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CPSS Minutes - Fall 2018

Center for Power Systems Studies - Fall Meeting
MINUTES (Unofficial)
Brookings SD – October 2, 2018

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at approximately 9:15 a.m.

Recording Secretary

Frank Kornbaum-Minnesota Power

Roll Call


  • Steve Hietpas – SDSU
  • Chad Orris – MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Steve Mundahl – Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Austin Hoekman – Missouri River Energy Services
  • Randy Diede – Western Area Power Administration
  • Steve Arbach – NorthWestern Energy
  • Jim Edwards – East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Frank Kornbaum – Minnesota Power
  • Nate Jones - Heartland Consumers Power District
  • Joe Dold – Otter Tail Power Company
  • Mark Buchholz – WAPA – Watertown

Associate Members

  • Blair Metzger - DGR Engineering
  • Jay Dring - Nebraska Public Power District
  • Kevin Doe - Ulteig Engineers

Members not represented:

  • Black Hills Corporation
  • Xcel Energy         

Approve Agenda

Kevin Doe moved and Chad Orris seconded to accept the agenda as submitted.

Motion Carried.

Approve Minutes of April 19, 2018 spring meeting

Nate Jones moved and Joe Dold seconded to accept minutes. Motion Carried. Prior to moving on to the Coordinator’s report, Steve mentioned the legal issues of having members update the “Who’s Who” database when operated by the Foundation. He mentioned that the information could be merged into the data base. The conversation then turned to the 50th CPSS celebration and the conference. The information is included further on in the minutes.


The Coordinator’s Report was included in the meeting packet. Some of the highlights of the report included:

Summer 2018: Faculty and Student Summer Projects/Research Update

Steve talked about taking personal time off (3 weeks) during the summer while transitioning out of the Department Head role. He told the group about hiking the Appalachian Trail, fly fishing in Montana and a Black Hills family reunion.

Some of the items highlighted from the report

  • He will continue in his role in Developing Leadership Training Workshop materials for the Electrical and Computer Department Heads Association.

Power-Faculty Course Update

Steve mentioned a possible EE Degree with a power and cyber security emphasis with collaboration with Dakota State University.

Under Graduate Power courses are continued to be offered each semester with SDSU and SDSM&T student enrollment.

Student Activities

The Robotics team was highlighted.

Scholarship Activity

Around $60k has been awarded. However there is an extreme latency between informing the Foundation of awards and the actual awarding of the scholarships to the students.  Steve will be taking over the chairmanship of the Scholarship committee and will be investigating the latency.

Status of Power Students and Review of CPSS Impact

The normal Under Graduate survey of impact was not included in this meeting, the report will be shared at the Spring 2019 meeting. Steve asked the question  as to whether the survey and report is helpful. The general consensus was that it is relevant and appropriate for this meeting.

Membership Update

The CPSS Membership Contact List was circulated among the meeting attendees for review and correction.

Conference Committee

Selection of new Conference Committee Member – 3-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Mark Buchholz (Western Area Power Administration)
  • 2016-2019: Richard McComish (Electrical Consultants, Inc.)
  • 2017-2020: Jim Edwards (East River Electric Power Cooperative)
  • 2018-2021: Steve Arbach (North Western Energy)

Special Project Committee

Selection of new Special Project Committee Member – 2-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Chris Graff (Power System Engineering)
  • 2017-2019: Nate Jones (Heartland Consumers Power District)
  • 2018-2020: Kevin Doe (Ulteig Engineers)

Budget Committee

Selection of new Budget Committee Member – 2-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): Kevin Doe (Ulteig Engineers)
  • 2017-2019: Joe Dold (Otter Tail Power Company)
  • 2018-2020: Jay Dring (Nebraska Public Power District)


Awards Committee

Selection of new WEK Excellence in Power Award Committee Member – 3-year:

  • Outgoing member(s): 2017 WEK Recipient Jim Wilcox and Blair Metzger (DGR Engineering)
  • And 2016-2019: Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power) retiring
  • 2017-2020: Jean Waltz (Xcel Energy, Inc. South Dakota)
  • 2018-2021: Mark Buchholz (WAPA)
  • 2018 WEK Recipient John Kappenman

Old Business


New Business

2018 SoDaRP Conference and 50th Anniversary Post Review

The atmosphere of the 50th Celebration was discussed. The inclusion of the musicians was a nice touch. Using the Alumni Center as the venue for both events was a plus. Reserving the parking lot next to the Center was very convenient. Jeff Nelson did great job as the emcee of the banquet. He mentioned going over old material that was stored, some of which Steve H. had never seen. Steve will look into archiving the material at the Library.

The conference rough attendance figure was at 76. Those that attended mentioned that the morning session (application oriented) was more relevant than the afternoon session. It was felt that if the conference had six presentations at least four should be more regional industry related topics. At times questions were hard to hear from the conference attendees. Possible solutions would be having a portable wireless microphone available controlled by the session host, and or having the presenter repeat the question before giving the answer.

2018-2019 Financial Report
Kevin Doe presented the Financial Report for consideration. He mentioned several items that actual FY18 expenditures exceeded the budgeted FY18 amounts. Under Research and Development $1,200 was budgeted for Graduate Students and an expense of $3,173 was listed. Steve said he will look into it. Also Under Meetings for FY18 the fall amount was budgeted at $1500 with an actual cost of $3,110. Kevin stated he thought it included the airline travel cost of the speaker (~$900) and the venue rental cost. After those items were discussed Kevin moved to accept the report and Joe Dold seconded. Motion was carried.

Senior Design Course and Power Projects
Corey Mettler had intended to attend the meeting but was unable to. Steve mentioned that for any project to be considered by the Senior Design course, it must be presented to Corey at least two week prior to the start of the semester.

Place/Date for 2018 Spring Meeting

Host: NorthWestern Energy – Location: Huron – Date: April 11


Prior to adjourning the meeting Austin Hoekman asked about the research going on into “Virtual Inertia." Steve then donned his virtual professorial personality and went into full blown academic mode for about ten minutes. Stating: “The modern power system is progressing from a synchronous machine-based system towards an inverter-dominated system, with large-scale penetration of renewable energy sources (RESs) like wind and photovoltaics. RES units today represent a major share of the generation, and the traditional approach of integrating them as grid following units can lead to frequency instability. Many researchers have pointed towards using inverters with virtual inertia control algorithms so that they appear as synchronous generators to the grid, maintaining and enhancing system stability.” Or something to that effect, the recording secretary had hard time keeping up.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:22:35 - with a motion by Steve Arbach and seconded by Mark Buchholz.  Motion carried.


Respectfully submitted,

Frank Kornbaum (Minnesota Power)
Recording Secretary
October 2, 2018
Typed and Submitted ___________________________________