At the May meeting, the Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) Board of Trustees approved revisions to the Utility’s Electric Service Rules and provided a series of approvals for projects scheduled to enhance utility infrastructure and reliability.

MPW staff presented revisions to the Electric Service Rules to better accommodate new business and industrial customers that may require system upgrades and service line extensions – supporting economic development in Muscatine. The change in the rules will both protect MPW customers while providing a path for new businesses to come to Muscatine or opportunities for expansion for existing businesses.

“MPW actively supports economic development in our area,” shared General Manager Gage Huston. “The change in how the Utility handles system upgrades and service line extensions will further support business and industry to locate to Muscatine while limiting the risks to MPW’s other customers.”

The Utility continues to inspect and replace water mains in concert with the City’s West Hill Sewer Separation Project. The Trustees approved a revised Project Summary Form for the West Hill Sewer Separation Project (WHSSP) – Phase 6A and 6B. As separate projects, Phase 6A and 6B total estimated cost was $788,600; releasing Phase 6A and 6B for bids together reduced the total estimated costs $565,000, an estimated savings of $223,600.

The Trustees also voted to award a contract to JB Robertson Construction, Inc. of Davenport, IA for $150,540 for exterior improvements for the West Hill Pump Station.

Mr. Huston and Ryan Streck, director of utility service delivery, discussed the results of the recent Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) electricity capacity auction for the upcoming 12-month period from June 2023 through May 2024. The auction price for capacity, or the capability to meet MISO peak load requirements within the area of MISO that includes MPW, fell by more than 95% from the current 12-month period. Since MPW is a net seller of capacity, the lower capacity prices will have a negative impact on MPW’s net costs. However, the effects were lessened by a capacity sales transaction MPW completed prior to the auction.

Mark Roberts, director of finance and administrative services, provided an update on MPW’s financial statements. For April, MPW’s total change in net financial position was positive (net income) $172k, which compares to a budgeted net loss of $476k. Results for all three utilities – Water, Electric and Communications – were reasonably close to expectations with the exception the Electric Utility received $385k of compensation from MISO for transmission congestion. MISO energy prices remained low due to continued low natural gas prices, which meant lower operations of MPW’s generation units.

Doug White, director of power production and supply, reviewed the status of MPW’s Powering the Future strategy. One aspect of MPW’s planning Mr. White presented was the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed rule was just published May 22, 2023, so MPW continues to evaluate the impact the rule – as proposed – would have on MPW’s power supply plans.

In other business, the Trustees:

  • Set June 27, 2023, as the date to receive bids for Administration and Operations Building window replacement.
  • Approved payment for April 2023 expenditures and transactions.