Public Power

Florida Power & Light to Purchase Vero Beach’s Municipal Utility

July 20, 2018

On June 5, 2018, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approved the $185 million purchase of the Vero Beach municipal utility by Florida Power & Light (FPL). The approval came after debate on the portion of acquisition costs to recover from customers and the precedent such a deal may set for future acquisitions. FPL had shown an interest in this acquisition as far back as the 1970s. The FPSC’s approval came amidst increasing interest in utility asset sales and consolidation.


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Adoption of Drones in the Electric Utility Industry

June 8, 2017

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently published “An Early Survey of Best Practices for the Use of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems by the Electric Utility Industry.” Known as sUAS, and interchangeable with the terms drones and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), sUAS have the potential to conduct efficient and safe electric infrastructure inspections, effectively detect problems with electric equipment, access equipment in difficult terrain, and provide direct support for electric utility vegetation management. ORNL’s survey of best practices is focused on safety and mitigating risk. It serves to inform electric utilities’ strategy and operations in the areas of mission planning and execution, contracting for sUAS services, and development of in-house capability.


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Use of Creative Financing for Energy Efficiency Improvements Can Greatly Increase Penetration

October 27, 2016

Public power utilities who are interested in energy efficiency should consider the experience of Ouachita Electric Cooperative. This Arkansas co-op is using the Pay As You Save® (PAYS) tariff-based financing model for energy-efficiency improvements and has seen much greater penetration than with the on-bill debt-financing model. Upon introducing PAYS, Ouachita Electric Cooperative saw a 100% increase in participation during a three-month period with renters, rather than homeowners, accounting for one-third of the new participants.


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Five Legislative Priorities of the American Public Power Association

June 20, 2016

The American Public Power Association (APPA) is a non-profit, non-partisan trade association for public power utilities in the United States that focuses on, among other things, advancing the legislative and regulatory interests of its members.


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Four Keys to Successful Strategic Planning in Public Power

December 17, 2015

With 2016 quickly approaching, many utility management teams and boards are preparing for strategy retreats where they will work to set priorities for the business. With decades of experience in the industry, ScottMadden reminds public power companies of four keys to making strategic planning successful.


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Tennessee Valley Authority to Open First New U.S. Nuclear Reactor in Decades

October 6, 2015

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nine million people in parts of seven southeastern states, is completing the final regulatory requirements to begin commercial operation at Unit 2 of its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. Watts Bar 2 will diversify TVA’s power generation sources (to ~40% nuclear) and contribute to its sustainability initiatives through added carbon-free power generation. The move comes as TVA works to adapt to the EPA’s recently released final rule Clean Power Plan (CPP), which sets the first-ever national standards for CO2 emissions from power plants.


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