OMPA General Manager Elected to APPA Board

OMPA General Manager David W. Osburn was elected to the American Public Power Association (APPA) Board of Directors at the association’s national conference in New Orleans on June 20. The APPA is the national advocacy and advisory group for the nation’s 2,000-plus Public Power utilities. Association board members are chosen to represent 10 regions across the country. Osburn previously served on the APPA Board of Directors from 2004-2007. He came to OMPA in 2007, after serving as General Manager of Richmond Power & Light in Indiana. He first was Director of Operations at OMPA, before becoming Assistant General Manager in 2009 and then took over as General Manager in August of 2013. Osburn also serves on the Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) Board of Directors/Members Committee. Those elected to the APPA Board of Directors are eligible to serve three-year terms. The board includes a chair, a chair-elect, a vice-chair and an immediate past chair, as well as five other officer positions on the Executive Committee. Osburn was among five others newly-elected to the...

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OMPA to join Midwest Reliability Organization

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) has a new Regional Entity (RE) after the dissolution of its previous entity last year. REs are electric reliability compliance authorities. They provide Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) auditing and enforcement functions for the utilities under their umbrella. On May 4, FERC granted approval for OMPA to join the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO), which is based in St. Paul, MN, and serves as the RE for a large number of utilities in the central part of the country. OMPA’s previous RE was the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which voted in 2017 to dissolve its existence as an RE. SPP continues to serve as OMPA’s Regional Transmission Organization. MRO covers roughly 1.3 million square miles spanning the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin; and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The region includes more than 220 organizations that are involved in the production and delivery of electricity to more than 33 million people. These organizations include municipal utilities, cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, transmission system operators, a federal power marketing agency, Canadian Crown Corporations, and independent power producers. For more information, go to...

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OMPA’s Drake Rice Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) has honored the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority’s Drake Rice for his 45-plus years of commitment to Public Power, the communities he served and continues to serve, with a 2018 MESO Lifetime Achievement Award. Rice began his career in city management as an intern for the City of Cushing. He moved from there to serve as city manager first for Prague and then Blackwell. In these roles, he understood the value of public power – locally owned and controlled municipal electric utilities – for communities and would become a strong advocate for the establishment of MESO. His hard work on behalf of public power didn’t end there. Instead, in his role as a city manager, he worked tirelessly for the establishment and development of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), recruiting cities and towns to join this start-up organization to ensure a stable, cost-effective power supply resource for Oklahoma’s public power cities. He attended countless city and town council meetings explaining the benefits of local ownership of an electric distribution system, as well as their need for a reliable power resource. He continues to this day, traveling and promoting public power. In his current position as OMPA Director of Member of Services, he serves at the state, regional and national levels of public power in the area of mutual aid and support for each other. He works with his current members on programs and services to enhance and improve the members’ service and reliability to their customers. “Because of his service, I think it is appropriate we bestow upon him the honorary title of, Mr. Public Power,” said MESO General Manager, Tom Rider. “I can’t think of anyone who epitomizes Public Power better than Drake Rice,” added OMPA General Manager, David Osburn. “He has dedicated his career to serving municipal electric systems.”   Comanche wins Fulkerson Award For commitment to improving electric service and reliability, MESO has recognized the City of Comanche as this year’s recipient of the association’s Clarence Fulkerson Award. The Clarence Fulkerson Award recognizes and honors a public power system that works to effectively improve their system operations, resulting in improved reliability and long-term cost savings for its customers. Making a public commitment to its...

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OMPA hosts legislative luncheon

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority story was told during an annual luncheon with state legislators in Oklahoma City on March 27. This was the third straight spring for OMPA to host such a luncheon, which provides the Authority an opportunity to educate legislators on the role of a joint action agency and the value the state’s municipal utilities bring to the communities they serve. OMPA invites all of the state’s legislators to the event.   General Manager Dave Osburn and Board Chairman Charles Lamb each spoke to a large group that also included staff representatives from member cities and towns served by OMPA. At the request of cities and towns looking to control their own power supply, the Authority was created by the state legislature in 1981, and began serving power to an original 26 members in 1985. Since so much time has passed since the creation of OMPA, staff has recently made an extra effort to educate legislators on the Authority’s role and its mission. This luncheon is accompanied by smaller-scaled events throughout the year. An update was provided on the growth of OMPA, which includes the addition of one member in 2016, two in 2015 and two in 2011. An update also was provided on the resource portfolio of OMPA, which includes coal, natural gas and renewables like wind and hydro. That prompted another discussion regarding solar power and its potential future in the state. OMPA encourages its member cities and towns to stay engaged with their local state legislators, reminding them how decisions made at the Capitol can impact their municipal utilities, which can drastically impact their...

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DEEP Rebate Awarded to Edmond Public Schools

The City of Edmond and its power supplier, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), presented a check for $25,461 to Edmond Public Schools on Dec. 4 for recent energy efficiency improvements throughout the district. The rebates were presented as part of the Demand and Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP), administered by OMPA. In addition to the installation of high-efficiency HVAC equipment, a series of lighting fixtures were upgraded to high-efficiency LED lighting throughout district facilities. In all, 21 different school projects qualified for rebates. The enhancements are expected to reduce the district’s energy demand by 231 kilowatts. DEEP assists OMPA’s 42 members with their qualified customers to reduce electric service energy demand and costs. The program provides rebates to commercial and industrial customers – including schools and government buildings – that implement retrofits that reduce their demand at peak times. Projects include changing out lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, commercial food service equipment, pumps and motors for more energy-efficient equipment. These energy improvements help OMPA delay the time in which it needs to add expensive generation capacity. For 2017, OMPA has awarded rebates statewide for a total of $530,975 with an estimated reduction in energy demand of 3.64 megawatts. For more information on how to apply for a DEEP rebate, contact the City of Edmond. Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) is a municipal joint-action agency created for the purpose of providing an adequate, reliable and affordable supply of electrical power and energy to Oklahoma’s municipally owned electric systems. The Authority presently serves 42 municipally owned electric systems in Oklahoma. As a consumer-owned public power entity, OMPA is owned by the member cities it...

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