"As the year progresses, NCPA aims to build upon our current achievements and outstanding relationship with members."
The close of 2014 marked the end of an era for NCPA, as our highly regarded general manager of 11 years, James H. Pope, retired in December. Pope's vision and leadership positioned NCPA and its member communities and districts to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing industry. His enormous contributions to public power in California and at the national level are greatly appreciated, and he will be missed. NCPA's in-coming general manager, Randy Howard, brings 30 years of experience in the utility industry, with many of those as an executive at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. His extensive background in generation, distribution, power management, finance, and policy make him uniquely suited to understand and serve the needs of NCPA's member communities and districts. We look forward to his leadership as NCPA comes off yet another successful year of achievements.
NCPA operates a fleet of power plants that is among the cleanest in the nation, providing reliable and affordable electricity to more than 600,000 Californians. To protect its investments, NCPA completed a major Geysers modernization program in 2014, featuring new turbines and new control systems, allowing the agency's geothermal facilities to operate reliably for another 20 years with minimal investment.
During the 2013-14 fiscal year, Moody's upgraded three of our project credit ratings-Hydroelectric, Capital Facilities, and Lodi Energy Center, Issue One-and re-affirmed two of them-Geothermal and Lodi Energy Center, Issue Two (CDWR). According to Moody's, all of these projects pose low to very low credit risk. We worked hard to earn these ratings, which will significantly benefit the agency as we look towards the future.
Also, NCPA updated its information systems for the California Independent System Operator's (CAISO) new 15-minute market. The modernized system will better accommodate intermittent renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, which have outputs that can be more accurately predicted in 15-minute increments, as opposed to the hourly schedules that have long been the standard. Ultimately, this major accomplishment will lead to more solar and wind integrated into the grid and lower costs due to more reliable output predictions.
On the federal front, NCPA continues to lead the fight against the mismanagement of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) that is substantially impacting the cost of the federal power resource. NCPA and the cities of Redding, Roseville, and Santa Clara have filed a complaint in federal court seeking recovery of more than $45 million in disproportionate overcharges unlawfully assessed and collected by the Bureau of Reclamation under the guise of the CVPIA. This case has been filed to resolve what has been a decades-long effort to protect our members and their ratepayers from overpaying the federal government.
Creating a positive workplace culture and ensuring workers' safety and security remains among NCPA's top priorities. NCPA continues to maintain its excellent safety record, having now gone six years without a lost-time accident. This is a tremendous accomplishment-one that has been recognized by both Northwest Public Power Association and the American Public Power Association for its excellence.
NCPA has also updated the agency's governance documents; a tremendously complex but needed effort. The new set of agreements fundamentally underpins NCPA's day-to-day operations, setting the foundation for how we do business here at the agency as we look to the future.
As the year progresses, NCPA aims to build upon our current achievements and outstanding relationship with members. With Randy Howard as our new general manager, we are well prepared to continue our success in safety, reliability, and cost-management, as well as the protection of both our member's local authority and the agency's generating assets in 2015 and beyond.
2013-14 Commission Chair
2013-14 Commission Vice Chair