with accomplished, customers will meaningful messages and programs have a higher propensity to that they can understand, use and pay attention and attempt to underadvocate on their behalf. stand what’s being presented. In this One method in accomplishing phase the customer understands what this task is to look at the Engagethe options and choices are, and then ment Framework. The Engagement begins to make a decision. Framework is built around a process Agreement is where the customer called the customer journey. Its intent has weighed the various options and is to document the various stages that makes a decision. They may at this a customer goes through when being stage not be confident and want to faced with new information, choices, second source their facts, but are and actual enrollment. Think about usually prepared to take action. This is what you as a consumer undergo where the utility needs to be prepared when you’re faced with a choice that to address any concerns the customer you’re not comfortable making. may have and communicate to the The model depictcustomer the reed shows the various sources available in THE RELATIONSHIP stages: Awareness, making a decision. THAT UTILITIES HAVE Acknowledgement, Action is when BUILT WITH THEIR Agreement, Action the customer takes CUSTOMERS OVER and Advocacy. the time to actuTHE PAST CENTURY Awareness is the ally sign up for the PERFECTLY POSITIONS stage where customprogram or service. THEM AS AN EXPERT er are first presented This is the phase GUIDE IN THIS RAPIDLY that utilities are with a new concept, CHANGING ENERGY issue, or option. programmed to MARKET. This could be acfocus on in a “Build complished through it, present it, and multiple means including classic direct they will come” manner. A degree of marketing, mass advertising, face to simplicity in the experience of this face communications, digital, etc. In phase is important. Firstly, because a this stage customers receive the initial complicated process will drive uncerinformation but may not be interested tainty in the customer choice and ulor may not fully understand the extent timate outcome. Secondly, since this of the offering or program. is the customer’s first interaction with Acknowledgement is where the program, this phase will affect the the customer sorts through the customer’s perception on whether 26






the product will work; whether it’s the right solution and whether the utility’s ordering system works. A fallacy is that a self-serve system will automatically decrease call resources required. Nothing could be further from the truth. The right channel can be different for each customer and a “one size fits all” attitude will gain no traction with today’s savvy consumer. Advocacy is the phase utilities frequently forget exists. The post-experience that a customer has once they enroll in a new program will have important benefits or consequences for the utility depending on how well it’s managed. Follow up, such as providing program status reports and responding to customer feedback, allows the utility to continue the conversation with the customer. The utility will continue to gain insight and ultimately will be in the position to present the next best offer to the customer. By doing this, the goal in this phase is to have customers advocate the benefit of the solution and utility partnership to others. We’ve all heard the story about dissatisfied customers being the most vocal about their experience. What we aspire to develop is an experience so above the standard that customers will tell others and recommend the utility as a true energy advisor. This customer engagement

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framework is a model that utilities can business in the marketplace and the use as their industry transforms into eyes of the consumer. a choice and value driven sector. AcThe utility industry has thrived over complishing this requires leadership the century through the creation of across the business to determine the the centralized grid to the introducvision of where the business wants to tion of smart meters and smart grid. play in the customer space. Once that Technology has evolved and the utilis accomplished, goals and objecity sector has led the way in seeking tives can be established and used as new ways of providing safe, reliable targets for the interdepartmental team and affordable service. As in other to reach. Strategies are then built to sectors, technology will continue reach these goals. This is followed by to drive significant change within the creation of the operating model. the industry, and bring with it new The internal operatchallenges. As these ing model is where changes evolve, new BY ENGAGING utilities have historiplayers will emerge CUSTOMERS AS cally thrived. Typically and play significant THE INDUSTRY the operating model roles in driving new MOVES FORWARD, is established from a solutions and services UTILITIES HAVE ground-up or tactical in the market place. THE OPPORTUNITY This is where utilities approach, frequently in TO REFRESH AND unique organizations today, who have had EVOLVE THEIR (or “silos”) that are not the “trusted energy adROLE AND VALUE. interconnected. The visor” role, will need to better approach is to play a leadership role drive an operating model that is top in helping customers through this down – aligning vision to execuevolution. By engaging customers as tion, inclusive across the business the industry moves forward, utilities and always thinking of the customer have the opportunity to refresh and needs first. evolve their role and value. They can As the customer-centric operatbring new value to the market and be ing model is created, an approach seen as a leader in providing insight, must be taken which balances the solutions and service in the energy financial targets of the business, the market with a one-stop, integrated customer needs in the market place, approach. This role will pay huge the investment in human capital, and dividends as the future unfolds, as the assessment of strategic third party trusted expertise is one of the most partnerships. powerful resources any organization Frequently utilities will focus on can have at its disposal. some key areas while ignoring others. Erwin Furukawa is the Principal Stepping back and keeping a perspecand Founder of EF Strategy & tive of the big picture is important, as Planning Group. He can be reached omitting even one of these areas will at compromise the overall value of the

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THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS BASED ON the work of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) Modularization Communities of Practice (MCOP) and supported by CII research IR 283-2 Industrial Modularization, 2012. Can modularization help your project be a success? Almost every project can benefit from some level of modularization. This article will explore the benefits of modularization and when it is right to utilize this style of construction. Why consider modularization? Below is a list of top business drivers for modularization. 1. Lower Capital Cost 2. Reduced Schedule Risk 3. Improved Quality and Safety 4. Minimal Impact on Operations 5. Potential for Standardization



WASTE Productive Time

• • • • • • • •

Defects Overproduction Waiting Non-used resources Transportation Inventory Motion Excess Processing


LOWER CAPITAL COST The less it costs to get a project operational, the better. Modularization lowers capital cost in a variety of ways. Craft labor rates in the shop are generally less than field labor rates. Often the location of the fabrication shop is in a better economic climate. This allows access to a less expensive, yetqualified labor pool. Producing modules in a shop setting also provides a better working 30



WASTE Productive Time

Source: Construction Industry Institute 2004

environment with workers being shielded from the vagaries of the weather. On-site overhead spending is reduced by removing work hours from the project site, thereby minimizing the cost for housing a large labor force in the field, as well as, other associated overhead expenses. The footprint at the project site is minimized because there is less construction material to store and less room required for material handling. Some of the greatest capital cost reductions can be derived through the increased productivity of the workforce. The graph to the left illustrates the dramatic decrease in wasted time when comparing manufacturing against standard construction. Many industries have seen capital cost savings using modularization as noted in the following examples: ·T  ypical potential saving of 15% in the capital cost can be seen between a modular nuclear power plant and a conventional nuclear power plant (Lapp and Golay 1997) · 1 8.1% savings in a modular gasoil hydrotreater project (Jameson 2007) · About 15% cost saving for solid fuel-fired facility modularization (Gotlieb et al. 2001)



Another important driver for considering a modular solution is the potential for mitigation of schedule risk. The overall project schedule may not be reduced, but successfully removing man-hours from the site will certainly influence manpower levels and/or the site schedule, and will also reduce the risk of schedule slippage. Modularization allows for construction and fabrication schedules to be executed concurrently. This allows design and fabrication to begin upon project approval. Also, fabrication will not be held up by the permitting process. The site availability and condition will not impact the construction of the modules. Congested areas on-site can be left open allowing for a smoother work flow and modules can be brought in later. Once the site is ready, modules can be set and piped in much shorter time than required for on-site fabrication and assembly. Below illustrates how modularization can condense a schedule.

When executing a project in an existing plant, the ability to minimally impact adjacent operations is an enormous benefit that modularization can offer. The ingress and egress points can be minimized. The footprint of the construction site will be decreased due to the reduction of on-site material storage and space for material handling. Generally speaking, the less footprint required for the construction site the smaller the environmental impact will be on the area. Also, with the majority of the fabrication being performed off-site, a large amount of waste will be handled at the module yard and not at the project site.

POTENTIAL FOR STANDARDIZATION Modularization also offers the potential for more standardization. Standardization can prove beneficial for both cost and schedule. Here are a few of the benefits that standardization offers: · Design once and fabricate many times

IMPROVED QUALITY AND SAFETY Modularization also offers an opportunity for increased quality and safety for a project. Enclosed and controlled fabrication shops provide environmental conditions that enable a more controlled work process. There will be fewer weather related issues. Employee retention is higher therefore keeping highly trained craft workers longer. The fabrication shops allow for more standardization of procedures that will increase quality and repeatability. The retention of employees at a fabrication shop allows for the development of a safety culture that will endure, instead of having to be reestablished at each project site. The use of complex automated production equipment is only feasible at a permanent fabrication shop. This automated equipment goes a long way in ensuring high quality fabrication of equipment and piping systems.

· Procure/fabricate in advance and in higher volumes · Opportunities for alternate deployment/re-deployment ·R  educed learning curve for fabrication, installation and operation · Flexibility and cost savings with common spares

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Even with all the benefits modularization has to offer, it is not always the best approach. The up-front engineering time and cost can be greater and depending on how a project is funded this may be a consideration. The potential size of the modules can be an issue from a shipping perspective. Some plants and project sites do not lend themselves to modular construction. The topography and/


Permits & Approvals

Site Development & Foundations

Install & Site Restoration


Building Construction at Plant


Permits & Approvals

Site Development & Foundations

Building Construction

Site Restoration

Source: Modular Building Institute (2010)

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or footprint of the plant may prohibit the use of a modular design. Also, the location of the construction site may be where labor is extremely affordable nullifying one of the primary benefits modularization offers. At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Is modularization right for my project and if so how much?” In the following section, guidance will be provided on how to make that decision.

Modular Benefits


SITE HOURS Optimal Range of Work Hours

EVALUATING MODULARIZATION Modularization is an attractive option that should be as0% % Work Hours Moved Offsite 100% sessed early in every project. Waiting too long to assess the Varies with project value of this method can greatly reduce the po1 tential benefits. As stated NO Technically Start earlier, every project Feasible? can benefit from some YES degree of modularization. 8 13 Develop Module The trick is to find the Stick Build Definition & Index 2 3 4 the Project “sweet spot” that suits the Develop Site Survey Module Yard Survey Productivity Site Specific Schedule for project’s specific business & Cost Data for Restrictions & Stick Built case. Modularization is 9 Module Fab Opportunities & Modular 11 Develop Execution Is Modularization not a panacea and some Strategy and Viable? projects will only benefit Execution Plan 5 Modularization from low levels of moduDrivers larization. A solid business 6 12 10 7 case analysis has to be Develop Modularize Develop Definitive Develop Size Scope of the Project Cost Estimate made when deciding to of Modules Modularization modularize a project. When making a business case for the moduBusiness Case Analysis Flowchart larization of a project it is imperative to evaluate all relevant factors that could impact be paired with a solid execution plan which accounts for the project. What is the economic status of the local labor challenges specific to modularizing. market? What environmental damage could be averted by CII IR-283 identified five Solution Elements which cover limiting the size of a laydown yard? What impact will the key practices required to successfully execute modular size of the construction site have on the facility’s ability to projects with additional tools developed by CII MCOP to asoperate? Will moving man-hours off-site have any negative sist with implementation. The first of the Solution Elements political ramifications with the local labor force? What social is the “Business Case Process”. This element addresses how gains can be made by limiting the amount of disruption the benefits and costs of the modular approach should be around residential areas? Does the topography of the area assessed. When should this be done and with what inforlend itself to modular construction? These types of quesmation? What is the optimal level of modularization as a tions and many more need to be considered and assigned a percentage of total work hours for the project? The graph cost or value. above illustrates the determination of the optimal level of A project with a strong business case for modularization man-hours removed from the project site. is well on its way to success, but that success can be unHow does the business case fit within the context dermined by poor execution. It is imperative that a realistic of project development? schedule is developed and strictly followed during project The business case analysis is iterative in nature and execution. This will prevent shipping partially completed should be done in each phase of the project. Analysis in modules, thereby transferring scope to the construction FEL-0 or FEL-1 gives the best opportunity to determine an site. Modules also need to carry enough piping, cable and optimal modular execution approach. Modularization benequipment to justify the additional cost for shipping them. efits will decrease if the investigation is started too late in a It is not cost-effective to ship empty boxes. The transporproject. The flowchart above outlines the major considertation plan has to be sound. A solid business case must ations and decision points. 32


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One of the tools developed by MCOP is a spreadsheet that allows the user to enter project specific data to automatically generate a comparison of modular versus stickbuilt costs. The spreadsheet is designed to allow early analysis with high level estimates and then later refined as the more detailed data becomes available. The second of the Solution Elements is the “Execution Plan Differences”. Successful implementation of modularization requires project execution planning that is significantly different from that of stick-built projects. The “Execution Plan Differences” element addresses how the implementation of modularization is different from that of a stick-built approach. It also examines how this is reflected in the project planning and execution. CII identified over 100 planning differences with 78% coming prior to EPC! Four topics contain 40% of the differences: 1. Planning and cost estimating 2. M  odularization scoping, layout process and plot plans 3. Basic design standards, models and deliverables 4. Detailed design deliverables Capturing and evaluating these differences in execution is critical to making an informed decision on modularization. The third Solution Element is “Critical Success Factors” (CSFs). CII identified 72 “Success Factors” which complement the first two Solution Elements. The “Critical Success Factors” solution element addresses what CSFs can drive success with modularization. Who is responsible for these? When are the CSFs most critical? And finally, how frequently is each CSF achieved and what special efforts are required? Not all SFs are created equally. 21 high-impact CSFs surfaced when the initial 72 were ranked according to their relative typical project impact. It is important to review these CSFs for each project and determine which require further analysis. Enablers need to be developed for every relevant

CSF. An enabler is a list of actions that will allow the CSF to be achieved. The CSFs are categorized by the responsible party and project phase below. The charts show that more than half of CSFs require leadership and implementation by the Owner and almost one third of the CSFs occur during the Assessment Phase. These charts illustrate the importance in understanding who the responsible party is. They also demonstrate when a CSF needs to be accomplished to have maximum impact on the budget and schedule. The fourth Solution Element is determining a Standardization Strategy. This requires leadership at the business level. Questions addressed include the following: · How does design standardization relate to modularization? ·W  hat forms of standardization are most relevant in the modular context? ·H  ow can an owner, contractor or modular manufacturer create or establish a modular standardized plant? · What steps are needed? The benefits of combining modularization with design standardization can exceed the sum of the parts. Benefits include allowing a single design to be built/fabricated many times. With a modular and standardized design approach, materials can be procured in advance to meet schedule needs. Also, there will be “learning curve” benefits in fabrication, installation and maintenance of the standardized modules. While standardization has some tremendous benefits, it also has drawbacks. The ability to customize is one of the largest sacrifices to standardization. Anytime modularization and standardization are being considered, a business case analysis is needed to identify the quantity of repeated work required for the breakeven point. CII has identified an effective eight-step process to integrate design standardization with modularization:

























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1. Assess the market and establish the objective and an implementation plan 2. C  reate the standard design(s) for targeted plant type(s) 3. Create the modular standard design(s) 4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3, as needed 5. Firm up agreements with vendor(s)/ packages(s) and further involve them in refinements of modular standard design

RMEL 2015 4.75x7.25

6. Implement execution of modular standard plant for each client 7. Assess and benchmark key performance indicators for the effectiveness of modular standard plant effort 8. Learn from modular standard plant projects and update/modify the standard design(s) only after thorough analysis and with confident justifications

The fifth Solution Element takes a more industry-wide look at modularization. While somewhat outside the scope of this article, it is important to understand that there are barriers that continue to challenge the broad-based application for modularization. All stakeholders in the construction industry have to take an active role in nurturing modularization so it can reach its potential. This will require some significant changes, from how engineers are educated on construction to how the industry as a whole should strive for new technologies to help modularization reach its full potential. Tim Heffron is Co-Chair of the CII Modularization Communities of Practice and is the Manager of Project Development for the Fabrication Division of Lauren Engineers & Constructors, Inc. Mr. Heffron can be reached at

O’ Connor, J. T., O’Brien, W. J., and Choi, J. O. (2013). “Industrial modularization: How to optimize; How to maximize.” University of Texas, Construction Industry Institute, Austin, TX. Gotlieb, J. T. Stringfellow, et al. (2001). “Power Plant Design Taking Full Advantage of Modularization.” Power Engineering 105: 31. Jameson, P.H. (2007). “Is modularization right for your project?” Hydrocarbon Processing 86: 47-53. Lapp, C. W., and Golay, M. W. (1997). “Modular design and construction techniques for nuclear power plants.” Nuclear Engineering Design 172(3), 327–349.

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HE GRAND RIVER DAM AUTHORITY (GRDA) was at a crossroads that many utilities are facing today or will face soon. GRDA knew their coal generation portfolio would need to be upgraded or replaced soon due to extensive new EPA rules and they were also about to enter into the newly initiated Southwest Power Pool (SPP) electric market. This new market controls the dispatch of generating units throughout the SPP region balancing the loads, while also prioritizing the most efficient generation. As a stateowned wholesale power provider to many Municipalities and Cooperatives, GRDA had the responsibility to find the most economic, efficient and environmentally sound solution. GRDA first evaluated proposals from engineering ABOVE: RENDERING OF THE NEW UNIT AT THE firms, and then selected EXISTING SITE. RIGHT: AN MHPS J-SERIES GAS Black & Veatch (B&V) as their Owners Engineer. B&V TURBINE ROTOR.



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was charged with evaluating options that included upgrading coal units to EPA standards and other alternatives to meet the generation needs. After this extensive evaluation, GRDA determined its best path forward was to construct a new 495 MW Combined Cycle natural gas powered unit in place of one of its coal generating units. Bids were taken, and GRDA selected an optimized power train design that includes the latest J-series turbine technology from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPSA). “This unit has the potential to be the most efficient combined cycle plant in the country,” said Charles Barney, GRDA’s Assistant General Manager. “Once this unit is built, 90 percent of the cost of operation is fuel,” he said. “If fuel costs are reduced 5 percent, the production cost of the electricity is reduced by nearly the same amount.” The power train for the new generating unit will consist of MHPSA’s M501J gas turbine, and MHPSA’s SRT50 single casing reheat steam turbine. 40


Connecting these two turbines into a “combined cycle” is an optimized heat recovery steam generator supplied by Nooter/Eriksen. This will be the first installation of an M501J in the USA, but will not be the first installation globally. MHPSA currently has orders for 36 M501Js with 17 units in operation, having exceeded 122,000 actual operating hours (AOH) for the fleet. The first M501J has already surpassed 20,000 operating hours and has proven both reliable and ultra efficient. This configuration can operate at up to 61.5% efficiency, making it possible to achieve the highest operating efficiency in North America while allowing rapid load following and significant part load capabilities, both of which are necessary due to extensive wind generation in Oklahoma. “This new unit is being designed and

constructed to maximize both efficiency and reliability. Upon execution, we hope to exceed the high expectations of GRDA, and to be recognized for exceptional achievement by our industry,” said Chris Anderson, Project Manager for TIC/Kiewit. The gas turbine will be manufactured at MHPSA’s state of the art Savannah Machinery Works (SMW) in Georgia. This rotating equipment Assembly and Service facility opened in 2010 and utilizes the most advanced manufacturing and service capabilities to manufacture or overhaul even the most advanced gas and steam turbines and generators. From the Port of Savannah, the gas turbine will barge through the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans and utilize inland river navigation channels to reach its destination. Before deciding to proceed with

the project, GRDA worked closely with its wholesale customers to inform them of options and gain their support. In turn, these customers have committed to long term power purchase contracts, and these were very helpful in GRDA then obtaining a lower interest rate when it issued bonds to finance the project. Tom Kimball, chairman of GRDA’s Board of Directors, said the new unit “represents GRDA’s commitment to the region and its customers’ future.” To fully implement, construct, and commission the new unit, GRDA made the pragmatic decision to only consider qualified EPC contractors that had extensive experience in Engineering, Procurement and Construction of Advanced Gas Turbine Combined Cycle plants. This rigorous

process resulted in an EPC contract award to TIC – The Industrial Company (TIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation. In order to meet generation needs, an aggressive construction schedule was required. GRDA, B&V, MHPSA and TIC are collaborating closely to meet the goal of commercial operation by May 2017. Once installed, the combined cycle unit is expected to have the lowest CO2 emissions rate in North America, significantly below EPA’s proposed limit of 1,000 lb-CO2/MWh for new gas-fired units. Over the life of the plant and under all operating scenarios, the unit is expected to easily meet the emission limits currently under consideration by the EPA. When the project is completed, GRDA will reduce its reliance on coal

generation from 45 percent to 17 percent, while increasing natural gas generation from 25 percent to 45 percent. “By using natural gas produced here in Oklahoma, we will have a diversified generation portfolio that will continue to keep costs low for our customers,” said Dan Sullivan, GRDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Because of its superior efficiency, I expect this plant to be among the first dispatched in the Southwest Power Pool and to run at 60 percent or higher capacity,” added Sullivan. Because of their pioneering spirit, GRDA will have the most advanced generating unit in SPP and achieve their goals meeting customer needs using environmentally sustainable natural gas generation at their aptly renamed Grand River Energy Center.

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RMEL Member Companies 1 ABB, Inc. 2 ABCO Industrial Sales, Inc. 3 ADA-ES, Inc. 4 Advanced Motor Controls 5 AECOM 6 Alexander Publications 7 Altec Industries, Inc. 8 AMEC Foster Wheeler 9 American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. 10 American Coal Council 11 American Public Power Association 12 Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. 13 Arizona Public Service 14 Arkansas River Power Authority 15 Asplundh Tree Expert Co. 16 Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. 17 ATCO Emissions Management 18 Atwell, LLC 19 Austin Energy 20 AZCO INC. 21 Babcock & Wilcox Company 22 Babcock Power, Inc. 23 Basin Electric Power Cooperative 24 Bear Valley Electric Service 25 Beckwith Electric 26 Beta Engineering 27 Black & Veatch Corp. 28 Black Hills Corporation 29 Black Hills Electric Cooperative 30 Boilermakers Local #101 31 Boone Electric Cooperative 32 Border States Electric 33 Bowman Consulting Group 34 Brooks Manufacturing Company 35 Burns & McDonnell 36 Butler Public Power District 37 C.I.Agent Solutions 38 Carbon Power & Light, Inc. 39 Casey Industrial, Inc. 40 CB&I 41 CBS ArcSafe 42 CDG Engineers, Inc. 43 Center Electric Light & Power System 44 CH2M HILL 45 Chad Hymas Communications, Inc. 46 Chimney Rock Public Power District 47 City of Alliance Electric Department 48 City of Aztec Electric Department 49 City of Cody 50 City of Farmington 51 City of Fountain 52 City of Gillette 53 City of Glenwood Springs 54 City of Imperial 55 City of Yuma 42


56 Cloud County Community College 57 Clyde Bergemann Power Group 58 Co-Mo Electric Cooperative 59 CoBank 60 Colorado Energy Management, LLC 61 Colorado Highlands Wind LLC 62 Colorado Powerline, Inc. 63 Colorado Precast Concrete 64 Colorado Rural Electric Association 65 Colorado School of Mines Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department 66 Colorado Springs Utilities 67 Colorado State University 68 Commonwealth Associates, Inc. 69 ComRent 70 The Confluence Group Inc. 71 Continental Divide Electric Cooperative 72 Corporate Risk Solutions, Inc. 73 CPS Energy 74 CTC Global Corporation 75 D.C. Langley Energy Consulting, LLC 76 Delta Montrose Electric Assn. 77 DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, LLC 78 Dowdy Recruiting LLC 79 E & T Equipment, LLC 80 E3 Consulting 81 EA Technology 82 El Paso Electric Company 83 Electrical Consultants, Inc. 84 Electrical Reliability Services 85 Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions 86 The Empire District Electric Company 87 Empire Electric Association, Inc. 88 Encompass Energy Services LLC 89 Energy & Resource Consulting Group, LLC 90 Energy Education Council 91 Energy Providers Coalition for Education 92 Energy Reps 93 Equal Electric, Inc. 94 ESCÂ engineering 95 Estes Park Light & Power Dept. 96 Evapco - BLCT Dry Cooling, Inc. 97 Exponential Engineering Company 98 Fairbanks Morse Engine 99 Finley Engineering Company, Inc. 100 Foothills Energy Services Inc. 101 Fort Collins Utilities 102 Fuel Tech, Inc. 103 Gallup Joint Utilities 104 GE Power & Water 105 Genscape, Inc. 106 Golder Associates, Inc.

107 Grand Island Utilities 108 Grand Valley Rural Power Lines, Inc. 109 Graycor 110 Great Southwestern Construction, Inc. 111 Greer CPW 112 Gunnison County Electric Association, Inc. 113 Hamilton Associates, Inc. 114 Hamon Research - Cottrell 115 Harris Group, Inc. 116 Hartigan Power Equipment Company 117 HDR, Inc. 118 High Energy Inc. (HEI) 119 Highline Electric Assn. 120 Holy Cross Energy 121 HOT/SHOT Infrared Inspections, Inc. 122 Hubbell Power Systems 123 Hughes Brothers, Inc. 124 IBEW, Local Union 111 125 IEC Rocky Mountain 126 IMCORP 127 Incorporated County of Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities 128 Independence Power & Light 129 Integrity Consulting Services 130 Intercounty Electric Coop Association 131 Intermountain Rural Electric Assn. 132 ION Consulting 133 Irby 134 Irwin Industries, Inc. Power Plant Services 135 J.L. Hermon & Associates, Inc. 136 James Industries, Inc. 137 Johnson Matthey Stationary Emission Control 138 Kansas City Board of Public Utilities 139 Kansas City Power & Light 140 KBR 141 KD Johnson, Inc. 142 Kiewit 143 Kirk Erectors, Inc. 144 Kit Carson Electric Cooperative 145 Kleinfelder 146 Klondyke Construction LLC 147 La Junta Municipal Utilities 148 La Plata Electric Association, Inc. 149 Lake Region Electric Coop Inc. 150 Lamar Utilities Board 151 Laminated Wood Systems, Inc. 152 Las Animas Municipal Light & Power 153 Lauren Engineers & Constructors 154 Leidos 155 Lewis Associates, Inc. 156 Lincoln Electric System

157 Llewellyn Consulting 158 Longmont Power & Communications 159 The Louis Berger Group 160 Loup River Public Power District 161 Loveland Water & Power 162 Luminate, LLC 163 Magna IV Engineering Inc. 164 Marsulex Environmental Technologies 165 Merrick & Company 166 Missouri River Energy Services 167 Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. 168 Monk Engineering Inc. 169 Morgan County Rural Electric Assn. 170 Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. 171 Mountain States Utility Sales 172 Mountain View Electric Assn. 173 Mycoff, Fry & Prouse LLC 174 NAES Corp. 175 Navopache Electric Cooperative, Inc. 176 Nebraska Public Power District 177 NEI Electric Power Engineering, Inc. 178 New Mexico State University 179 Nol-Tec Systems, Inc. 180 Nooter/Eriksen, Inc. 181 Norris Public Power District 182 Northeast Community College 183 Northwest Rural Public Power District 184 Novinda Corporation 185 Novinium 186 NRG Reliability Solutions LLC 187 Omaha Public Power District 188 Omnicon Technical Sales 189 Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. 190 Otero County Electric Cooperative 191 PacifiCorp 192 Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Assn. 193 PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. 194 Peterson Co. 195 PIC Group, Inc. 196 Pike Electric, LLC 197 Pine Valley Power, Inc. 198 Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. 199 Pipefitters Local Union #208 200 Platte River Power Authority 201 PNM Resources 202 Poudre Valley Rural Electric Assn. 203 Powder River Energy Corp. 204 Power & Industrial Services Corp 205 POWER Engineers, Inc. 206 Power Equipment Specialists, Inc. 207 Power Pole Inspections 208 Power Product Services 209 PowerPHASE LLC 210 PowerQuip Corporation

211 Precision Resource Company 212 Provo City Power 213 Quanta Services 214 REC Associates 215 Reliability Management Group (RMG) 216 Reliable Power Consultants, Inc. 217 RES Americas 218 Rkneal, Inc. 219 RRC Power and Energy 220 Sabre Tubular Structures 221 Safety One Inc. 222 San Isabel Electric Assn. 223 San Marcos Electric Utility 224 San Miguel Power Assn. 225 Sangre De Cristo Electric Assn. 226 Sargent & Lundy 227 Savage Services Corporation 228 Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories 229 Sega Inc. 230 Siemens Energy Inc. 231 Sierra Electric Cooperative, Inc. 232 Solomon Associates 233 South Central PPD 234 Southeast Colorado Power Assn. 235 Southeast Community College 236 Southern Pioneer Electric Company 237 Southwest Energy Systems LLC 238 Southwest Generation 239 Southwest Public Power District 240 Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc. 241 Southwire Company 242 Springfield Municipal Light & Power 243 SPX Cooling Technologies 244 SPX Transformer Solutions, Inc. 245 SRP 246 St. George Energy Services Department 247 Stanley Consultants, Inc. 248 Stantec Consulting 249 STEAG Energy Services LLC 250 Storm Technologies Inc. 251 Sturgeon Electric Co., Inc. 252 Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative 253 Sundt Construction 254 Sunflower Electric Power Corporation 255 Surveying And Mapping, LLC 256 Switchgear Solutions, Inc. 257 T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc. 258 Technically Speaking, Inc. 259 TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc. 260 Tetra Tech 261 Timken Motor & Crane Services, dba Wazee a Timken Brand 262 Towill, Inc. 263 Trachte, Inc. Buildings & Shelters 264 Trans American Power Products, Inc.

265 TRC Engineers, Inc. 266 Trees Inc 267 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn. 268 Trinidad Municipal Light & Power 269 Trinity Meyer Utility Structures, LLC 270 TurbinePROS 271 U.S. Water 272 UC Synergetic 273 Ulteig Engineers, Inc. 274 United Power, Inc. 275 Universal Field Services, Inc. 276 University of Colorado 277 University of Idaho Utility Executive Course College of Business and Economics 278 UNS Energy Corporation 279 Utility Telecom Consulting Group, Inc. 280 UtilX Corp. 281 Valmont Newmark, Valmont Industries, Inc. 282 Vickrey & Associates 283 Victaulic 284 W채rtsil채 North America, Inc. 285 Wave Engineering, Inc. 286 WESCO 287 Westar Energy 288 Western Area Power Administration 289 Western Electrical Services 290 Western Line Constructors Chapter, Inc. NECA 291 Western Nebraska Community College 292 Western United Electric Supply 293 Westmark Partners LLC 294 Westwood Professional Services 295 Wheat Belt Public Power District 296 Wheatland Electric Cooperative 297 Wheatland Rural Electric Assn. 298 White River Electric Assn., Inc. 299 White River Valley Electric Cooperative 300 WHPacific, Inc. 301 Wichita State University 302 Willbros 303 William W. Rutherford & Associates 304 Williams/Beaty Services 305 Wilson & Company, Engineers & Architects 306 Wyoming Municipal Power Agency 307 Xcel Energy 308 Y-W Electric Association, Inc. 309 Yampa Valley Electric Association, Inc. 310 Zachry Group TOTAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS: 310

W W W. R M EL .O R G



2015 Calendar of Events January 15, 2015

March 26, 2015

July 29, 2015

Introduction to the Electric Utility Workshop Lone Tree, CO

Electric Utility Workforce Management Conference and Roundtable Lone Tree, CO

Generation Vital Issues Roundtable Kansas City, MO

January 20-21, 2015 Physical and Cyber Security Conference Lone Tree, CO

January 29-30, 2015 Utility Flight Operations Safety Workshop Denver, CO

February 10-11, 2015 Utility Financing for NonFinancial Personnel Workshop Phoenix, AZ

February 27, 2015 Safety Roundtable February 2015 Westminster, CO

March 5-6 Power Supply Planning and Projects Conference Lone Tree, CO

March 6, 2015 Generation Vital Issues Roundtable Lone Tree, CO

April 7-8, 2015 Introduction to Transmission Protection and Relaying Workshop Austin, TX

April 21-23, 2015 Safety and Technical Training Conference Lone Tree, CO

April 23, 2015 Safety Roundtable - April 2015 Lone Tree, CO

May 17-19, 2015 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference St. Louis, MO

June 9, 2015 Customer Service Conference Lone Tree, CO

June 16-17, 2015 Grid Modernization Workshop Austin, TX

August 2015 Safety Roundtable August 2015 TBD

August 11-12 Distribution Protection Workshop Lone Tree, CO

September 1-2, 2015 Electric Utility System Operations Workshop Denver, CO

September 20-22, 2015 Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention Kansas City, MO

October 1, 2015 2016 Spring Management, Engineering and Operations Conference Planning Session Lone Tree, CO

October 7-8, 2015 Distribution Engineers Workshop Lone Tree, CO

March 10-11, 2015

June 25, 2015

Transmission Planning and Operations Conference Lone Tree, CO

Transmission Operations & Maintenance Conference Lone Tree, CO

March 11, 2015

July 7, 2015

Renewable Planning and Operations Conference Lone Tree, CO

Transmission Vital Issues Roundtable Lone Tree, CO

RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament

November 5, 2015

March 12-13, 2015 Distribution Overhead and Underground Operations and Maintenance Conference Lone Tree, CO

March 13, 2015 Distribution Vital Issues Roundtable Lone Tree, CO

July 28-29, 2015 Plant Management, Engineering and Operations Conference Kansas City, MO

October 15, 2015

Environmental Right-of-Way Conference Lone Tree, CO

November 13, 2015 Safety Roundtable November 2015 Fort Collins, CO


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.



PileMedic® by QuakeWrap is a revolutionary, newly patented product developed by Professor Mo Ehsani following 25 years of research and development! In the late 1980’s, Professor Ehsani introduced and pioneered the novel idea of repair and retrofit of structures with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) products to the construction industry. Carbon and Glass FRPs are durable, lightweight, exceptionally strong, and versatile materials, making them the perfect solution for rehabilitation, and upgrading an aging infrastructure. PileMedic® is the fastest and most economical FRP solution for repairing and strengthening damaged or deteriorated utility poles of virtually any height, shape, or material.


Our innovative FRP products can also be used to repair and strengthen walls, beams, columns, slabs, chimneys, silos, tanks, pipes, culverts, tunnels and piles. Call us today for a free project evaluation and estimate.

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Faster and more economical than traditional methods Works equally well on concrete, steel and timber Seamless, 360° of confining pressure One size fits all utility poles; no delay for customizations 3-4 times stronger than steel Corrosion and chemical resistant Minimum disruption to service

(866) 782-5397 |




(770) 810-9698

Black & Veatch


(913) 458-2000

Border States Electric


(701) 293-5834

Burns McDonnell


(816) 333-9400

California Turbo, Inc.


(800) 448-1446



(800) 542-8072

Empire Electric Association, Inc.


ERG Consulting


(203) 843-0600

Fuel Tech


(630) 845-4500

Great Southwestern Construction, Inc.


(303) 688-5816

HDR, Inc.


(402) 399-1000

Back Cover

(913) 928-7000


(402) 643-4708 (402) 564-8561

Kiewit Laminated Wood Systems, Inc. Nebraska Public Power District


Northeast Community College


(402) 371-2020


(208) 788-3456



(866) 782-5397

Sabre Tubular Structures


(817) 852-1700

Sega, Inc.


(913) 681-2881


Inside Back Cover

(303) 696-8446

POWER Engineers

Stanley Consultants, Inc.


(303) 799-6806

Sturgeon Electric Co. Inc.


(303) 286-8000

Switchgear Solutions


(800) 349-7947

T & R Electric Supply Co., Inc.


(800) 843-7994

Trees Inc.


(866) 865-9617

Tri-State Generation


(303) 452-6111


(877) 363-5702

(877) 858-3449

(303) 217-7500

(315) 457-3110

TurbinePROs Ulteig Engineers, Inc.

Inside Front Cover

WESCO Distribution


Young & Franklin


(970) 565-5555



Powering the Future. An industry innovator, Kiewit Power has extensive experience in the gas-fired, air quality control systems, power delivery, renewable and nuclear markets. As a full EPC provider, our in-depth market knowledge and industry-leading projects show how Kiewit is committed to clients and to remaining a power pioneer.

Kiewit Power Group Inc. 9401 Renner Boulevard Lenexa, KS 66219 (913) 928-7000

Leader in EPC installations for


RMEL Electric Energy Issue 1 2015  

-Empowering the Electricity Consumer -Keeping Electricity Affordable -Navigating a Rapidly Evolving Industry for Consumers -Modularization f...

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