Several leaders who have made significant contributions to public power were recently honored at the Utah Associated Municipal Systems (UAMPS) 2018 Member Meeting in Salt Lake City.

Jason Norlen, vice chair of the UAMPS board, and Doug Hunter, CEO and general manager of UAMPS, presented the awards.

Honorees include:

  • Kay Johnson, Champion of Public Power. Johnson was recognized for his contributions to public power through his many years of service to Blanding City and to UAMPS. He served as a UAMPS director for 25 years, and served as project chair for the Firm Power Supply Project, the Resource Project, and the Natural Gas Project. Johnson also served as UAMPS board chair, vice chair, and secretary. He stepped down as Blanding’s board representative in 2014, but has continued as Blanding’s alternate representative.
  • Jason Norlen, Distinguished Service Award. Norlen has provided 20 years of service to public power, and has shown unwavering leadership and direction to Heber Power & Light (HP&L). He has served as vice chair of the UAMPS board and in other key positions. HP&L has evolved from power plant operations to a 24/7 hub providing safe, efficient and effective plant operations, energy cost management, outage restoration, and service truck dispatching. Norlen played a key role in securing an agreement to use and market power from the Jordanelle Hydroelectric Power Plant, which provides reliable and affordable baseload energy to the Heber Valley. He led other major projects for HP&L, and has made a big impact on staff and customers with his dedication and kindness.
  • Kenneth Neilson, mayor of Washington City, Elected Official of the Year. Mayor Neilson established the first-ever Washington City power board and has successfully guided the council, staff and public through necessary rate adjustments.  He was a strong advocate for the construction of the city’s power generation facility, and has provided leadership and support for the Carbon Free Power Project.  He has been a tireless defender and champion of the benefits of public power, showing vision and devotion in the performance of his duties. 
  • Charles Reeve, Appointed Official of the Year Award. Reeve has served on the Hurricane City Power Board for about 20 years. His knowledge of electrical technology, his interest in small scale renewable energy, and his interest in keeping the power rates fair in Hurricane City have served the city well. Reeve has been a great supporter of UAMPS and is an advocate of public power. He has fostered strong and trusted relationships with the City Council and his recommendations are respected. 
  • System Improvement Awards were presented to Lehi City, Blanding City, and Mt. Pleasant City.
    • Lehi City Power completed three major system improvements, the most significant being the design and construction of a new power department campus and peaking power plant. The project includes a 7 megawatt power plant, shop and office space, increasing Lehi’s power department facility from 15,000 square feet to 57,000 square feet. Lehi also added two new substations, increasing system capacity an additional 99 megawatts. Lehi now has seven substations with the capacity to add more.
    • Blanding City completed two projects that improved the distribution system reliability, improved system operation, reduced system maintenance, reduced power outages and reduced system losses. The improvements included significant upgrading to the city’s substation, and also replacing old power poles, cross arms, conductors, lines and other hardware in the distribution system.
    • Mt. Pleasant City installed more than 2,200 new meters using the Landis Gyr powerline carrier metering system. This enables 15-minute read intervals, outage detection, service disconnect and load limiting capabilities. The upgrades reduce power revenue losses to the city. The power department also built a one-mile stretch of 46 KV transmission line.

Also at the Member Meeting, service awards were presented to Nick Tatton, who represented Price City on the UAMPS board of directors from 2006 to June 2018; Stephen Hollabaugh, who represented Truckee Donner Public Utilities District on the board of directors from 2014 to 2016; and Jackie Flowers, who represented Idaho Falls City on the board of directors from 2010 to July 2018. She also served as UAMPS board chair.

Presentations and speeches at the Member Meeting focused on UAMPS 2018 accomplishments; the challenges facing public power, including new technologies and regulatory issues; and continued investigation of a small modular nuclear reactor energy project. 

UAMPS officers include Jason Norlen, representing Heber Light & Power, as board vice chair; Les Williams, representing Beaver City, as secretary; and Dwight Day, representing Oak City, as treasurer.

UAMPS is a joint action agency providing wholesale electricity and electric energy services to 46 public power utility members in six western states. Established in 1980, UAMPS helps its members with planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various projects for the generation, supply, transmission and management of electric energy.