In February, Kaiser Permanente doubled down on its prior commitment to open a new medical school in Pasadena, CA in 2020 by announcing that it would provide free tuition to its first five classes. Kaiser Permanente said the school will focus on teaching population health and the health system’s model of integrated and coordinated care.
In November 2018, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued an order setting a date of June 30, 2020, for Consumers Energy Company (Consumers) and DTE Electric Company (DTE) to file updates to their five-year distribution investment and maintenance plans. The order provided guidance on what should be included in the next versions of the plans.
Just like finance spreadsheets were a major breakthrough for finance departments, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to change how HR will operate in the future. Several companies already leverage AI to screen resumes, but recent AI technological developments, such as voice and image recognition, are expected to expand capabilities and create $100 billion of value in HR in the next 20 years.
A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists and applauded by the Nuclear Energy Institute claimed that 21 of 60 nuclear plants in the United States are at risk of early retirement largely due to inadequate rates of return and lower pricing of other competing generation types. To combat early retirements, many states are establishing nuclear subsidy programs to compensate financially challenged nuclear plants for the environmental attributes of
Soon the cup of coffee customers buy from a Starbucks in the state of Illinois will be brewed using renewable energy generated by wind turbines. The Seattle-based coffee giant recently signed a long-term agreement with Constellation, Exelon’s commercial business, to power more than 340 Starbucks locations in Illinois with 100% carbon-free energy.
On November 1, 2018, Northern States Power Minnesota, d/b/a Xcel Energy, filed its first Integrated Distribution Plan (IDP), fulfilling the requirements of an IDP Order issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) on August 30, 2018. The comprehensive filing includes a wealth of information regarding the current state of the distribution system, notice of near-term investments, and a 15-year roadmap of potential future investments. The plan highlights Xcel Energy’s focus on customers, linking the grid investments to the expected customer benefits and new offerings. Xcel Energy notes that it intends to formally request approval for the investments and bring forward the costs and benefits for the MPUC’s approval through future IDP/grid modernization filings or as part of a general rate case.
The concept of using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a tool to unlock additional value in your organization is a common topic of conferences, technology presentations, and HR publications. However, HR leaders are often left with more questions than answers around how HR departments can benefit from this technology. Can bots be used to execute people processes? Is the work in HR too sensitive for automation? How does human judgment come into play? The answer is that RPA can be used in HR, but processes should be carefully evaluated, and the focus should be on paper-oriented, repetitive tasks, allowing HR professionals to spend more time on people-facing strategic initiatives.
On October 17, Senate Vice President Larry Seilhamer and Minority Leader Eduardo Bhatia introduced Senate Bill 1121, The Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which would bring widespread change to the state’s electric utility industry. The most notable provision of SB1121 is the elimination of monopoly status for the island’s electric utility, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). PREPA is a government run agency that is responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for the vast majority of Puerto Rico’s population. The utility, which is currently $9 billion in debt, filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and is in the midst of a multi-year effort to rebuild the island’s electric grid which was severely damaged last year by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
In April 2017, Duke Energy proposed a $13 billion, 10-year plan to modernize North Carolina’s electric system. Dubbed the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative, Duke had proposed grid hardening, resilience, advanced metering infrastructure, and smart grid investments. However, after opposition from environmental groups, the plan was scaled down to $2.5 billion over a three-year period. Although settlement was filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) on June 1, 2018, on June 22, 2018, the NCUC rejected the Power/Forward Carolinas initiative outright without taking into consideration the settlement agreement.
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