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NEPPA Annual Conference Recap: Availability, Regulation and the Future of Public Power

Posted on: October 11, 2016

Daymark Energy Advisors’ Principal Consultant Stan Faryniarz recently attended the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA) annual conference in Lake Placid, NY. NEPPA is a private, non-profit trade association that represents and serves 21 consumer-owned utilities in New England.

The four-day annual conference included presentations and expert roundtables that assessed the current state of the energy markets and provided education on northeastern state and federal government initiatives and regulatory environments.

Major themes from the annual conference included:

  1. Understanding the market share and influence of municipal electric and rural electric cooperatives, which are operating in virtually every state.
  2. Analysis of distributed energy resources (DER) and their influence on energy market transformation.
  3. The ongoing negotiations between industry stakeholders and regulators around local power availability, pricing and government jurisdiction.

The industry’s continued focus on consumer choice, a smarter grid and comprehensive utility-customer communications models were cited as major factors in maintaining the public power market’s continued success and market share.

NEPPA attendees gained insight into the ongoing negotiations between public power systems and state and federal regulators around the distribution of power, reformation of market rules and struggle to balance reliability and affordability. The aging of the public power workforce was also a notable theme at this year’s gathering.

“Like many sectors in the energy industry, the public power workforce is aging, with an estimated 20 percent of public power managers and staff closing in on retirement age,” said Faryniarz. “The recruitment and development of the next generation of industry leaders is paramount to public power’s future.”

Connect with Mr. Faryniarz on LinkedIn or contact him here to continue the conversation.