1 XTRA VOLUME 13 ISSU E 8 M A Y 2013 Division Panels Project at Comanche boosts availability DRIVE TO CLIVE: Monticello steam dryer removal marks an industry first TECH TRANSFER: Company honored with explosive national award from EPRI SPRING BLAST: Crews respond to major ice storm damage in South Dakota
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS COVER STORY page 10 FEATURES MONTICELLO MOVE 4 In an industry first, the old steam dryer (OSD) at Monticello Nuclear Generating Station was removed in a single piece and eventually laid to rest under western skies. DIVISION PANELS 8 Innovative new equipment has been installed at Comanche Generating Station s Unit One boiler, and the results have been impressive. EPRI AWARD 12 Xcel Energy recently played a leading role in a research effort aimed at better understanding and reducing the damaging effects of explosive cleaning efforts on boiler tubes. COACHING 16 Vince Lakatos dedicates up to 20 hours a week to coaching youth volleyball during peak season. He has coached more than 700 girls over the last 14 years. CALCULATOR 6 A recent initiative launched by a team of employees from Marketing and Engineering has dramatically streamlined a series of previously tedious and complicated business processes. SPRING BLAST 14 A severe spring ice storm in South Dakota left about 90,000 customers without power, and numerous company and other crews immediately responded to those outages. PEOPLE 18 The most recent Friends We ll Miss and Retirement announcements. ON THE COVER A crane lifts one of the new division panels (not pictured) for Comanche Generating Station s Unit One boiler. Below, on the ground, other division panels wait to be installed in the boiler through a small opening in the plant s outer wall. For more information, please see story on page 10.
3 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR How a socially responsible company should act Dear Xcel Energy: I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for showing us how a socially responsible company should act. During the recent storm in Sioux Falls, S.D., I was astounded by the way you have stepped up and helped our community. Every time I have called your call center, my calls have been answered within one minute, and every representative has been extremely helpful. I also have had branches cleared from my electric lines within four days. I am very impressed with your customer service and your ability to step up your service in times of high need. Thank you! Simon Reed, Sioux Falls, S.D. Thanks sent for Texas storm help Dear Xcel Energy: Thank you for caring about employee safety enough to call off certain duties in Amarillo during the recent blizzard. I know that takes sacrifice. I also know that some employees are never called off, but instead are called in. That dedication is even more appreciated. We wish the utmost safety and give our concerns to the field crews who restored power outages in the area. Thanks Xcel Energy, for keeping the power on that keeps us warm even through one of the worst snowstorms in our history! Zach Juarez, Amarillo, Texas PHOTO OP SHERCO SUNRISE Last October, Jason Fredensborg, a carpenter in Special Construction, had to go up to the top of one of the stacks at the Sherco Generating Station in Becker, Minn. He needed to sign scaffold tags for some elevator workers, and it was perfect timing to catch the sunrise that morning. Cooling towers are seen at the bottom of the photo, lined with lights, and steam from the plant also floats above moving east. Editor s Note: Photo Op is a standing feature in Xtra. Each issue, a photo submitted by a reader or produced by a member of Public Policy and External Affairs will be published. Please submit high-resolution digital photos to the editor at the address listed on the back page of this publication. By submitting images for Photo Op, employees give Xtra permission to run the photos.
4 DRIVE TO CLIVE In industry first, Monticello steam dryer moved intact to Utah In an industry first, the old steam dryer (OSD) at Monticello Nuclear Generating Station was removed in a single piece and eventually laid to rest under western skies in Clive, Utah. The effort marked the end of a year s worth of planning and preparation at the Minnesota power plant removing, packaging and shipping for disposal of an intact steam dryer. Other nuclear plants had removed old steam dryers, but most were cut up, said John Gushue, project manager, Nuclear Projects. No one had removed an intact steam dryer without making a major modification to the reactor building. And no other plant had ever shipped an intact steam dryer offsite. Removing the dryer intact resulted in a significant reduction in radiation exposure for workers, added Alan Zelie, manager, Radiation Protection. The entire task was completed with an unprecedented low, collective radiation exposure and no safety issues. During other OSD projects, workers received up to an 85 rem dose (a measure of radiation) during removal by cutting up the units. However, the actual worker dose for removing the Monticello OSD was just 1.3 rem, Zelie said. While the replacement of steam dryers at boiling-water reactors has been accomplished at several sites, no utility had ever shipped one intact, Gushue said. The dryer was a large, highly contaminated, reactor-vessel component about 13 feet high, 16 feet in diameter and weighing 53,000 pounds. The size and travel path from plant to railroad bay to shipping cask and on to burial site presented a significant challenge, he said. The project team determined that the use of remote monitoring and handling technology would be required during the removal effort for radiological safety. Eduardo Del Barrio, an engineer at Monticello, was instrumental in developing remote-based technology such as a remotely deployed contamination-control bag (unique to the industry) and the use of remote-monitoring technology to allow movement of the dryer while minimizing personnel interaction with the equipment. In addition, Paul Vitalis, senior health physicist, and Tony Hedges, supervisor, were responsible for obtaining, preparing and training for the use of all remote-monitoring equipment, including equipment used to remotely handle the steam dryer via crane and its self-propelled transporter. Tom Crippes, refueling supervisor, was responsible for plant coordination and some highly technical and complicated rigging processes. Training for the operation involved both classroom time and the construction of a full-scale, steam-dryer mockup for hands-on training. Three different mock-up exercises were eventually performed before the actual move. These training opportunities enabled the team to better 4 XTRA MAY 2013
5 understand the basis, need and application of federal government expectations for the shipping of radioactive objects, Gushue said. The mock-up exercises provided ample opportunities for craft people to work on methods, practices and techniques that optimized efficiencies and minimized dose. The OSD had been stored under water on the refueling deck at the plant since the 2011 outage. While being moved up from the temporary storage tub to the deck, it was coated with a special paint to fix contamination in place prior to the unit being bagged and moved by the boilermakers for shipment offsite. The plant s Special Construction group, led by Darrel Ostendorf, construction superintendent, stepped up to help at a key point in the process. After three days of around-the-clock adjustments, tie-downs and testing, the highly skilled ironworkers were done and the shipment was ready for the road, Gushue said. Following an extensive pre-shipment inspection, Radiation Protection authorized the shipment for release after completing necessary paperwork and surveys to confirm the shipment met federal government requirements. Eventually, the Drive to Clive involved 900 miles and took 11 days of travel through four states. It required a transporter measuring 20 feet wide and 207 feet long, which weighed 614,000 pounds. The shipment took up two lanes on the roads it traveled and moved along at an average speed of just 20 mph. The transporter was accompanied by six chase vehicles and police escorts. Two Monticello employees also followed the load during the entire route. The dryer reached its destination safely and was disposed of via burial at an Energy Solutions facility in Clive, Utah. There were no safety issues, no radiological events, no spread of contamination and no dosimetry alarms, Zelie said. The preparation and movement of the dryer to the shipping container at Monticello was accomplished In the end, the project accomplished a number of world-class milestones. under the radiological goal actual was 512 mrem vs. a goal of 700 mrem. The radiological dose for the entire project was Rem. This is now the industry benchmark, Zelie added, and significantly less than any other dryer-removal project. A number of challenges with the project brought out the skill, dedication and commitment of the project team as each issue was professionally addressed, Gushue said. The project team and plant personnel in general were fully aligned on the need, importance and impact to the station to remove the OSD on time in November. The full support of all of Monticello s resources aligned to provide assistance and make the project a success, he added. In the end, the project accomplished a number of world-class milestones, in addition to accomplishing the work safely without an OSHA-reportable incident. MONTICELLO The move of the old steam dryer from the Monticello plant involved 900 miles and took 11 days of travel through four states. It required a transporter measuring 20 feet wide and 207 feet long, which weighed 614,000 pounds. The shipment took up two lanes and moved along at an average speed of just 20 mph. MAY
6 CALCULATOR AUTOMATION Simplified DSM process brings efficiency, transparency It sometimes seems that with each passing day, things just seem to get more and more complex. But a recent initiative launched by a team of employees from Marketing, Account Management and the Business Solutions Center has reversed that dynamic by dramatically streamlining a series of previously tedious and complicated business processes. The Demand Side Management (DSM) Calculator Automation project greatly simplifies the processing of DSM program rebates by replacing a myriad of individual Microsoft Excel-based spreadsheet calculators with an easy-to-use, comprehensive program, which is fully integrated with Salesforce. com, the company s customer relationship management solution. The new calculating software brings considerable advantages both to Xcel Energy and its customers, said Mark Schoenheider, team lead and energy efficiency engineer. Benefits include additional process controls and increased efficiency for DSM calculations, along with quicker processing of rebates for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Translating customers information to perform the calculations for DSM rebates is a complex process, involving a host of variables specific to each customer s location, building type, appliance, equipment, energy usage, etc. There are countless combinations of variables across our service territories and product offerings, he said. All of that information needs to be processed so we can provide our We ended up with a project that delivered far more benefits to a wider group of people than originally identified. customers with the most accurate projection of energy savings that they will realize by participating in various programs. And Xcel Energy also needs the most reliable information possible for its reporting to our regulatory agencies, he added. We need to determine the proper amount of energy savings, costs, and rebates. Thanks to the new calculator, customers will get a more accurate idea of what exactly they can expect in terms of energy savings by participating in Xcel Energy s DSM programs. In addition, the overall process for customers will be quicker. With the new calculators, we are able to process customers applications and get them their rebate checks more quickly, said Jeremy Thompson, account manager in Minneapolis. And our business customers will benefit from the fact that their account managers now have all of the DSM information that they need such as rebate levels and equipment eligibility in one central place. Our sales teams can quickly access all of the information they need to tell a customer, for example, what rebate they qualify for, he added. And they can do it instantly, instead of several hours or a day later. The idea for the calculator project started as a concept to increase the efficiency of energy-conservation calculations and to mitigate the risk of potential errors, said Jonathan Adelman, director of Retail Market Strategy. However, my team identified additional benefits from the very start by align- 6 XTRA MAY 2013
7 NEWS BRIEFS ing the timing of this project with the release of the customer relationship management software. We were able to maximize the organizational benefit by incorporating input along the way form all user groups, Adelman said. And we ended up with a project that delivered far more benefits to a wider group of people than originally identified. The company also will see major benefits as a result of the implementation of the Calculator Automation project. The new simplified and streamlined process is bringing significant savings, said Jana Tollefson, manager of DSM and Renewable Operations. We expect to process about 88,000 residential and 12,000 commercial rebates per year with the new system, and the new effort will result in significant time savings, Tollefson said. We launched on a Monday, and by Thursday, Rebate Operations already had processed 1,300 residential rebates, she said. That represented an estimated 20 percent improvement in rebate processing times. To see that kind of improvement in just a few days was great. As the learning curve with the new system levels out, she added, there likely will be more improvements in performance. The investments in Salesforce.com and this calculator project are part of the long-term strategic vision for our business, said Lee Gabler, director of DSM and Renewable Operations. Salesforce.com provides a solid platform that links all aspects of our business. It also sets the stage for focused add-on solutions, such as the calculator project, which let us target operational efficiencies. The significant improvements in accessibility and visibility that the new program brings have given staff new ideas about how they might improve processes by applying other ideas and best practices, he added. One of the things this new system does is present more data in a clear and understandable manner about how our DSM programs and rebates work, Gabler said. There is much better transparency now, which is allowing the 180 users to see exactly what is working well and why. We can now see the details of each transaction, and use that data to see patterns and trends that were previously undetectable. The Calculator Automation project is a broad-based team effort involving Sales and all DSM Marketing departments Product Management, Engineering, Rebate Operations and DSM Regulatory. Overall, the project has been a huge success, Schoenheider said. We met or exceeded all of the original goals, while delivering the project on time and slightly under budget. And we wouldn t have seen that success without excellent collaboration from all different parts of the team. Changes announced for CAO organization Marvin McDaniel, senior vice president and CAO, recently announced several organizational changes. Retiring Corporate Secretary Cathy Hart leaves some very big shoes for us to fill, so these plans will help us to make this transition seamlessly, McDaniel said. Hart has announced her retirement the end of May. Nancy Held, director, Corporate Compliance and Business Conduct, will now report to McDaniel. Corporate Compliance has regular interaction with the Board Audit Committee, represents a core value of our company, and is an increasingly critical business function given the volume and complexity of regulations and penalties for non-compliance, McDaniel said. Property Services, Security and Aviation will join the Safety, Workforce Relations and Technical Training area and become an expanded organization called Safety and Business Services. Vice president Dan Nygaard will lead this new group. Each department in this organization provides enterprise-wide services and often works in concert to support critical business needs, McDaniel said. Larry Bick will continue in his role as senior director, Property and Security Services, and Jennie Ator will continue in her role as director, Aviation, and both will report directly to Dan. Reservoir storage enhanced by relaxation of the Shoshone water-rights call Two back to back, drought plagued winters in western Colorado have triggered an agreement to relax a senior water rights call on the Colorado River at the Shoshone Hydro Plant to allow water providers to store more water this spring, a move that benefits Denver Water and the West Slope. Shoshone s senior 1902 water right of 1,250 cubic feet a second (cfs), when called, is administered by the Colorado Division of Water Resources against junior water storage rights upstream that include Denver Water s Dillon and Williams Fork Reservoirs, the Colorado River District s Wolford Mountain Reservoir and the Bureau of Reclamation s Green Mountain Reservoir. The agreement relaxes the call to 704 cfs when river flows are low, or takes a Shoshone call totally off the river when flows are rising. This practice gives the upstream juniors water rights holders the ability to store water once the spring runoff begins in earnest. Denver Water has already enacted its Stage 2 drought restrictions to limit outdoor water use and will enact other conservation measures. The winter of 2012 was the fourth worst on record in the Colorado River Basin. By this time in 2012, runoff was already under way. MAY
8 COMANCHE DIVISION PANELS Innovation leads to improved availability and reliability Comanche Generating Station, like other coal-fired power plants, must deal with the consistent challenge of slagging, which can damage key boiler equipment when coal-ash deposits accumulate and lead to outages. After researching various options to mitigate the ongoing problem, innovative new equipment has been installed in the power plant s Unit One boiler, and the results have been impressive. Comanche s availability and reliability have been improved, and the plant is seeing significant savings about $2 million a year in increased generation. The coal used at Comanche, Colorado s largest coal-fired plant located in Pueblo, Colo., comes from the Power River Basin (PRB) in northeast Wyoming. PRB coal produces significantly lower sulfur and nitrogen emissions than many other coals used by power plants throughout the United States. So it s no surprise that it is the coal of choice for roughly 50 percent of the coal-fired power plants in the country. But while PRB coal offers cost and environmental benefits, it also has some drawbacks, said Jay McCoy, technical specialist at Comanche. The coal has a tendency to leave slag deposits on key boiler equipment that build up and can foul waterwalls, superheaters, reheaters and flue-gas passages. These deposits can in turn lead to outages for boiler maintenance or even unplanned outages. That was the case at Comanche prior to the recent changes. In spite of regular maintenance and the use of cleaning systems to minimize accumulation of slagging deposits, 8 XTRA MAY 2013
9 over time the destructive dynamic of slag accumulation and removal took its toll, McCoy explained. The slag accumulation on the division panels required frequent, online, high-pressure water cleaning, as well as frequent load drops to shed the slag, he added. And those load drops for slag shedding had significant effect on the bottom line. Comanche s upper furnace in its Unit One boiler houses an array of four radiant superheater division panels, equally spaced across the width of the boiler. Each of these four panels is made up of a front and rear pendant composed of 28 circuits of tubing. Those tubes are supposed to be aligned uniformly, he said. But after years of use and the accumulation of slag coupled with the use of explosives needed to clean away those deposits the tubes had become damaged and deformed. Before the replacement, the pendant tubes were severely misaligned, McCoy said. It was like a bunch of logs thrown helter-skelter on the back of a truck, some more crooked than others. The tubing was no longer evenly and uniformly spread, and that created a big slag magnet in the boiler, he added. We had to use some pretty determined explosives to clean away those deposits, which sometimes caused damage to the tubes. And so, in addition to planned maintenance outages, we started seeing unplanned outages not something that Energy Supply prides itself on, and something that we try to MAY
10 avoid at all costs. It was a big problem for us. A few years ago, a team of technicians at Comanche began exploring solutions to the problem of slag accumulation in Unit One, researching potential design and material changes, and holding discussions with various vendors. After carefully considering the options available, the team chose Doosan Power System s Church Window Design as the best division-panel fit for Unit One. Because of the smoother contour of the pendant bottom and their welded bottoms, the panels offered the best option for reducing slag accumulation. The division-panel replacement effort was completed last spring. The old misshapen panels were removed in two pieces and a crane used to take out the old equipment and bring in the new. The new panels were carefully lifted into place and welded to the existing stubs from the original headers in the boiler s upper furnace, he said. The seal from this penthouse to the furnace was replaced, and in addition to the radiography performed on all of the welds, a hydro test was performed to ensure a water tight repair. The division-panel replacement went surprisingly well, McCoy said. A 12-foot-high window was cut into the side of the boiler. Then a crane lifted the new assemblies and transported them across monorails into the boiler. It required quite a set of rigging, he added. But in the end, our total outage was only eight weeks, and we finished the installation ahead of schedule. The new pendant-panel design has a specially engineered membrane to minimize slag formations, he said. The unique panel construction allows inevitable slag deposits to form only as a sheet, rather than the complete encapsulation deposits that were seen previously. And the sheet of deposits can be more readily removed simply by local soot-blowing action. 10 XTRA MAY 2013
11 The reduction in slag accumulation and the simpler and quicker slag removal process means reduced outage time for maintenance. With the new pendant-panel design, the boiler can be returned to service 12 hours sooner after scheduled maintenance, he said. And the new system avoids the use of costly magnesium-hydroxide injection, which was previously used to clean away slag deposits. That process is now used only on an as-needed basis, reducing chemical costs by roughly $650,000 annually. Since the new equipment was installed on Comanche s Unit One, the formation of slag deposits on the new panels has been virtually non-existent, McCoy said, and the new anti-slagging design has proven a major success. The new panels have increased generation, valued at approximately $2 million per year, according to our calculations, McCoy said. The solution to our slagging problem is as good or better than we d hoped, and we re now considering installing the same pendant-panel design on our other two boilers in the coming years. COMANCHE Innovative new equipment has been installed in Comanche Generating Station s Unit One boiler, and the results have been impressive. Pictured at top and above right, welders and others at work in the boiler, and above left, one of the new division panels. On page 10, a view down on the new panels before installation in the boiler, and on pages 8 and 9, a view inside the boiler before the new panels were installed. MAY
12 Explosive Cleaning Xcel Energy honored for research on explosive cleaning of boiler tubes Xcel Energy recently played a leading role in an EPRI research effort aimed at better understanding and reducing the damaging effects of explosive cleaning efforts on boiler tubes. The findings of the research will help utilities and others in the industry reduce the risks and the potential for forced outages due to damaged boiler tubes, said Rick Hellner, project lead and consulting engineer, Denver. Damage from explosive cleaning is one of the top 10 tube failure causes. DTE Energy of Michigan joined Xcel Energy in the effort and also was honored with a Technology Transfer Award from EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). The awards are presented annually to members who have led efforts to apply R&D on behalf of their companies and the industry at large. Other Xcel Energy employees honored with the award included James Sisko, senior engineer, Minneapolis; and Bret Shellhorn, production specialist III, Denver. This award is another example of modernizing our infrastructure, not only by upgrading equipment and facilities, but also through the use of technology to ensure service reliability, Hellner said. At Xcel Energy, boiler tube failures cause the majority of our forced outages. Together with the Colorado School of Mines [CSM], we came up with a proposal for a project and testing program, he added. We submitted it to EPRI, which then formed a member collaborative project. Coal-fired power plants have long used explosive cleaning to remove or control deposits in boilers. This process detonates explosive charges in proximity to the area of slagging deposits. Advantages include reduced cleaning time and the avoidance of using scaffolding, Hellner said. However, damage can occur in tubing as a result of explosive cleaning. Damage typically involves cracking in the tubes, which is not commonly detected during the cleaning process and leads to tube failures in the months or years after the initial cleaning. The EPRI project sought to identify the underlying causes that lead to cracking and develop a set of guidelines to minimize or eliminate damage as a result of explosive cleaning. 12 XTRA MAY 2013
13 James Sisko Rick Hellner Bret Shellhorn EXPLOSIVE CLEANING Findings from the research will help utilities and others in the industry reduce the risks and the potential for forced outages due to damaged boiler tubes from explosive cleaning. Research methods included numerous blasting tests and other work. Xcel Energy worked with EPRI members and CSM to manage the project, Hellner said. We got the information we needed and were able to implement many of the project s recommendations to mitigate damage. Those recommendations included explosive charge sizes, distances and testing to determine the condition of the tubes. As a result, boiler-tube failures due to explosive damage were significantly reduced, he said, resulted in fewer forced outages. The results of the study are being used to develop procedures that will allow continued use of this cost-effective cleaning method, Hellner added, and to ensure personnel safety, timely boiler access and boiler tube reliability. The research project began by surveying utility companies and explosive-cleaning vendors to document current practices and results of explosive cleaning. The project team also worked with several utility companies to collect tube samples that contained blast-cleaning damages. These damages were analyzed to produce a comprehensive database of past damage for future reference. As part of the effort, researchers carried out detailed micro-structural and mechanical characterization of steel boiler tubes, Hellner said. Cracking and toughness tests were performed on a large number of tube samples. Researchers also conducted blasting tests, including 97 experiments with different explosive parameters and tube conditions. With these tests, the team characterized and documented the nature of the tube failures. By contributing to a good understanding of the complex interactions between explosion-generated shock waves, slag deposits and boiler tubing, the project developed a solid background and a large experimental database, he said. The research findings have provided the industry with a far better understanding of the damage that can result from the proximity and strength of a charge, he said, along with an improved understanding of the number of cycles necessary to cause significant damage. For Xcel Energy, the research results have helped the company develop and deploy optimal explosive cleaning procedures, Hellner said, which in turn have greatly reduced the risk of boiler tube damage and subsequent unplanned unit outages. MAY
14 SPRING BLAST Xcel Energy responds to destructive South Dakota ice storm A severe spring ice storm that hit the Sioux Falls area in South Dakota April 9 left about 90,000 customers without power and numerous company and other crews immediately responded to those outages. In all, more than 380 distribution poles needed to be replaced. And 420 lineman from Xcel Energy, mutual-aid utilities and contractors worked 16-hour days to restore service to customers. All customers who were impacted, with the exception of those waiting for individual premise reconnection from electricians, had their power restored power within four or five days, said Jim Wilcox, principle manager for the area. Crews then continued cleanup work for some time as the impact of the storm was substantial and also included areas in southwestern Minnesota. Strong winds and freezing rain snapped trees, broke power poles and downed power lines as the storm moved through the region, he said. And adverse weather conditions continued, resulting in new outages, as crews worked to restore service as quickly as possible. The company thanked customers for their patience during the challenging restoration process, Wilcox said, and assured them that all available resources are dedicated to restoring power. A number of customers sent out messages of thanks on social media. A couple of examples included: Thanks so much to all of you for working so hard and in such nasty and dangerous conditions. You rock! Thanks for the great job you did restoring power to so many people as fast as you did. I so appreciate you guys! Xcel Energy crews from South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota responded to the effort, as well as contractors and mutual-aid assistance from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The total workforce eventually topped more than 350 workers. I can t think of anything that illustrates our dedication to customers, professionalism and expertise like our response to a storm, said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, in a blog post on XpressNet. Not surprising, we mobilized crews immediately, began extensive communication with customers and hit the ground running. We also issued a call for mutual aid, and additional crews from Minnesota Power, Omaha Public Power District, Kansas City Power & Light and Otter Tail Power arrived in South Dakota, he added. It s gratifying to be able to call on our neighboring utilities and to have them come to the rescue as we have done on many occasions. I don t think you get a real feel for what storm restoration is like until you start hearing stories from the field, such as getting one of our enormous trucks out of the ditch after the wind slowly but surely blew it off the road or having to replace hundreds of distribution poles, sometimes with the help of local farmers and their tractors. From my perspective, nobody does it better. 14 XTRA MAY 2013
15 NEWS BRIEFS Grand Forks employees volunteer for Feed My Starving Children A team of 23 employees from Grand Forks, N.D., and their family members recently did more than sympathize for others who go hungry, they packed food for them. Children and adults hand-packed meals specifically formulated for malnourished children at a Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event held in April. The meals are shipped to nearly 70 countries around the world. Each meal has 20 different vitamins and minerals that are specifically tailored to meet a child s nutritional needs for one day. The Xcel Energy team packed 32 boxes, for a total of 3,456 meals. Participating in the packing event was one of the most rewarding volunteer projects I have done, said volunteer Caleb Bernard, senior designer in Grand Forks. It is difficult to think of children who go hungry every day. It makes me feel good to think I was able to make a small difference to help someone across the world not go hungry. Xcel Energy rebuilding portions of electric grid in Park Hill area ICE STORM A severe ice storm in South Dakota took out more than 380 distribution poles, and 420 lineman from Xcel Energy, mutual-aid utilities and contractors worked 16-hour days to restore service to customers. Snowy and cold conditions extended for a day or two as crews worked to return service to about 90,000 customers. Xcel Energy is continuing to rebuild a portion of its electric distribution system, which will include the retirement of a substation in the Park Hill area of Denver. The work is being performed to upgrade equipment in the area and improve reliability. The first part of the current effort is expected to be completed this month, and also will include the replacement of nearly three dozen wood poles and wire conductor. Xcel Energy will replace the existing poles with new wood structures that will have a vertical configuration (no perpendicular cross arms). Once other utilities have completed moving their equipment (primarily telephone and cable where applicable), the original poles will be removed and taken away, and the area will be returned to its original state. Efforts this summer mark the second of three upgrade phases in Park Hill. Two years ago, Xcel Energy completed similar replacement of poles and wire conductor in the area. The rest of the work this summer which will also include replacing wood poles and wire conductor will take place primarily in alleys and non-major thoroughfare areas in Park Hill, and should not greatly impact customers or traffic in the area. MAY
16 Lakatos puts Dollars for Doing to work for a good cause Vince Lakatos could have played football in high school and probably would have been quite good. But he decided to try volleyball instead. He s been playing ever since, and hundreds of young players have benefited from his decision over the decades. Lakatos, a gas technician in Ashland, Wis., eventually did become a talented volleyball player. Talented enough to receive scholarship offers to universities such as Pepperdine and Ball State. However, his parents, recent immigrants from Hungary at the time, didn t understand how the system worked and decided college would not be for him. I decided to dedicate myself to coaching young athletes in volleyball so no one else would have to go through the same thing that I did, he said. My wife and I have ended up creating an information system and training program that creates college opportunities for our student athletes. Lakatos considers himself not only a volleyball coach, but a life coach of sorts, as well. He works with plenty of athletes that wouldn t normally have the opportunity. We want to instill in our players that, This is possible, he said. They come to learn the game, and then they realize 16 XTRA MAY 2013
17 COACHING Vince Lakatos dedicates up to 20 hours a week to coaching youth volleyball during peak season. Through the company s Dollars for Doing program, which donates $10 to the cause for every hour logged volunteering up to 100 hours annually, Lakatos has put $1,000 a year toward his coaching efforts. they may have a real future in the sport in college, too. And either way, we want to be there for the kids to provide support and confidence building. Lakatos played volleyball in high school in Racine, Wis. He eventually ended up playing in the U.S. Volleyball Association at a high level, with and against some of the best players in the country, such as fellow Hungarian Karch Karily. U.S. Olympian Kiraly is the only person to have won Olympic medals in both the indoor and beach volleyball events. Lakatos has since coached boys and girls volleyball in Wisconsin, from kindergarten through college age. He supports nonprofit efforts such as Club Volleyball in Ashland. I love the sport, he said. And it s so gratifying to give back to it. The best thing is the results seeing these kids personalize the game as their own, and grow in the sport and their lives, he added. They gain confidence from their successes and failures, trials and tribulations, and gain life skills. Another best thing for Lakatos is Xcel Energy s Dollars for Doing program, which he takes full advantage of to help his community. I thank the company for the opportunity to use Dollars for Doing, he said. We have secured pads, bleachers and scoreboards thanks to support from the company s effort. Lakatos dedicates up to 20 hours a week to coaching youth volleyball during peak season. He has coached more than 700 girls over the last 14 years. Through its Dollars for Doing program, Xcel Energy donates $10 to the cause for every hour logged volunteering, up to 100 hours annually. That s $1,000 a year Lakatos puts toward his coaching efforts. There are so many kids left behind because of the cost, Lakatos said. Through Dollars for Doing, they re able to have the right equipment. We filled the gym with bleachers for the first time ever, he added. We were able to put a scoreboard up, and things just blossomed from there. Lakatos loves to coach, regularly working with groups of 50 players and helping younger coaches perfect their skills, too. But he admits he has extra motivation to get girls into college. I thank the company for the opportunity to use Dollars for Doing. I have the coaching talent to elevate others careers, and I didn t get that chance, Lakatos said. I m thankful for that opportunity. Lakatos will continue to coach and credit the Dollars for Doing program in part for his success. He just hopes more people will take advantage of the benefit in the future. This resource isn t being used as much as it should be, he said. It s so easy to get involved. I appreciate the program and hope more people get involved and support efforts in their communities. To learn more about the Xcel Energy Foundation Dollars for Doing program and get an application form, search Dollars for Doing on XpressNet. MAY
18 PEOPLE FRIENDS WE LL MISS Fred E. Benjamin 69, electrician specialist, Maintenance, Cherokee Generating Station, Denver, Colo., died on Feb. 28, He worked for PSCo from 1967 to Harry P. Bilderback 88, gas fitter, Gas Operations, Eau Claire, Wis., died on March 18, He worked for NSP from 1962 to Robert J. Castellari 80, extension policy specialist, Customer Service, Colorado, died on Feb. 28, He worked for PSCo from 1959 to Elsie M. Crayne 92, bookkeeper, Employee Relations, Colorado, died on March 25, She worked for PSCo from 1954 to Eugene H. Daly 78, lead regulator man, died on March 8, He worked for NSP from 1953 to Robert K. Decker 90, district manager, Commerce City, Colo.,, died on March 9, He worked for PSCo from 1946 to Myrtle F. Dunning 84, line crew foreman, Electric Construction, died on March 9, He worked for NSP from 1952 to K.A. Elmgreen 90, trouble repairman, Evergreen, Colo., died on July 25, He worked for PSCo from 1946 to Roy C. Erickson 89, line crew foreman, Electric, Fargo Service Center, Fargo, N.D., died on March 4, He worked for NSP from 1953 to Thomas H. Erickson 58, chief operating maintenance technician, Facility Services, General Office, Minneapolis, Minn., died on May 25, He worked for NSP from 1978 to Anthony S. Gago 54, lineman journeyman, Construction, Phillips Service Center, Phillips, Wis., died on March 12, He worked for NSP from 1978 to Gerald M. Goblirsch 69, principal production engineer, Performance Monitoring, Chestnut Service Center, Minneapolis, Minn., died on Mar. 6, He worked for Xcel Energy from 1984 to Hal Hall 63, tool room attendant, Construction, Holly Service Center, Colorado, died on March 4, He worked for PSCo from 1973 to Norris E. Hunter 80, credit clerk, Credit and Collections, died on March 14, He worked for NSP from 1957 to Gerald F. Jacobs 83, trouble foreman, died on Feb. 28, He worked for NSP from 1966 to Richard Jaroscak 89, manager, Substation Construction, Overheads, General Office, Minneapolis, Minn., died on Dec. 31, He worked for NSP from 1946 to Charles W. Kelman 66, gas emergency dispatcher, Electric Distribution, Lipan Distribution Center, Denver, Colo., died on March 14, He worked for PSCo from 1970 to Ronald G. Lano 82, district superintendent, Electric Construction, Waconia Service Center, Minnetonka, Minn., died on March 6, He worked for NSP from 1957 to Gerald J. Nelson 75, shift supervisor, Operations, Sherco Plant, Becker, Minn., died on Jan. 30, He worked for NSP from 1967 to Eugene C. Newkirk 93, shipping & receiving clerk, Engineering, Colorado, died on Jan. 24, He worked for PSCo from 1947 to Kenneth W. Osborne 75, production manager, Product Management-South, SPS Tower, Amarillo, Texas, died on Feb. 10, He worked for Xcel Energy from 1962 to Jerome R. Perry 75, right of way agent, Siting and Land Rights, Eau Claire, Wis., died on Feb. 28, He worked for Xcel Energy from 1992 to Marion L. Richardson 82, gas fitter, Gas Operations, Colorado, died on March 19, He worked for PSCo from 1954 to James M. Ritter 82, engineer, Distribution Engineering, died on Feb. 16, He worked for NSP from 1958 to David L. Shore 86, customer service representative, Brooklyn Center Service Center, Minnesota, died on March 14, He worked for NSP from 1952 to Mark L. Stoneberg 58, line crew foreman, Electric Operations, Maple Grove Service Center, Maple Grove, Minn., died on March 3, He worked for NSP from 1973 to Larry A. Swanson 58, seasonal locator, Damage Prevention, Fargo Service Center, Fargo, N.D., died on March 1, He worked for NSP from 1995 to William N. Umbarger 82, senior fitter serviceman, Gas Operations, Boulder, Colo., died on Feb. 22, He worked for PSCo from 1957 to Robert W. Walters 82, production administrator, Transmission, General Office, Minneapolis, Minn., died on Feb. 28, He worked for NSP from 1949 to XTRA MAY 2013
19 PEOPLE RETIRING Rebecca (Becka) Anders communications consultant, Public Policy & External Affairs, GO, Minneapolis, Minn., retired on April 1, She worked for Xcel Energy for 27 years. Pete Backo planner, Design, Arvada, Colo., retired on March 29, He worked for Xcel Energy for 39 years. David J. Beacon senior investigator, General Counsel, 1800 Larimer, Denver, Colo., retired in Rockie L. Bliss coal working foreman, Production, Valmont Power Plant, Boulder, Colo., retired on April 26, He worked for Xcel Energy for 34 years. Mark Burrow maintenance specialist/certified welder, Energy Supply, Fort St. Vrain Generating Station, Platteville, Colo., retires on May 31, He worked for Xcel Energy for 36 years. Richard W. Cichon Winona Electric, Winona, Minn., retired on May 6, He worked for Xcel Energy for 32 years. Joseph L. Coleman warehouseman in charge, Stores, Wyoming, Minn., retires on May 31, He worked for Xcel Energy for 33 years. David Edmisson plant overland manager, Reliability Services, Overhaul Management, Comanche Station, Pueblo, Colo., retired on May 17, He worked for Xcel Energy for 40 years. Donald C. Gibbons control room operator A, Energy Supply Operations, Nichols Station, Amarillo, Texas, retired on March 29, He worked for Xcel Energy for 42 years. Jim Gore senior technical instructor, Energy Supply Technical Training, Harrington Training Center, Amarillo, Texas, retired on May 10, He worked for 37 years. Mike Hall procedures manager, Business Support, Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Red Wing, Minn., retired on April 15, He worked for Xcel Energy for 30 years. Cathy J. Hart vice president and corporate secretary, Corporate Services, General Office, Minneapolis, Minn., retires on May 31, She worked for Xcel Energy for 23 years. Gary Hill mechanic specialist apprentice, Maintenance, Fort. St. Vrain Generating Station, Platteville, Colo., retires on May 31, He worked for Xcel Energy for 31 years. Dan James manager pricing & planning, Regulatory, 1800 Larimer, Denver, Colo., retired on Feb. 15, He worked for Xcel Energy for 28 years. Walter Lee Kenshalo manager, Substations O&M, Colorado Geographic & System Testing, Summit County Operations Center, Silverthorne, Colo., retired on April 30, He worked for Xcel Energy for 43 years. Noel Mattison project director, 1800 Larimer, Denver, Colo., retired on March 31, She worked for Xcel Energy for 25 years. Douglas Maxey senior product portfolio manager, DSM Marketing, Amarillo, Texas, retired on April 30, He worked for Xcel Energy for 37 years. Davis B. Mays business analyst, Thermal Energy Department, Denver Steam Plant, Denver, Colo., retired on April 12, He worked for Xcel Energy for 41 years. Kenneth E. McCaslin working foreman, Canyon Line, Canyon, Texas, retired on April 1, He worked for Xcel Energy for 36 years. Kenneth D. Smith journeyman meterman, Amarillo Meter Dept., Northeast Service Center, Amarillo, Texas, retired on April 16, He worked for Xcel Energy for 37 years. Leon Tanck area service representative, Vega, Texas, retired on April 1, He worked for Xcel Energy for 44 years. Althea Thimmesch senior cash management analyst, Cash Management, GO, Minneapolis, Minn., retires on May 31, She worked for Xcel Energy for 44 years. Gary Wehseles system field technician, Breaker, Shorewood Service Center, retired on April 30, He worked for Xcel Energy for 27 years. Xtra retiree web portal available on xcelenergy.com The latest issue of Xtra is posted each month on a webpage on the company s website at: xcelenergy.com/retirees. Retirees and employees are invited to visit the page to view the latest issue, as well as a number of back issues of Xtra. Links on the page also provide access to various utility shareholder groups. MAY
20 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID DENVER CO PERMIT NO Nicollet Mall,GO-7 Minneapolis, MN xcelenergy.com XTRA Published monthly by Xcel Energy Kevin Graham, Editor 1800 Larimer Street, 16th Floor Denver, CO Phone: Fax: DRIV Contributors: Kelly Simon and Carrie Krueger Montic remov industr Design: Steve Berry your RECYCLE OLD FRIDGE NEW MONEY for some EARN $50 THE EASY WAY. If you have an inefficient working refrigerator or freezer, it could be wasting up to $100 in energy every year. Why not call Xcel Energy today and ask us to haul it away and recycle it? It s a good move for the environment, and it s as simple as giving us a call. We ll pick it up free of charge we ll even pay you $50. Visit ResponsibleByNature.com/Fridge or call to learn more. xcelenergy.com 2013 Xcel Energy Inc. The program is not available in all markets and rebate amounts may vary. TECH TRA Compa explos from E SPR Crews ice sto South
HR Series for Employers Succession Planning Retaining skills and knowledge in your workforce Catalogue Item # 759914 This publication is available to view or order online at alis.alberta.ca/publications.
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