[City Manager Doug Thomas has sent a special invitation to Chamber members to attend this important public forum.]
The City of Lakeland and Lakeland Electric have scheduled a special community forum to be held at the Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theater on Tuesday, September 4 at 6 p.m. to discuss the emerging issues facing all electric utilities, provide an update regarding public power and outline the current environment for Florida municipal electric utilities. Lakeland residents are encouraged to attend and the event is free to the public.
Two very knowledgeable industry leaders will present information about the electric industry and public power utilities, closing the event with a discussion on the role public utilities play in the Florida market. Mark Gabriel is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Process for Black and Veatch, working with global clients in the development and execution of strategic initiatives. He leads Black and Veatch’s Pathfinder group in electricity, water, oil and gas and manages its Business Process Group of professionals whose activities include rates, regulatory issues, resource planning, transmission, natural gas and water. In addition, he leads the company cyber security practice. His clients include some of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities as well as a number of co-ops, generation and transmission entities, municipal utilities, NASA and the Department of Energy.
Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association will present an update on municipal electric issues and opportunities in Florida. Serving as FMEA’s Executive Director since 1996, he represents Florida’s 34 publicly owned electric utilities before the Florida legislature and regulatory agencies. With a background in the energy industry since the early 1980’s, he has performed oil and natural gas research for the U.S. Department of Energy and promoted renewable energy and energy efficiency for another division of the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Moline also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala working to conserve firewood. Before joining FMEA, he worked in Washington, D.C. for the American Public Power Association (APPA), the national trade association for municipal electric utilities.
Lakeland Electric is a full service power provider with over 600 full-time employees that serve over 120,000 customers. The utility is the third largest public power provider in Florida generating over 1,100-megawatts and operating 2000 miles of transmission and distribution facilities. Lakeland Electric owns and operates one of the most efficient combined cycle gas units in the United States and has been on the forefront of emerging renewable energy sources. Based on current Florida Municipal Electric Association data, Lakeland Electric’s residential rates are the second lowest in the state for residential customers as well as the second lowest in Florida for all of the commercial rate classes.
The Lakeland Center is located at 701 West Lime Street. For more information on this event, please go to www.lakelandgov.net or call (863) 834-6264.