Note: These minutes are in draft form pending approval by the Board at its next public meeting.
Minutes of the 786th Meeting
August 25, 2017
The 786th 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, and Mr. Hutchison. Mr. Moen was not present. The executive director was not certain the cause for Mr. Moen’s absence, but there was a quorum present. Executive Director Texel stated that public notice for the meeting had been published in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper on August 15, 2017. 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 July 28, 2017, meeting. The staff did not have any recommended changes. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to approve the minutes. 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— absent. The motion carried 4– 0 with one absent.
The next agenda item was acceptance of the expense report for the month of July. The expenses were $22,099.88 in personal services, $33,642.14 in operating expenses, and the travel expenses actual $1,014.91. The expenses for the month were $56,756.93. The executive director pointed out that the operating expenses were much higher than usual. This was because two payments were made in July to JK Energy. One payment was made for JK Energy’s June services paid in early July, while the other was a payment recorded the last day or two of July for the July services. The July payment was actually paid in early August, but the transaction posted before the end of the month and was receipted or processed in July. This accounted for an extra $13,900 in the July operating expenses. The payment Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to accept the July expense 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— absent. The motion carried 4– 0 with one absent.
The next item on the agenda was the 2017 Anual 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 a presentation on the report. The PRB many years ago 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. Over the 2017 through 2036 study period, the average peak demand growth rate for the State is projected to be .4 percent per year. This is up from last year’s report, which projected .29% growth for the 20-year period. The Board thanked Mr. Fortik for the presentation and the discussion. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to accept the 2017 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— absent. The motion carried 4– 0 with one absent.
The next item on the agenda was to consider Perennial Public Power District’s Petition for Charter Amendment 5. The Petition was filed on June 22, 2017. The purpose of the amendment is to reduce the number of directors from seven to six. All changes are in Section VI of the charter. Perennial PPD divides its territory into two subdivisions. One subdivision has four directors and the other has two members. The PRB is required by State law to publish notice in at least two local newspapers for three consecutive weeks prior to acting on a charter amendment. The public notice was published in the York News-Times and the Nebraska Signal on July 5, 12, and 19, 2017. The notice explained that any interested party could file a protest or objection by close of business on August 23. No protests or objections were filed. State law allows the Board to waive the hearing if no protests or objections are received. The executive director recommended the Board waive the hearing and approve the amendment. Mr. Pankoke, General Manager for Perennial PPD, addressed the Board and explained that it made sense to remove one director. There was no one who ran in the general election to take the place of the vacant spot and it seemed that in the past there was a limited number of people who wanted to be appointed to be on the board. The Board asked if changing to an even number of directors might create problems with tie votes. Mr. Pankoke said he did not believe that would be an issue. Close votes have not been a common occurrence. He also explained that the change would not alter the number of customers each director represents appreciably due to changes in the District’s population. It will actually help. After this change, each director will represent approximately 1,400 people. Vice Chairman Morehouse moved to waive the hearing and approve Perennial Public Power District’s Petition for Charter Amendment 5. 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—absent. The motion carried 4– 0 with one absent.
The next item on the agenda was the executive director’s report. The first item discussed was an update on Southwest Power Pool (SPP) activities. Mr. Grennan stated that there was no new information and there was a good discussion about SPP issues during the presentation on the Load and Capability Report.
The executive director informed the Board about an update to the Board’s website. Nebraska Interactive provides assistance with the website updates and general maintenance for the Board’s website. Executive Director Texel stated that Nebraska Interactive provided him with a scope of work for the website update project, which will include updating the PRB’s website logo that appears at the top of each page. The project will replace outdated software that is no longer supported by Nebraska Interactive, but the Board’s staff still uses it to maintain the Board’s website. The contract has been signed and the work will begin in early 2018.
The executive director then discussed LR 125. This is a Legislative study reviewing the public power system in Nebraska. The hearing will be on September 22, which is the same day as the Board’s September public meeting. The executive director stated that he planned to testify at the hearing about the responsibilities of the PRB such as the Load and Capability report and the Long Range Power Supply Plan. The NPA might also give an abbreviated presentation similar to the one given to the Board at today’s meeting. The hearing is open to the public, so the Board members could attend if they wished to do so. The executive director was not sure if there would be public testimony or if it would be by invitation only.
The last item on the agenda was the Executive Director’s annual performance evaluation. The Board members all agreed to delegate the duty to complete the evaluation to the Chairman, as has been done in the past. Chairman Reida said he will complete it prior to the Board’s next meeting.
The executive director noted the next scheduled Board meeting dates are on the fourth Friday of each month. The next meetings will be on September 22, October 27, and November 15.
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— absent. The motion carried 4 – 0 with one absent. The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.
Timothy J. Texel
Executive Director and General Counsel