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TPPA June 2021 Newsletter

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TPPA’s 2021 Annual Meeting

TPPA will host its Annual Meeting on July 26-28, 2021, at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio. Early registration deadlines and hotel cut-off dates are June 21st. The registration form, agenda, and other information can be found here. 

The meeting features committee meetings with topics from Texas Cybersecurity Monitor Outreach Program, Aerial Inspections, Wireless Pole Attachment Programs, Environmental Steps Associated with a Power Plant Sale, Talking Carbon with Customers, Review of 87th Legislative Session and Customer Engagement Tools.

General Session topics include: TPPA/Texas Update with Bob Kahn, TPPA Executive Director, PUC Update with Chairman Peter Lake, ERCOT Update with Brad Jones, Federal Update with Michael Nolan and a Panel Discussion on the Winter Storm featuring Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy, Gary Miller, Bryan Texas Utilities and Eric Craven, Texas Electric Cooperatives.

Concurrent Session topics feature several sessions on the Winter Storm including financial impacts, legal fall out and energy risk management. We also have two sessions on ABC’s of the Electric Utility and the New Electric Utility Industry by Steve Collier (The Smart Grid Man) that will provide helpful information to new employees, elected officials or others that want information on how to educate their staff about our industry. Other important concurrent session topics will be Implementing HB 4150 – Training and Compliance (also know as the William Thomas Heath Power Line Act), Resiliency and Cost Savings in ERCOT and a Workforce Issues Panel Discussion.

The TPPA Awards Breakfast and General Membership Meeting will honor individuals and systems with TPPA Awards, and the membership will vote on officers and board members.

Make your plans now to attend this important meeting. Contact Debra Scarbo at dscarbo@tppa.com or 512-472-5965, ext. 12 with any questions regarding this meeting.


Legislative Update

Positive Texas Legislative Session for Public Power, Despite Focus on Utilities after Winter Storm Uri

The 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature adjourned on May 31st.  The session began approximately nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and early on, much of the attention was devoted to how the state should have responded.  During the early days of the session, however, Winter Storm Uri devastated Texas, leaving millions without power for several days.  Natural gas prices spiked to the highest levels in recent memory and ERCOT shortpayments reached nearly $3 billion. Several retail electric providers exited the market and one electric cooperative sought bankruptcy protection.  All this turmoil re-focused the Legislature on the actions and inaction of the industry and its regulators.  For the first time in decades, legislators engaged in serious and substantive discussions about capacity markets and re-regulation.  Legislators filed nearly 7,000 bills and passed just over 1,000.  TPPA tracked 385 bills that had the potential to impact TPPA members or the electric market.

Read More Here


Member Highlight

Fredericksburg City Manager Kent Myers received his doctorate degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio on Saturday, May 8. Myers’ Ph.D. is in leadership studies. His dissertation was titled, “A Study of Local Government Succession Planning and the Relationship Between Authentic Leadership and Organizational Commitment.” Myers joined the City of Fredericksburg in 2012.





Articles & News


Electric Vehicles

Austin Energy’s EV Auto Dealership Engagement Initiative wins Smart Cities Award


Austin Energy’s Electric Vehicle Auto Dealership Engagement Initiative is a Smart Cities Smart 50 Awards winner.

The 2021 Smart 50 Awards recognizes the 50 best examples of smart cities at work.

Read the full article by Austin Energy here.

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Ditto, Sargent Named to GridWise Alliance Advisory Council Formed to Support Call for Investments in Power System

Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA), and Jackie Sargent, general manager of Texas public power utility Austin Energy, have been named to a GridWise Alliance Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council (GIAC) to support the alliance’s call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems.

Read the full article by Austin Public Power Association here.

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Bills and Rates

Coalition Launches State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance Program Dashboard

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has created a new tool for monitoring trends in state and local implementation of emergency rental assistance programs authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The funds can be used to pay rent and utility expenses.

Read the full article by Austin Public Power Association here.

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EIA Sees More Renewable and Coal Generation this Summer as Electric Sales Rise 

This summer could see an increase in renewable and coal-fired generation as electricity sales rise relative to last summer’s sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the recently released Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA).

Read the full article by Austin Public Power Association here.

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Retail Electric Sales to Rise This Summer Led by Commercial, Industrial Demand: EIA

Retail U.S. electricity sales will be 1.5 percent higher this summer than last summer with much of the growth coming from the commercial and industrial sectors, according to new estimates from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Read the full article by Austin Public Power Association here.

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Security and Resilience

TSA Requires Pipeline Owners, Operators to Report Cybersecurity Incidents

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on May 27 unveiled a security directive that will require critical pipeline owners and operators to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and to designate a cybersecurity coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Read the full article here.

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Security and Resilience

Biden Signs Cybersecurity Executive Order Focused on Securing Federal Networs

President Joseph Biden on May 12 signed a cybersecurity executive order (EO) that focuses on securing federal networks and establishes a new government entity modeled after the National Transportation Safety Review Board to review major breaches.

Read the full article here.