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 Monday, September 17, 2018 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the September 4, 2018 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Sweet made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Mr. Brien Ward briefed the BOC about the progress that he has made behind the scenes to facilitate discussions between LWL and Eversource with regard to LWL‘s proposed 115 kV step down substation in the industrial park. According to Mr. Ward Eversource is looking for ways to improve their customer/ public relationship (PR) and he was in a position to reach out to them and make an inquiry whether they would reengage LWL. In addition he has a meeting with Taylor Caswell (State of NH Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs) to discuss other matters but will bring up the merits of LWL’s proposal. Mr. Ward invited Mr. Considine to attend this meeting later this afternoon.
The BOC thanked Mr. Ward for his efforts on behalf of the LWL and he exited the meeting at about 1:20 p.m.
Mr. David Doskocil, representative of Next Era Energy, introduced himself to the BOC and gave a brief company overview of Next Era Energy. Mr. Doskocil brought up and discussed the wholesale power supply “Blend and Extend” offer that they submitted for review. LWL decided not to accept the offer that would have covered most of LWL’s base power supply load through 2027 (refer to BOC minutes dated September 4, 2018 for more information).
Mr. Ross stated that the near term prices were very attractive though there are too many unknowns going out that far (2027) attempting to predict the spot market. Buying when prices are on the incline is not cost effective especially when there is no immediate need for those resources.
Mr. Doskocil suggested that if the BOC had a particular budget number in mind or could provide him with one that he would bring it back to his marketing people for action to see if Next Era could meet it.
Other products offered by Next Era were briefly discussed (battery storage, renewables) between the BOC and Mr. Doskocil.
Mr. Considine asked Mr. Doskocil if he would briefly discuss what a load following product is or what is commonly referred to as an all requirements contract.
Mr. Doskocil outlined the load following product for the BOC. Under the terms of this product Next Era would become LWL’s single source for all power supply needs. That Next Era would be responsible for scheduling LWL’s resources (energy and capacity) with ISONE and that LWL would pay a set price for all services not matter what the system load was.
Commissioner Cooper asked what mechanisms would be in place should something go wrong?
Mr. Doskocil stated that Next Era is a multi-billion dollar company with an A plus credit rating and that they would be responsible to comply with the term of the contract.
Commissioner Cooper asked if Next Era could provide the BOC with company literature to explain who they (Nest Era) are and what they do. Mr. Doskocil stated that he has a presentation and would provide it to the BOC in advance though he would like to review the slide show in person with the BOC at a later meeting.
Mr. Considine stated that LWL had an all requirement contract in the past. LWL had limited control as to the operations and that putting all our “eggs in one basket” again is a little concerning.
Mrs. Wilkins asked what the cost would be to manage an all-inclusive type contract that would be essentially an insurance policy.
Mr. Doskocil stated that the contracts could be short term, likely three (3) years, which would minimize adverse action coming back on LWL. The exact premium cost he could not estimate without examining the details associated with the load following product that would contain no market risk for LWL. Next Era is a large enough company to be able to normalize and absorb market fluctuation.
Following some additional discussion related to LWL power supply needs Mr. Doskocil thanked the BOC and excused himself from the meeting at about 2:10 p.m.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended July 2018 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins.
It was noted that the electric operating margin for the month end July 2018 were in the black by about $7,000 or about one (1) percent. This was the first month of this year (2018) that the electric operation did not lose money.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Mr. Lee Carroll was contacted to update his proposal to conduct an electrical load needs assessment through the river district area. Several advocates of the river district project are requesting that LWL look into burying all the overhead lines between Ames Way and Bridget Street. Mr. Carroll is currently on vacation and stated that he will contact LWL upon his return.
2. LWL personnel responded to a preventable incident on Saranac Street on Friday, September 14, 2018. The site contractor on the Town of Littleton’s river district project broke the eight (8) inch water main while attempting to tie in a sewer lateral. The broken water main rupture was significant and resulted in system wide pressure fluctuations and alarm conditions due to the high system pressures in that area. Fortunately LWL personnel were able to isolate the area quickly mitigating potential damage to the surrounding area caused by the immediate loss of system pressure. Repairs were made by the contractor with materials and assistance provided by LWL and the water system restored to normal several hours later.
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 2:35 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.