The most read public power stories of 2019

Many moments shaped public power’s news last year, and here’s a quick roundup of what you and your colleagues were most interested in reading in 2019.

  1. An open letter to squirrels
    Amid all the more serious occurrences of the year, our cheeky take on preventing squirrel-related outages, addressed to squirrels and written for National Squirrel Appreciation Day, drew interest from beyond public power and was cited in a few national news stories.
  2. Municipalization eyed for New York City, Chicago
    The past year brought quite a few new inquiries into the feasibility of public power for cities (and states) across the U.S., and the leadership of two of the U.S.’ most populous cities, New York and Chicago, both raised the possibility of community ownership in late July, and continue to explore the option.
  3. Shared success: The utility’s role in economic development
    As part of the Economic Development issue of Public Power magazine, this article took a look at a few examples of how public power utilities are playing a bigger role in economic development programs to help grow and improve their communities.
  4. JEA Board authorizes privatization of the utility to be explored
    JEA, the public power utility which serves Jacksonville, Florida, ultimately canceled the competitive bid process at the end of the year, rejecting all bids received during the summer.

  5. Bill would overturn FCC order impacting public power pole attachments
    Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., introduced draft legislation that would overturn a Federal Communications Commission order related to broadband siting, which did not exempt public power pole attachments. A companion bill was later introduced in the Senate.

  6. EPRI releases findings in study of high altitude EMP attack
    In April, the Electric Power Research Institute released findings from its three-year study of potential impacts of high-altitude electromagnetic pulses on electric transmission, which found that an attack could interrupt regional service, and that mitigation options could minimize interruptions.

  7. Municipalities must register with alcohol, drug violation database
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched a new online database for employers and federal and state agencies to review and enter drug and alcohol program violations for personnel with commercial driver’s licenses.

  8. Kelly calls for public power to address three critical issues
    This recap of Sue Kelly’s 2019 National Conference speech urged public power utilities to focus on customers’ use of technology (and how it will disrupt the utility business model), build a culture of cybersecurity, and consider where we stand on climate change policy.

  9. More than 20 Texas entities hit with ransomware attack
    Public power utilities were not affected by the August incident, but the attack, which targeted local government systems, offered utilities a good reminder to remain vigilant and take action to manage cyber risk.

  10. Get in front of behind-the-meter energy storage
    This piece summarized the motivators and considerations utility customers might have in deploying energy storage systems, as excerpted from our report, Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage: What Utilities Should Know, created for the Moving Public Power Forward strategic initiative.