The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the August 20, 2018 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Sweet made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1.
Mr. Brien Ward and Ms. Margie Seymour (supported by others that did not speak during the meeting) advocates for burying the electric and communication wires throughout the river district area on Mill and Saranac Street spoke with the BOC. Mr. Ward proceeded to review a historical list of several downtown redevelopment projects that have previously been completed since 1977 with the “cooperation and in partnership with many” to restore the subject area. Mr. Ward presented the BOC a draft proposal for their consideration titled “Phase 6: Littleton River District Utility Project” (see enclosed) with an ultimate objective to prepare a preliminary construction/ planning estimate and present the plan to the voter at town meeting as recommended by the LWL BOC.
Mr. Ward discussed the preliminary proposal by Lee Carroll Electrical Consultant of about $30,000. Mr. Carroll would gather the load data and begin the pre-preliminary work of developing an underground electric master plan for this area. This data is needed and the first step to develop the plan. Mr. Ward stated that the town and LIDC have both agreed to provide $10,000 towards having Mr. Carroll complete this work and suggested that LWL could provide the balance of the funds.
The BOC did not comment specifically on Mr. Ward’s suggested funding mechanism.
Following some back and forth discussion with regard to the merits of the proposal and how to proceed Mr. Ward and Ms. Seymour thanked the BOC for their time and exited the meeting at about 1:45 pm.
2. Mr. Stan Faryniarz and Mr. Craig Kieny, representing Daymark Energy Services and Energy Initiatives, Inc. respectively, presented a slide packet to the BOC. The 2018 wholesale power supply energy and capacity markets were discussed in great depth and detail. LWL current resources and hedged positions with respect to energy and capacity were reviewed and several comparisons were made as to LWL’s future needs.
Mr. Kieny stated that power costs are generally comprised of three (3) major grouping of expenses: 1) energy, 2) capacity (demand) and 3) transmission. Of these three (3) expenses the costs associated with the energy resources makes up over half (50%) of LWL’s power supply costs with capacity (25%) and transmission (25%) making up the balance. LWL has successfully sustained a spot market hedge strategy that minimizes price fluctuation in both the energy and capacity market. The cost attributed to transmission (move resource along the grid to LWL) cannot be hedge against and are based on monthly coincidental system load peak between the ISONE grid and LWL.
Daymark recommended that LWL consider the procurement of selected energy resource blocks (most likely peak and weekend resources) for 2021 when pricing is more favorable typically late this fall.
A proposal submitted by Next Era Energy Resources dated July 24, 2018 was reviewed by Mr. Faryniarz and Mr. Kieny with the BOC. The objective of the offer is to blend the existing energy and capacity contracts (lower contract price by $2.87/Mwh) and then Next Era proposed to extend the 5 MW energy portions of the contracts out through 2027 at the lower $46.28/ Mwh price.
Mr. Kieny stated that though there appears to be some short term savings under the current contract period (2019-2022) of about $140,000 by locking in the lower price ($46.28/Mwh - blending) at this time. That extending this price and the contract out for another five (5) years may be a potential gamble. Future energy prices data is not available to make an educated prediction as to how market prices will react that far in the future. Typically a three (3) year contract period is a good estimate as to how the markets are expected to act. The current market is not favorable to buy at this time due to the current weather conditions. Mr. Faryniarz stated that LWL does not have to xercise any contract options at this time as LWL is already hedged for the next two (2) years at the target level. He suggests that LWL hold off until the markets are more favorably priced.
Following some related discussion about the power supply markets Mr. Faryniarz and Mr. Kieny thanked the BOC and exited the meeting at 3:15 pm.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
1. The BOC briefly discussed the proposal suggested by Mr. Ward with regard to the burying the electric and communications line in the river district area. The BOC agreed to contact electrical engineering consultant Mr. Lee Carroll and ask him to update his August 2018 cost to conduct a needs assessment load study to develop a preliminary engineering design/construction cost estimate.
2. The BOC agreed not to accept Next Era Energy July 24, 2018 proposal to blend and extend the current energy and capacity contract at this time. Due to the recent heat wave market conditions are not favorable to purchase resources especially if there is no immediately needed.
No other decisions were made by the BOC.
Commissioner Sweet made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.