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CPSS Minutes - Spring 2020

Center for Power Systems Studies - Spring Meeting
MidAmerican Energy
April 16, 2020

Call to Order

Steve Hietpas called the meeting to order at 1:05 PM.

Recording Secretary

Austin Hoekman

Roll Call


Steve Hietpas                       CPSS Coordinator – SDSU

Dan Coomes                        East River Electric Power Cooperative

Austin Hoekman                  MRES

Chad Orris                           MidAmerican Energy

Jean Waltz                          Xcel Energy

Steve Mundahl                   Basin Electric

Joe Dold                             Ottertail Power

Christian Winter                 Minnesota Power

Todd Bockorny                  Black Hills Energy

Associate Members

Russell Halgerson               Brookings Municipal

Joel Lankutis                        POWER Engineers

Blair Metzger                       DGR Engineers

Chris Mattila                        Burns and McDonald

James Turner                      STAR Energy Services

Kevin Doe                           Ulteig Engineers                      

Members Not Represented            


Heartland Consumers Power District      

Approve Agenda

Dan Coomes moved and Chris Mattila seconded to accept the agenda as submitted. 
Motion carried.

Approve Minutes of Oct. 8th, 2019 Fall Meeting:

Jean Waltz moved and Dan Coomes 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

  • Dr. Hietpas has increased teaching load (3 courses per semester) to meet undergraduate needs.
  • SDSU and SDSMT have been coordinating course offerings.
  • Dan Coomes is adjunct faculty teaching Advanced Power Systems Analysis in Spring 2020.

Power Faculty Update

  • Dr. Hietpas – supervising 2 Senior Design groups, chairing EE scholarship committee, and other activities.
  • Dr. Tonkoski – currently on sabbatical, but is advising graduate students, IEEE editor, has landed several grants, and other activities.
    • One grant (with Dr. Hansen) was a substantial award where SDSU is a sub-contract of a $3 million award with University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.
  • Dr. Hansen – advising grad students, a Senior Design group, has received two grants (see above), publishing articles, and is active in IEEE. 
    • Received IEEE-HKN C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award

Scholarship Activity

  •  EECS total awards: $91,600
    • Power related: $40,700
  • Notable scholarships yet TBD for 2020/21.
  • SDSU had 4 students receive the IEEE PES 2019-20 scholarships

Status of Power Students

  •  20-30 students per year going through EECS program
  •  18 graduating seniors – 6 in power (5 have jobs)

Summer Power and/or CPSS Activity

  • Professors are active doing various EE-related summer activities as an extension of school year activities.

Membership Update

The member and contact list was sent out.  Changes in contact information were requested to be submitted via email directly to Dr. Hietpas who will compile changes into the master document.

Committee Reports

  • 2020-21 Proposed Budget Report
    • James Turner provided report.
    • NPPT no longer a member, but STAR Energy Services is being added as an associate member.
    • Waiting on 4 companies to pay dues for FY20 and anticipated to be resolved.
    • Proposing to increase scholarship funds to $17,000 from $12,000 in FY20
    • See Report for complete details
      • James Turner moved and Christian Winter seconded to accept the Budget Proposal as submitted.  Motion carried.
      • Chad Orris moved and James Turner seconded to move excess funds from FY20 into the scholarship fund.  Motion carried.
  • CPSS Scholarship MOA Review
    • Austin Hoekman moved and Russ Halgerson seconded to accept the Proposed Changes to MOA to change the CPSS scholarship from $4,000 to $6,000, increase the total scholarship fund to $11,000/year, and individual awards to vary from $250 to $3,000.  Motion carried.
    • Hietpas will work with Foundation on updating the MOA to reflect this.
  • 2020-2021 Wayne Knabach Excellence in Power Award Selection
    • Jean Waltz provided the report.
    • Dr. Mike Ropp is recommended to present the WEK Award for 2020.
    • The committee is working to increase the nominations in future years; several names have been submitted, but forms are incomplete.  The committee is working to complete the forms.
    • Jean Waltz moved and Chad Orris seconded to accept the WEK Nomination.  Motion carried.
    • Dr. Hietpas will inform Dr. Ropp.
  • 2020-2021 Student Project Proposals
    • Kevin Doe provided an update.
    • No proposals have been submitted by members.
    • The team discussed fallback project ideas including:
      • Computer simulation of a power system with outputs processed by SEL relays
      • Develop efficient capacitor control logic for wind farm collector substations
    • Phase 2 of the student project (Phase Identification) was approved, and was judged a very good project.
  • 2020 South Dakota Regional Power Conference Status Update
    • Dan Coomes provided an update.
    • Conference date: October 5, 2020 at SDSU alumni building (Fall CPSS meeting and DOE career fail on Oct. 6)
    • Topics may include:
      • Yellowstone Park West Thumb Microgrid
      • AMI Data/Engineering Modeling
      • Great Northwestern Transmission Line 500 kV Project
      • Arc Flash Safety (Panel Discussion)
      • Dr. Ropp (will be traveling to receive WEK award)
      • Keynote Speaker – CapX 2050 Report – Gordon Pietsch from GRE
    • Poster Session (undergrad internship and graduate research posters) during banquet social hour
    • Plan to finalize the conference by June 15

Fall Meeting Date

Scheduled for October 6th, 2020

Expression of Appreciation

Motion is made by James Turner, seconded by Christian Winter, and carried, to express appreciation to Chad Orris and MidAmerican Energy for hosting spring meeting.


The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:45 pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Austin Hoekman
Recording Secretary
April 16th, 2020