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CPSS Minutes - Spring 2014

Center for Power Systems Studies
Spring Meeting
Watertown, SD - April 24, 2014

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at 1 p.m.

Recording Secretary

Ben Pierson – Sioux Valley Energy

Roll Call


  • Steven Hietpas - SDSU
  • Nate Jones - Heartland Consumers Power District
  • Larry DeKramer - East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Casey Sichmeller - East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Mark Buchholz - Western Area Power Administration
  • Steve Mundahl - Basin Electric Power
  • Joe Dold - Otter Tail Power Company

Associate Members

  • Todd Chambers - Watertown Municipal Utilities
  • Doug Joens - Power System Engineering
  • Ben Pierson - Sioux Valley Energy
  • Jay Dring - Nebraska Public Power District

Members Not Represented

  • Black Hills Power Company
  • MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Missouri River Energy Services
  • Minnesota Power Company
  • NorthWestern Energy Company
  • Xcel Energy Company


  • Wei Sun  -  SDSU
  • Eric Leebens  -  SDSU
  • Kelly Nelson  -  SDSU
  • Cole Sandness  -  SDSU

Approve Agenda

Larry DeKramer moved and Mark Buchholz seconded to accept the agenda as submitted. Motion carried.

Approve Minutes of Oct. 21, 2013 Fall Meeting

Nate Jones moved and Casey Sichmeller seconded to accept the minutes. Motion carried.

Doug Joens stated that PSE should be moved to the Associate Members list.
A copy of CPSS bylaws was to be sent to Mark Buchholz.
It was noted that Associate members are not allowed to vote, but allowed to make unlimited comments.

Coordinator’s Report:  Report for the Spring Meeting was included in packet. Some of the highlights of the report were:

Power Course Update

  • Sun has been a huge help in the development of the Power Course.
  • Eight students from the School of Mines are participating in the class.
  • Sun will teach the first class and the School of Mines will teach the next one.
  • See report for more details.

Power Faculty Update

  • Due to the addition of Reinaldo Tonkoski and Wei Sun, PhD opportunities are moving toward the power field.
  • Tonkoski
    • Graduated two MS students
    • Supervising two PhD students, 6 MS students and 1 senior design group
  • Sun
    • Supervising one PhD student, 3 MS students and 1 senior design group
  • See report for more details.

Scholarship Activity

  • The scholarship contribution went down to $35,000. Hietpas stated that he would like to see it get to $40,000 this year.
  • It was noted that students who are PES recipients should be very highly regarded.

Status of Power Students

  • Three students earned the IEEE PES scholarship
  • All but one of the power graduates had jobs lined up at the time of the meeting.
  • There were still many power students looking for power internships at the time of the meeting.
  • See report for more details.

Summer Power and/or CPSS Activity


  • Prepare for 2014 Biannual CPSS South Dakota Regional Power Conference
  • Serve on IEEE-PES Scholarship Committee, Region 4


  • Design course EE792 – Modeling and Control of Power Electronics including a Lab


  • Supervise graduate students’ research and the BENNETT undergraduate research project

See report for more details.

Membership Update – Who’s Who in Power


Committee Reports

2014-2015 Proposed Budget Report

  • Actual budget was verified, and Xcel’s payment was expected in June 2014.
  • $3,700 was carried over from the previous year’s budget.
  • No due increase is planned for 2014.
  • The amount of $750 that was not used for the conference was used to cover meeting’s shortcoming.
  • It was noted that the CPSS $3,000 scholarship goes to a senior student.
  • Salary support and R&D support is expected to increase between the time of the meeting and the end of the fiscal year.
  • See report for more details.

        Casey Sichmeller moved and Joe Dold seconded to accept the Budget Proposal as submitted. Motion carried.

2014 South Dakota Regional Power Conference Proposal (Monday, October 6, 2014)

  • Sun is serving as the university help for the conference.
  • There is a desire to see presentations on renewables.
  • A suggestion for the Keynote was to be on Engineering Ethics
  • Recommended presentations included:
    • Regulatory requirements and cyber security
    • State of power generation (coal plants in particular)
  • Mark Buchholz is going to help with finding a regulatory speaker.
  • The conference is on Monday October 6, 2014 instead of Tuesday due to the college of engineering career fair scheduled on October 7 (Tuesday).
  • It was decided to move forward and complete final plans to execute the conference this fall.

       Nate Jones moved and Larry DeKramer seconded to accept the Proposed Conference as submitted. Motion carried.

Wayne Knabach Excellence in Power Award Selection

  • There will be more communication to come regarding this.
  • The nomination and voting will take place via email.
  • Everyone is encouraged to send in nomination materials for candidates to be submitted.
  • It was noted that the nomination could be a company rather than a specific person.

       It was decided as a group that the committee would consider the WEK nomination over email as the process continues.

Student Project Proposal

  • Through calling members and associate members, 3 projects were submitted.
  • It was mentioned that the proposed SCADA project might be too big for a senior design project.
  • The ‘Online Transformer Monitoring’ project was deemed to not have enough design aspect for a senior design project
  • PSE volunteered to put together a proposal on IEEE 519 exploration
  • Stray Voltage and LEDs were mentioned as possible project topics

      No motion was required, more communication to come regarding project proposals.

Annual CPSS Banquet Date is October 6, 2014

Fall Meeting Date is October 7, 2014 (in the am, prior to the College of Engineering career fair)

CPSS Mission Review

  • It was mentioned to consider whether CPSS should add more vendors as associate members.
  • The group talked about how to encourage graduate power students and research opportunities.
  • There was a suggestion to review CPSS mission and bring comments to the next meeting.
  • Hietpas to present what SDSU is trying to accomplish to help guide CPSS mission.

A special thank you was conveyed to WAPA for hosting the meeting


The meeting adjourned at approximately 4:10 p.m.

Larry DeKramer moved and Nate Jones seconded to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ben Pierson – Sioux Valley Energy
Recording Secretary
April 21, 2014
Typed and Submitted June 14, 2014