co-op update


co-op update
Kentucky Electric
A roundup of Kentucky electric cooperative information
Big Rivers Recipient of Most
Governor’s Safety & Health Awards
January 2016
In December, Big Rivers Electric’s Sebree Station
received the Governor’s Safety and Health Award
from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet. Employees worked
2 million hours without a lost-time incident, earning
the facility its 11th award, and the 39th overall award
for the G&T. Approximately 225 employees work at
Sebree. The facility has three generation stations and
produces 896 megawatts of electricity. Big Rivers
currently has received more Governor’s Safety and
Sebree Station
Health Awards than any other company in Kentucky.
Energy Advisors to be RESNET
Field Inspectors
Residential Energy Services NET (RESNET) recently
partnered with Touchstone Energy to link energy advisor training with the RESNET HERS Ratings. Blue
Grass Energy’s Roy Honican, Residential Services
coordinator, was instrumental in this achievement as
he has served on Touchstone Energy’s Residential Energy committee and currently serves on the RESNET
board of directors. Now, Level 3 energy advisors will
be trained as RESNET Rating Field inspectors.
At left, Roy Honican(on the left) and RESNET’s
Steve Baden.
Guitar Winner
Raffle tickets had been on sale since Blue Grass
Energy’s June annual meeting, and the drawing for one lucky winner of the autographed
Fender guitar was in late December. Congratulations to winner member Marie Runyon, at
left. A total of $1,245 was raised for Kentucky
Children’s Hospital—the 2015 organization the
co-op is supporting and all fund-raising efforts
go toward the hospital. KCH serves as the subspecialty regional referral and pediatric care
center for central and eastern Kentucky. There
are more than 70 pediatric specialists and more
than 300 pediatric nurses working in 24 areas,
as well as respiratory therapists, dietitians,
social workers, and pharmacists, all of whom
are dedicated to caring for children.
7 Chamber Day 2016
Frankfort, KY
Close-Up Conference
Tucson, AZ
15 CFC Financial Workshop
Louisville, KY
14 Big Rivers Electric
Board Meeting Henderson, KY
20 RCCU Executive
Committee Meeting
Louisville, KY
25-27 NRECA New
Director Orientation Arlington, VA
2 KAEC Board Meeting &
Legislative Reception
Frankfort, KY
2-4 NRECA NET Conference
Ft. Myers, FL
4 SAFETY—Storm Meeting Bowling Green, KY
5 SAFETY—Storm Meeting
Winchester, KY
9 East Kentucky Power
Board Meeting
Winchester, KY
11-18 NRECA Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA
15-18 NRECA TechAdvantage Conference New Orleans, LA
17 RCCU Executive
Committee Meeting
Louisville, KY
19 Big Rivers Electric
Board Meeting
Henderson, KY
22-24 Kentucky Legislative Fly-In
Washington, DC
29 & March 1 KSAPA
Spring Conference
Lexington, KY
Kentucky Electric
is produced by
Kentucky Export Initiative Seminar
To help businesses in the region explore exporting options and grow their businesses,
on November 20 Cumberland Valley Electric, Jackson Energy, and G&T East Kentucky Power hosted officials and local business leaders who provided information on
how to market products in foreign countries. Only 5 percent of Kentucky businesses
export their products to other countries. Area business leaders learned about state
incentives and grants that can help find international outlets for their products.
Above, Jamie Shepherd, Jackson Energy’s Community Relations coordinator, talks with Bob
Haarsma of Soelberg Industries at the seminar. Haarsma’s company produces decorative
panels and exports to several foreign countries.
PSC Approves EKPC Application to Acquire Bluegrass Station
The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved East Kentucky Power
Cooperative’s application to purchase the gas-fired Bluegrass Generating Station in
Oldham County. The PSC agreed EKPC has a demonstrated need for the capacity and
energy that will be provided by purchasing Bluegrass Station. “Adding this plant’s
capacity to our fleet will support our strategic plan to diversify our portfolio because it
will add more natural-gas fired capacity,” said CEO Tony Campbell. “This also will help
us to align with the requirements of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.” The plant includes
three combustion turbine peaking units, each with a winter rating of 198 megawatts.
One of the three units is committed to provide power to LG&E and Kentucky Utilities
through April 2019. In its order, the PSC agreed that Bluegrass Station represents the
most reasonable, least-cost resource available to meet the power needs of EKPC’s 16
owner-member cooperatives. EKPC expected to close the deal at the end of 2015.
Standard & Poor’s Affirms EKPC’s ‘A-’ Credit Rating
Financial rating services company Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced in December
that it has affirmed East Kentucky Power’s investment-grade ‘A-’ credit rating and
stable outlook, citing improving financial performance as a credit strength. S&P said
the rating reflected strengthening finances, particularly the systematic reduction of the
debt-to-capitalization ratio from 92 percent in 2009 to 85 percent in 2014, and consistent debt service coverage (DSC) around 1.25x over the past four years. S&P views DSC
as a key measure for EKPC due to its amortizing debt and projects that it will sustain
coverage of 1.3x going forward. Said CEO Tony Campbell, “Given our high reliance on
coal generation, S&P is a bit concerned about the upward pressures on rates that EKPC
is facing because of the Clean Power Plan and other EPA rules, but we are extremely
pleased that the financial markets continue to recognize the hard work that everyone at
EKPC has put forth in recent years to strengthen our finances. It is another indication
that we are on the right path.” In the fall of last year, S&P announced a rare, doublenotch upgrade of EKPC’s issuer credit to the ‘A-’ rating.
Lighting Up Christmas
Each year, Farmers RECC sponsors the
“Lighting Up Christmas” program for a
school in its service territory. The program, coordinated by the Farmers RECC
Events Team, gathers unwrapped toys
and monetary donations for a school in
the service territory to use for students in
need. Temple Hill Elementary School was
chosen as the 2015 school. Farmers RECC
employees and members donated nearly
$1,500 to give to Temple Hill Elementary
as well as several boxes of unwrapped
toys, books, and stuffed animals.
Farmers RECC Events Team members Angela Hall,
Member Services representative; Jennifer Edwards,
Engineering clerk, and Ryan Atwell, lineman, present
a check and toys at the Temple Hill Elementary School
Family Resource office.
Back Pack Program
Fleming-Mason Energy employees donated a variety of food for the Backpack
Program this past holiday season. The
program is run by the Fleming County
Cooperative Extension Service Nutrition Program and helps feed children
in the county. Cooperative CEO Joni
Hazelrigg (in photo below at far left)
and the FME employee committee are
pictured with Donna Fryman and Gwen
O’Cull of the Fleming County Cooperative Extension office.
First Backpack Program a Success
Shelby Energy held its first Backpack Program Food Drive during the month of
November to help the programs in Shelby, Henry, and Trimble counties to provide
extra food for students in need during winter break. Each of the programs received a
good sized food donation, and over $1,400 was evenly distributed among each of the
programs. Shelby Energy plans to make the food drive a yearly event.
Electrical Safety with Students
Shelby Energy always makes safety its number one priority. The co-op also wants to
keep its members safe as well. So, every year Shelby visits area schools and other organizations to perform a live electrical safety demonstration. Demonstrators also talk
with the adults and children about the importance of following safety rules around
power lines. In November, some field employees visited Cornerstone Elementary to
perform a safety demonstration for 4th-grade students who had a great experience!
“Dan’s Cans”
Gibson EMC employees have honored
President and CEO Dan Rodamaker this
Christmas by donating over 850 pounds
of nonperishable food items to food
pantries in the cooperative’s service areas.
Since 2009, Gibson employees have donated 3,689 pounds of items through the
“Dan’s Cans” program.
Yearly Shopping Spree
Several Jackson Energy employees were
on hand in early December to help with
the Laurel County Kiwanis Club’s annual Christmas shopping spree. Thanks
to the Laurel County Kiwanis Club for
putting the wonderful event together. It
helps buy Christmas presents and winter
clothes for 50 Laurel County students.
Line technician Richard Spoonamore (left) and Safety and Environmental supervisor Eric Chumbley (right)
with a 4th-grade class at Cornerstone Elementary in Shelby County.
Breaking Ground
South Kentucky RECC officially broke ground (see below) on its new headquarters in
Somerset in November. The new headquarters will have a total of 179,845 square feet
and is expected to be completed by October 2016.
Christmas Parades
South Kentucky RECC participated in six Christmas parades
within its service territory. The
co-op feels this is a wonderful
way to be part of a large community event, and was even the
official “ride” for Santa Claus in
the Pulaski County parade.
JE’s Tim Dyche helps a shopper pick out a toy.
KAEC Announces Reorganization to Align Business Model with Needs of
Electric Cooperatives
The Kentucky Association of
Electric Cooperatives (KAEC) and
United Utility Supply (UUS) announced that they are reorganizing
their business to better serve their
members in the Commonwealth
and around the country. In a deal
that is expected to bring UUS members transformer cost savings while
ensuring the uninterrupted supply
and availability of essential electrical products, KAEC has reached an
agreement with Electric Research
and Manufacturing Cooperative
Inc. (ERMCO) for KAEC’s affiliate,
UUS, to become a distributor of
ERMCO transformers. The shift
to a distribution-only model will
result in KAEC no longer manufacturing transformers.
“Making this transition has been
a difficult decision, but it comes
after a careful analysis of KAEC’s
position and a realistic assessment
of the challenges we face in the
marketplace,” said Chris Perry,
KAEC president and CEO. “This
distributorship brings greater value
and stability for our members and
puts the Kentucky Association of
Electric Cooperatives and United
Utility Supply in a strong position
for the future,” Perry continued.
“We are proud of KAEC’s 58 years
of manufacturing excellence, but
we recognize our responsibility to
our members to adapt and adjust
our business model to meet the
challenges of today. We move
forward committed to the same cooperative principles upon which we
were founded: to serve and support
members of KAEC and UUS.”
Safety specialist Ken Rieger is the
latest winner of the Claude Frazier
Award from the National Utility
Safety Education Association
(NUTSEA). Rieger, who is responsible for safety at Wilson and Coleman
stations, was officially recognized
in September. He was nominated by
industry safety peers and selected
by the NUTSEA G&T board members. Unable to attend the NUTSEA
conference, Rieger was presented the
award during the October Joint Safety
committee meeting at Big Rivers.
Board director Joe Spalding received
the Distinguished Service to Agriculture award from Marion County
Farm Bureau. Spalding was recognized for making important contributions to the agriculture and farming
communities in Marion County for
more than 40 years.
After 54 years of service, Owsley
County director Fred Callahan has
stepped down from the board of directors. Callahan was first elected to
the board in 1961. He eventually rose
to the position of chairman, and
held that post for 27 years. He also
served on the KAEC board. The coop expanded into new programs and
services while he was on the board,
including propane and prepay electric service.
Danny Roach, procurement specialist, retired at the end of December.
Danny came to Green River Electric
(Green River Electric, 1937, and Henderson Union RECC, 1936, merged in
1999 to form Kenergy) in June 1975
when he was hired in as a laborer.
During his 40 years with the cooperative, Danny also worked in
substations, construction, warehouse,
and purchasing.
Allen Singer also recently retired
from Kenergy Corp. Allen came to
Henderson-Union RECC in November 1978. He had applied to work
at the co-op previously but no positions were open at that time. When a
custodian’s position became available
he jumped at the opportunity. Six
months later, he became an apprentice
lineman. Over the years, Allen has
also worked as a journeyman lineman
and construction foreman.
The Licking Valley Electric family
of employees were saddened to learn
of the sudden unexpected passing
December 8 of one of its most beloved
employees, Wesley Steven Penix.
Little Wes (as he was referred to since
there is another Wes on staff) had
been an employee since October 2008.
He was united in marriage to Holly
Chaney Penix, and graduated with
a bachelor’s degree in construction
management & mining technology.
He was 32 years old.
On September 16, former chief executive officer of Owen Electric Marvin E. Keith passed away. He was
100 years old. Keith was with Owen
Electric for 40 years with the latter
part of those years as CEO. Keith was
active in the Owenton City Council,
the Chamber of Commerce, the Lions
Club, and was a member of Owen
Lodge #128 F&AM, where he was a
Thirty Second Degree Mason.
South Kentucky RECC has a new
energy advisor for Pulaski County.
Charlie Ball, a former dispatcher at
the co-op, began his new duties in
late August. Charlie has been with
South Kentucky RECC since 2000.
Former SKRECC energy advisor Jeff
Girdler is now the new manager of
Buildings and Grounds.

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