Meeting of Commissioners of
Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, Washington
March 2, 2021
A meeting of Commissioners of Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County was held at the Electric Center, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, Washington, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Present: Assistant to CEO/General Manager Margaret Anderson.
Present via digital conference (phone or video): President Jim Malinowski, Vice President Nancy Barnes, Secretary Jane Van Dyke Commissioners, CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler, Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny, Director of Information Services Jeff Groff, Director of Energy Resources Dan Bedbury, Director of Operations Gene Morris, Director of Customer Service Lisa Fix, Director of Engineering Cal Morris, Director of Water Doug Quinn, Director of Communications Erica Erland, Director of Employee Resources Nichole Reitzenstein, General Counsel John Eldridge, Manager of Energy Planning and Operations Tom Haymaker, Customer Experience Manager Cameron Daline, Business Applications Manager Julie Landry, Training and Development Manager Gretchen Alexander, ComCare Manager Chiharu Russell, Power Manager Steve Anderson, Manager of Energy Services Debbie DePetris, Energy Resources Program Manager Matt Babbitts, Executive Assistant Information Services Colleen Mulligan and Media Specialist Dameon Pesanti.
Press representatives: Anthony Macuk – The Columbian
Others present via digital conference (phone or video): Don Steinke, Alona Steinke, Jean Avery, Mellissa Ahern, Tracy Ceravolo, Caleb Ceravolo, Cathryn Chudy, Kristin Edmark, Donna Sinclair, Nancy Felget, Jonah Kropp, Jan Verrinder, Lori Benton, Rany Freidman, Rick Marshall, Pat Freitag and Reid Grossmann – RMG President.
At 9:00 a.m., President Malinowski called the meeting to order for the transaction of formal business. Commissioner Malinowski noted a quorum was present and the agenda was changed moving agenda items #7 and #8 to the end of the meeting and moving agenda items #9 and #10 up. The agenda (Materials A) was approved after those changes.
Melissa Ahern provided comments on Electric Vehicle incentive programs and is in support of Clark Public Utilities’ proposed Transportation Electrification and Electric Vehicle (TE/EV) plan.
Tracy Ceravolo shared concerns about the environmental impact of carbon emissions and is in support of the TE/EV program.
Caleb Ceravolo, a High School sophomore, shared his support for the TE/EV program and believes it will be better for the environment.
Don Steinke commented in support of theTE/EV program and encouraged larger incentives for developers to install necessary conduit for vehicle charging.
Alona Steinke shared her support of the TE/EV program, and would like to see the utility work toward 100% clean energy.
Cathryn Chudy provided comment on the TE/EV program, solar energy credit purchase and the use of Clark Public Utilities’ 2020 surplus funds.
Steven Campana, Kristin Edmark, Lori Benton and Nancy Halget all shared their support of the utility’s TE/EV program.
Donna Sinclair provided comment on Clark Public Utilities’ TE/EV program and requested the utility look into more charging stations, charging stations at multifamily units and rest stops.
Randy Freidman shared his dislike of the TE/EV program that has been developed and encouraged the utility to start the process over.
Jonah Kropp shared his excitement for the move toward more electric vehicles and is in support of the proposed TE/EV program.
Rick Marshall provided a summary of his written comments surrounding resilience, batteries and broadband as good for business.
Debbie Tomasovic, Russell Freeland and Mark Hughey all provided written comments supporting the utility’s TE/EV program.
If members of the public have provided the utility with written comments, copies of these comments in their entirety may be obtained by contacting Margaret Anderson at [email protected] or 360-992-3378.
Consideration of the Minutes of February 16, 2021
There were no changes.
Consideration of Accounts Payable
The board, by a unanimous vote, approved the following payment amounts as listed on the Letter of Transmittal dated March 2, 2021 from the District Auditor (Materials B):
Electric Revenue Fund – $28,129,277.46
Water Revenue Fund – $348,528.25
Generating System Fund – $908,141.46
For a total of $29,385,947.17
Consideration of Intent to Establish LUD No. 1405
Director of Engineering Cal Morris addressed the board regarding the Intent to Establish Local Utility District No. 1405.
Resolution No. 7648 – LUD No. 1405 – Kebelas Substation
After the presentation by Mr. Morris, Commissioner Malinowski opened for public comment. There being no comment, a motion was made by Commissioner Barnes, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, and unanimously carried that Resolution Nos. 7648 be adopted and a public hearing was set for April 6, 2021 (Materials C).
Consideration of Resolution Approving the Transportation Electrification and Electric Vehicle Program
Energy Resources Program Manager Matt Babbitts provided the board with a brief summary of the proposed program and outlined the details of the resolution up for consideration (Materials D). If approved, this program would launch in April of 2021.
Commissioner Barnes moved to authorize the adoption of the Transportation Electrification Plan as presented, Commissioner Van Dyke seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The board thanked Mr. Babbitts and staff for the great work putting this program together. Commissioner Malinowski would like staff to look into the possibility of installing charging stations at rest stops within Clark County.
Credit Summary and Consideration of Proposed Solar Renewable Energy Credit (REC) Purchase
RMG President Reid Grossmann provided the board with a credit overview and how it aligns with the current Internal Risk Oversite Committee (IROC) guidelines and why the committee is seeking approval from the board for these purchases (Materials E). Mr. Grossmann outlined credit considerations associated with the purchases along with potential credit exposures.
Power Manager Steve Andersen followed with a presentation for the board outlining the REC purchase offers available to Clark Public Utilities (Materials F). Any combination of these offers would reduce the projected REC deficits that begin in 2028.
Mr. Andersen provided a detailed summary of the offers, REC quantities, terms of the purchases and the average annual cost of each offer. These offers would assist Clark Public Utilities in compliance with the Energy Independence Act beginning with the 2028 compliance period. Staff is requesting the board authorize the CEO/General Manager to sign the purchase agreements as presented.
Commissioner Van Dyke moved to authorize the CEO/General Manager to sign the purchase agreement for the REC’s associated with solar projects in order to hedge Clark Public Utilities’ REC price exposure associated with the renewable energy procurement requirements included in the Energy Independence Act and the Clean Energy Transformation Act. Commissioner Barnes seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
2020 Surplus Discussion and Potential Program Review
Director of Finance Melissa Ankeny addressed the board regarding the 2020 cash surplus for Water and Electric Systems (Materials F), Ms. Ankeny shared that there is a $2.0 million surplus in the Water System and a $33.0 million surplus in Electric System. She indicated that staff is going to recommend transfer of the $2.0 million Water System surplus to capital to complete Phase 4 of the Water Meter Project and handed the presentation over to Business Applications Manager Julie Landry to review the potential programs for the Electric System.
Ms. Landry gave the board an update on the COVID-19 Customer Care Taskforce progress (Materials G). Project background, approved initiatives, data review and aged balances were reviewed during the update. Potential uses for the Electric System surplus of $33.0 million included customer bill credits using $10.0 to $20.0 million of the surplus and the remaining on a low income COVID Assistance Grant Program.
Commissioner Van Dyke asked about other State funding for COVID related assistance, Commissioner Barnes asked about consideration for broadband support and Commissioner Malinowski wanted to be sure that if we did a customer bill credit that customers would be able to donate their credit to Operation Warm Heart.
CEO/General Manager Lena Wittler indicated that these are not yet recommendations for the Electric System surplus and encouraged additional suggestions from the board before staff would be asking for approval at the meeting on March 16. The $2.0 million transfer to capital for the Water System surplus is going to be staff’s recommendation at the next meeting.
The board thanked staff for the work on these options and looks forward to the discussion at the next meeting.
Commissioner Reports and Comments
Commissioner Van Dyke reported on her attendance at the American Public Power Association Legislative Rally.
Commissioners Barnes, Malinowski and Van Dyke attended the Washington PUD Association meetings.
There were no staff reports.
There were no public comments.
Other Business before the Board
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.