Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
December 5, 2023
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at Clark Public Utilities, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
Present: President Jane Van Dyke, Secretary Nancy Barnes Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Operations/Interim Director of Water Gene Morris, General Counsel John Eldridge, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Power Manager Steve Andersen, Clean Energy Program Manager Matt Babbitts, Community Engagement Specialist Morgan Van Fleet, Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker, Business Applications Manager Suzi Walker, Senior Key Account Manager Zeecha Van Hoose and Assistant to the CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Staff via digital conference (phone or video): Vice President Jim Malinowski and PIO/Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti
Others present via digital conference (phone or video) or in person: Gordon Matthews, Don Steinke, Alona Steinke, Rick Marshall, Peter Harrison, Ted Light and Sarah (no last name provided).
Media present: Lauren Ellenbecker – The Columbian
At 9:00 a.m., President Van Dyke called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business and the agenda was approved as presented (Materials B).
The following represents a brief summary of comments made by members of the public in attendance:
Don Steinke updated the board on the Growth Management Act, Washington State Building Code changes, the Department of Commerce climate amendment and congratulated the board on the near completion of the Community Solar East project.
Gordon Matthews provided the board with a review of the WEC article in Clearing Up regarding resource adequacy.
If written comments are submitted, they may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of November 21, 2023
The minutes were approved as presented.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated December 5, 2023 from the District Auditor (Materials C):
Electric Revenue Fund – $120,134,778.93
Water Revenue Fund – $1,022,080.57
Generating System Fund – $243,664.94
For a total of $21,400,524.44
Consideration of Disposal 115 – Surplus Vehicles and Equipment
Materials and Purchasing Manager Cathy Wannamaker reviewed the memo dated December 5, 2023 (Materials D). Staff is recommending utilizing the auction services of local company J Stout Auctions that specializes in heavy equipment, commercial truck and industrial equipment with national exposure.
Commissioner Barnes moved to declare the vehicles and equipment identified as surplus for disposal through a public auction sale with J Stout Auctions to be held December 28, 2023. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an overview of the proposed 2023 budgets for the Electric, Generating and Water Systems (Materials E). Ms. Ankeny noted that there were no rate increases for the Electric or Water Systems for 2023 and that the budget principles continue to be customer service, reliability and cost control while staff remains committed to balancing revenue requirements and bond covenants.
Consideration of Resolutions to Approve the 2024 Electric, Generating and Water Budgets
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny provided the board with an overview of the proposed 2024 budgets for the Electric, Generating and Water Systems (Materials E). Ms. Ankeny reviewed with the board the staff recommended use of the low income tax credit and the unallocated surplus credits in 2023, and the options to address the projected 2024 budget shortfall.
Commissioner Van Dyke opened the public hearing for comments:
Rick Marshall would like the utility to include replacing the use of resource adequacy funds in the upcoming rate study.
Gordon Matthews referred to the August 2023 shortfall as an example of the changing landscape of energy costs and suggested either raising rates or building more renewables is the only way to move forward.
Hearing no further comments Commissioner Van Dyke closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Barnes moved to approve the resolution adopting the 2024 Generating System budget as presented. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Commissioner Barnes moved to approve the resolution adopting the 2024 Water System budget as presented. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Commissioner Barnes moved to approve the resolution adopting the 2024 Electric System budget as presented which included:
• Allocation of the $230,382 tax credit to Operation Warm Heart and weatherization/heat repairs
• Allocation of the remaining $107,044 of surplus assistance funds to offset additional senior rate credits for 2024
• Temporary use of reserve funding/rate stabilization in the amount of the projected $17.7 million budget shortfall to provide 1.76 debt service coverage/zero shortfall
Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The board thank staff for all the work on the budget and looks forward to hearing the results of the Cost of Service Analysis as the basis for rate increase discussions scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.
Consideration of Resolution of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) Standards 20 & 21
Clean Energy Program Manager Matt Babbitts reviewed the two standards that need consideration, Standard (20) – Demand Response Practices, and Standard (21) – Electric Vehicle Charging Programs (Materials F). Mr. Babbitts shared that the public notice and public comment period requirements had been fulfilled, noting there were no public comments submitted.
Commissioner Van Dyke opened the public hearing, there were no comments and the hearing was closed.
Commissioner Barnes moved not to adopt the Demand-Response practices and Electric Vehicle Charging Program Standards under subsections 20 and 21 of section 111(D) of PURPA. Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it unanimously passed.
Consideration of Conservation Potential Assessment and I-937 Conservation 2020-2021 Biennial Targets
Senior Key Account Manager Zeecha Van Hoose and Ted Light with Lighthouse Energy NW addressed the board (Materials G). After a review of the presentation and supporting data, Ms. Van Hoose recommended the approval of the 2023 Conservation Potential Assessment and the 2024-2025 I-937 biennial conservation target of 8.43 aMW and the 2024-2034 ten-year potential of 58.36 aMW. These targets were established using the Utility Analysis Option 3 from the Conservation Potential Assessment.
Commissioner Barnes moved for the adoption of the Clark Public Utilities 2023 Conservation Potential Assessment and the 2024-2025 I-937 biennial conservation target of 8.43 aMW and the 2024-2034 ten-year potential of 58.36 aMW (WAC 194-37-070-6). Commissioner Malinowski seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Ms. Van Hoose and Mr. Light provided a review of the Utility’s 2023 Demand Response Pilot outlining the details of the managed electric vehicle charging pilot and the potential upcoming industrial demand response pilot program. Following the review of the programs, Mr. Light provided the board with the results of the 2023 Demand Response Potential Assessment. (Materials G).
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board (Materials H). Weather was warmer and drier than normal, which resulted in electric revenues below budget and off system sales above budget. October residential sales were 99.1% of budget, commercial sales were 94.5% and industrial sales were 95.2% of budget. October ended with a net income loss of $296,000 compared to a budgeted net income of $352,000. Year-to-date net income loss is $1.7 million compared to a budgeted net income of $14.6 million.
The Water System ended October with 853 new customers, which is a growth rate of 2.53% year-to-date. October ended with a net income of $743,000 compared to a budgeted net income of $400,000. Year-to-date net income is $5.8 million compared to a budgeted net income of $2.1 million.
October Wholesale Operations
Power Manager Steve Andersen addressed the board (Materials I). Mr. Andersen provided an update on power supply noting that October Slice generation was 13 average MW below budget and loads in October were 15 average MW below budget.
Mr. Andersen provided a year-end Bonneville Power business review outlining the power reserves distribution clause, the transmission reserves distribution clause and the final Slice true-up credit.
Clark Public Utilities’ gas hedging program has netted a year-to-date savings of $20.9 million.
Commission Reports and Comments
Commissioner Malinowski reported on his attendance at the Energy Northwest Resource Task Force meeting.
There were no staff reports.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:18 a.m.