NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD
August 24, 2018
The 796th meeting of the Nebraska Power Review Board (“the Board” or “PRB”) was held in the Liquor Control Commission hearing room, Nebraska State Office Building, 301 Centennial Mall, Lincoln, Nebraska. The roll was called and present were Chairman Reida, Vice Chairman Morehouse, Mr. Grennan, Mr. Hutchison, and Mr. Moen. Executive Director Texel stated that public notice for the meeting had been published in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper on August 14, 2018. All background materials for the agenda items to be acted on had been provided to all Board members prior to the meeting and a copy was in each Board member’s notebook. The executive director announced that a copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act was on display on the north wall of the room for the public to review, and another copy was available in a three-ring binder on a table at the back of the room. A copy of all materials that the Board would consider was available for public inspection on a table in the back of the room, as well as extra copies of the agenda.
The Board first considered the draft minutes from its June 22, 2018, meeting. The staff did not have any recommended changes. Chairman Reida pointed out that the minutes were in fact to the June meeting. The agenda referred to the July meeting, which was canceled. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to approve the minutes from the June meeting. Mr. Grennan seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen – yes. The motion carried 5– 0.
The next agenda item was acceptance of the expense reports for the month of June and July. In June, there was $21,987.00 in personal services, $22,358.12 in operating expenses, and $325.04 in travel expenses. The total expenses for June were $44,670.16. In July, there was $23,765.04 in personal services, $21,699.26 in operating expenses, and $1,988.86 in travel expenses. The total expenses for July were $47,453.16. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to accept the expense reports for June and July. Mr. Moen seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes. The motion carried 5– 0.
The next item on the agenda was a presentation of the 2018 Annual Load and Capability Report. Jason Fortik, Vice President for Power Supply for the Lincoln Electric System and Chair of the Nebraska Power Association’s (NPA) Joint Planning Subcommittee, gave the presentation on the report. The executive director stated that many years ago the Board designated the NPA as the representative organization to prepare this report pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 70-1024. The report covers statewide utility load forecast and resources available to satisfy the loads in Nebraska over a 20-year period. The report included information concerning generation units that are planned and studied to meet the projected load growth. Nebraska currently has excess generation capacity. Most of the recent construction has been renewable generation facilities. Over the 2018 through 2037 study period, the average peak demand growth rate for the State is projected to be .4 percent per year. This is the same growth rate as 2017. The Board thanked Mr. Fortik for the presentation and the discussion. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to accept the 2018 Load and Capability Report. Mr. Hutchison seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes. The motion carried 5– 0.
After the presentation the Board recessed from 11:15 to 11:20. All Board members were again present when the meeting was called back into session.
The next item on the agenda was to consider whether the Board would authorize reimbursement of travel expenses incurred by Mr. Hutchison to attend a Transmission Policy Summit in Lawrence, Kansas. The Board spoke about this summit at its June meeting, but was not able to consider it since notice of the meeting was received just prior to the June meeting date. The item was placed on the agenda for consideration at the July meeting, but that meeting was canceled. The Board was therefore unable to consider the issue until the August 24 meeting. The Board did discuss the benefit to attending the summit at the June meeting and encouraged anyone who wanted to attend to consider it. Mr. Grennan had received the invitation to attend the summit due to his membership on the Southwest Power Pool’s Regional State Committee, but he had a conflict and could not attend. The Kansas Corporation Commission sponsored the summit. Speakers included FERC Commissioner Neal Chatterjee, U.S. Dept. of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary Katie Jereza, and SPP and Mideset Independent System Operator (MISO) officials. Mr. Hutchison attended the summit on August 14 and incurred an overnight stay ($107), mileage ($194.02) and a toll road expense ($2.40) totaling $303.42. He gave the Board an overview of the issues that were discussed at the summit. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to approve reimbursement of Mr. Hutchison’s’ expense to attend the Transmission Policy Summit in Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Grennan seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes. The motion carried 5 – 0.
The next item on the agenda was to consider an amendment to Board Policies 4 and 6. Policy 4 establishes approval for staff travel plans and Policy 6 establishes approval of Board member travel plans. The amendments are clean-up in nature. The amendments are needed to update the name of the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) annual legal seminar. For many years the name was the “APPA Legal Seminar”. A year or two ago APPA changed the name of the meeting to the “APPA Legal and Regulatory Conference”. The proposed update to would remove the reference to the APPA Legal Seminar and replace it with the correct title of the APPA Legal and Regulatory Conference. The policies give standing approval for attorneys serving on the Board and for the general counsel to attend the annual event. Mr. Moen moved to approve the amendments to Policy 4 and Policy 6. Vice Chairman Morehouse seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen –yes. The motion carried 5 – 0.
The next item on the agenda was the executive director’s report. Mr. Grennan discussed the SPP and RSC quarterly meetings in Omaha on July 30 and 31. There was discussion about transmission related costs that had been discussed at the Transmission Summit meeting in Kansas. There was also discussion about seams costs. The term Seams refers to boundaries where regional transmission organizations (RTO) such as MISO, SPP and other RTO’s adjoin. Seams issues address how the RTO’s coordinate the movement of electric power across those boundaries.
The executive director announced that the presentation on the Monolith facility, which had originally been scheduled to be given during the August meeting, had to be rescheduled. The presentation has been rescheduled for November 16.
Executive Director Texel briefed the Board about a decision issued by the U.S. Circuit Court for the 7th Circuit regarding the installation of smart meters. The case is Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville. The executive director acknowledged that the issue is not within the Board’s jurisdiction, but the issues comes up fairly often and customers contact the Board about the installation of smart meters. A group of concerned citizens challenged the City’s installation of smart meters as an unconstitutional search under the U.S. 4th Amendment and the Illinois state constitution’s similar provision. The Court held collection of data using smart meters is a warrantless search under the U.S. and Illinois constitutions. But the Court found the search is “reasonable” because it is not collected by or for law enforcement and serves important governmental purposes (outage responses, grid stabilization and modernization, and reduction of costs). The Court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit. The executive director prepared a brief of the case, a copy of which was provided to each Board member.
The executive director then briefly mentioned the proposed “Affordable Clean Energy” rule that would replace the “Clean Power Plan” proposed by the Obama administration. The new plan is reported to be far more friendly to fossil fuels.
The executive director noted that the next meeting dates are September 28, October 26, and November 16, 2018. Oral arguments in the Neligh v. Elkhorn Rural Public Power District case will be held in conjunction with the September 28 meeting.
Mr. Grennan moved to adjourn the meeting. Vice Chairman Morehouse seconded the motion. Voting on the motion: Chairman Reida – yes, Vice Chairman Morehouse – yes, Mr. Grennan – yes, Mr. Hutchison – yes, and Mr. Moen – yes. The motion carried 5 – 0. The meeting was adjourned at 12:14 p.m.
Timothy J. Texel
Executive Director and General Counsel