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CPSS Minutes - Spring 2017

Center for Power Systems Studies - Spring Meeting
East River Electric Power Cooperative – Madison, SD
April 20, 2017

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m.

Recording Secretary

Blair Metzger – DGR Engineering

Roll Call


  • Steven Hietpas  |  CPSS Coordinator – SDSU
  • Reinaldo Tonkoski  |  SDSU
  • Jim Edwards  |  East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • Austin Hoekman  |  Missouri River Energy Services
  • Michael Lundy  |  Black Hills Corporation
  • Chad Orris        Mid-American Energy Company
  • Joe Dold   |  Otter Tail Power Company
  • Frank Kornbaum  |  Minnesota Power
  • Mark Buchholz  |  Western Area Power Administration
  • Steve Arbach  |  NorthWestern Energy
  • Randy Diede  |  Western Area Power Administration
  • Larry DeKramer  |  East River Electric Power Cooperative
  • John Knofczynski  |  East River Electric Power Cooperative

Associate Members:

  • Blair Metzger  |  DGR Engineering

Members Not Represented:     

  • Xcel Energy
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative
  • Heartland Consumers Power District

Approve Agenda

Kornbaum moved and Arbach seconded to accept the agenda as submitted. Motion carried.

Approve Minutes of Oct. 4, 2016 Fall Meeting

Buchholz moved and Edwards seconded to accept the minutes. Motion carried.

Coordinator’s Report

Report for the spring meeting was included in packet. Some of the highlights of the report were:

Power Course Update

Currently sharing two courses with the School of Mines. The challenge of meeting the “minimum of 10 students taking each course” continues to be an issue. Enrollments in the power area are growing, however.

Power Faculty Update

The activities of faculty Tonkoski, Hansen and Ni were reviewed.

Scholarship Activity

Approximately $40,000 in scholarships will be awarded in the EE program. Of this amount, about 60% are sponsored by the power community.

Status of Power Students

A table was provided that summarized the employment status of current power students.

The results of a survey of the students were discussed.
Summer Power and/or CPSS Activity

  • The upcoming 50th Anniversary of CPSS was discussed, along with appropriate ways to celebrate this milestone (more later).
  • The planned activities of power-related staff were reviewed.


At 11:15 a.m., the meeting was suspended in order to receive a report from Dean Lew Brown, as well as to enjoy lunch.
The meeting reconvened at 1:00 p.m.

Membership Update

The member and contact list was passed around. Changes in contact information were provided.

Who’s Who in Power from SDSU
Username: cpss
Password: (check with Hietpas)

Hietpas will verify that a link to the CPSS database exists on the CPSS page of the SDSU website.

Committee Reports

2016 SoDaRP Conference Update Report (Frank Kornbaum)
The conference went well, and attendance was up from previous events.
The financial results were favorable in terms of sustaining itself.

FY18 Proposed Budget Report

The budget year-to-date was discussed; “missing” income will be paid by the end of the fiscal year.
The impact of the SoDaRP Conference will be removed from the fall meeting expense line item going forward.
There are about $6,000 in “extra” funds available. Ideas for what to use the extra funds for were surfaced by the group.  Items under consideration are as follows:

  • 50th Anniversary celebration expenses
  • Lab equipment
  • Scholarships
  • Conference room equipment

Hietpas will identify a plan for the funds, and will circulate it among the group for input and/or approval.
Kornbaum moved and Dold seconded to accept the Budget Proposal as submitted. Motion carried.

2017-2018 Wayne Knabach Excellence in Power Award Selection
The selection committee (Hoekman; Metzger, Kornbaum; Zavadil) recommended and nominated Jim Wilcox (recently retired from Xcel Energy) for this year’s award.
Hoekman moved and Kornbaum seconded to accept the WEK Nomination. Motion carried.
Hietpas will inform Jim Wilcox.

2017-2018 Student Project Proposals

Possible projects included the following:

  • Smith (SVE): energy management system forecasting tool development
  • Tonkoski: voltage control for solar garden installation (in cooperation with Minnesota Power)
  • Arbach (NWE) continue this year’s project regarding a voltage controller for renewable energy optimization
  • Tonkoski: home energy management system

Hietpas will coordinate an email dialog that will seek agreement on the project, with a target date of mid-July.

Fall Meeting Date

Schedule for October 2, 2017
Hietpas notes that the College of Engineering Career Fair is scheduled for October 9, 2017.

Expression of Appreciation

Motion is made by Mark Buchholz, seconded by Steve Arbach, and carried, to express appreciation to Jim Edwards and John Knofczynski and East River Electric Power Cooperative for hosting spring meeting

50th Anniversary Recognition Discussion

Discussion regarding the appropriate means of recognizing and celebrating the CPSS’ 50th Anniversary were discussed.  The actual anniversary will be Fall 2018.
It was decided that planning should start Fall 2017 or sooner. Hietpas will work on establishing a committee to develop the plan.
One suggestion is to ask member companies to provide perspectives regarding the regional impact of the CPSS.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Blair Metzger – DGR Engineering
Recording Secretary
April 20, 2017
Typed and Submitted May 4, 2017