Co-op board members gather to learn about power provider
EnergyLines November 2019
With member-cooperatives located across central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois, it can be challenging for co-op leaders to meet. To help, an event at Hoosier Energy’s Power Delivery and Operations Center was held for Board members to learn about their generation and transmission (G&T) electric cooperative.
Hoosier Energy Chief Executive Officer Donna Walker began the meeting by discussing the ways strategic priorities are guiding the work accomplished by the G&T.
“By working together with you, our members, we have some very exciting opportunities ahead of us as we strive to meet the evolving needs of electric consumers. The great thing is, we are connecting the work we do to our strategic priorities,” said Walker.
Executive Vice President Tom Van Paris spoke about Hoosier Energy’s generation resources and the basics of resource planning. These aspects connect to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), located in Carmel, Ind. The G&T’s participation in the MISO provides access to low-cost power.
“The MISO acts as a pool consisting of all the generating facilities in its region. These resources are then dispatched, from lowest to highest cost, to meet regional energy needs for consumers,” said Van Paris.
Chief Operating Officer Rob Horton provided insight into how energy is managed from the MISO, transmitted through the Hoosier Energy transmission system and handed off to member-co-ops.
“The Hoosier Energy system supports voltages ranging from 34,000 volts to 345,000 volts across a network covering 15,000 square miles. This is supported by 29 transmission level stations and 45 interconnections with other transmission system providers,” said Horton.
Hoosier Energy Chief Financial Officer Adam Roberts discussed the G&Ts operating costs and its relationship to wholesale rates. There are two main components of Hoosier’s whole rates – energy and demand.
“Energy rates include costs that typically vary with energy sales or output such as fuel and purchased power energy costs. Demand rates include costs that are typically fixed regardless of energy sales or output such as depreciation, interest or purchased power capacity costs,” said Roberts.
Attendees also learned about emerging technologies Hoosier Energy and member co-ops are reviewing. The discussion was led by Hoosier Energy Chief Technology Officer Bob Richhart.
Richhart says the Emerging Technology Committee was formed to provide leadership and build a strategy for emerging technologies such as battery storage and electric vehicles. This group of co-op leaders is working to establish priorities for new technology and how they can be integrated into the power system.
“The committee is working to identify applications for emerging technologies and to recommend an overall technology strategy for broad implementation,” said Richhart.
Following the presentations, Board members toured the Power Delivery and Operations Center. The tours helped connect how Hoosier Energy manages its part of the grid and how the G&T provides services that help member co-ops reduce costs.