Mission Main Street Grants

From the office of GROW SOUTH DAKOTA: Chase Bank is giving 20 small business owners the opportunity to be awarded a $150,000 grant, each.

Those who apply are eligible for one of 20 trips to Google Headquarters, one of 20 Google Chromebook laptops, or one of 20 $2,000 coupons toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.

Visit the Mission Main Street Grants website for more information. Apply by October 3.


The smallest losers win: RP3 Program supports efficient operations

Originally posted on September 10, 2014 by Alex Hofmann, Energy & Environmental Services Manager, American Public Power Association 

It’s not rocket science to figure out what customers want from their electric utilities — reliable power supply, reasonable prices and good customer service. The more efficiently a utility operates, the more likely it is to keep the lights on and customers happy.

The American Public Power Association’s renowned Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program credits participating utilities for excellence in the areas of reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Utilities that make the grade demonstrate superior efficiency in their operations. The most recent analysis — of data gathered from the RP3 program and the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Form 861 — reveals that RP3 designated utilities experience about 22 percent fewer energy and distribution system losses than other utilities overall.

The median loss percent for RP3 designated utilities is about 3.83 percent, compared to 4.35 percent for all public power utilities, and 4.91 percent for utilities overall.

For the purposes of the 861 form data, energy losses are the difference between the total sources of energy (generated or purchased by a utility and fed into the system by customers who generated excess power through rooftop solar, etc.) and the total energy that reaches end-users. A utility may experience losses due to any number of system factors, including varying distribution voltage levels, length of feeders, efficiency of transformers, etc.

See more at:

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Game Day in Madison

Heartland is proud to have an active presence in our hometown community of Madison, SD. Some of that presence includes sponsorship of local events, programs and organizations, such as the local high school athletic booster club.

Madison High School recently renovated their building and built a new gymnasium. With the upgrade in facilities, the school installed new scoreboards that feature video and playback content. As a game day sponsor, Heartland has produced a 30-second commercial which runs on the boards during timeouts and game breaks.

If you can’t make it to a basketball or volleyball game this season, you can check out our video online, after the link below.

HCPD-MHS Commercial 2014

Good luck to all Bulldogs! We’re proud to serve the city of Madison with the Power of Forward Thinking–ensuring the lights are on game day and every day.

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APPA offers webinar series on new OSHA rules

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 17, The American Public Power Association (APPA) Academy is offering a series of four webinars designed to provide an overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) revised rules for electric generation, transmission and distribution. This series will provide an overview of the changes outlined in both §1910.269 and §1926 Subpart V, as well as how are these requirements are expected to impact utilities.

All webinars take place from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Central. The series includes the following four webinars, which can be taken individually or as a series for a discounted rate:

Host Employer/Contractor Information Transfer and General Training, September 17

  • Host employers (e.g., utilities) and contract employers must exchange information regarding known hazards, as well as the conditions, characteristics, design and operation of the host employer’s system.  Work rules and procedures must be coordinated between the host employer and contract employer, and must be designed to protect all employees.
  • Host employers must also provide employees with all known information relating to the determination of existing characteristics and conditions. Compliance date for these elements of the new rule was July 10, 2014, but OSHA has established a temporary enforcement policy for these rules until October 31, 2014.
  • General Training: There are several updates to general training standards. Training is to be determined based on hazard assessments and risk potential to the worker for the hazards involved. Qualified workers must be trained to recognize and control or avoid electrical hazards at the worksite.

Fall Protection, October 30

  • Summary of Fall Protection Rule: The revised rule requires that employers ensure that all employees (both unqualified and qualified employees) working at a height of more than 1.2 meters (4 feet) above a lower surface use fall protection equipment. These rules are objective based, and allow each utility to determine how to protect employees based on the hazards present in the workplace.
    • Hazards that must be assessed and mitigated by the employer include when employees are climbing or changing location on poles, towers or similar structures.  The provision contains limited exemptions for the use of fall protection while climbing or changing locations and includes:
      • When the use of such equipment is infeasible; and
      • When using the equipment creates a greater hazard than when climbing or changing locations without it.
  • The final rule also covers revised requirements that employees are protected from falls when working from aerial lifts. The compliance date for this element of the rule is April 1, 2015.
  • In addition to a review of this portion of the rule, this webinar will also cover the experiences some utilities have had with implementing these rules, such as:
    • Implementation and budgeting issues;
    • Costs;
    • Different brands of equipment; and
    • How to sell the new requirements to employees

Arc Protection and Flame-Resistant Clothing, November 10

In order to provide protection from electric arcs, employers must assess the workplace to identify employees who are exposed to hazards from flames or electric arcs, and make reasonable estimates of the employees’ exposure to incident heat energy.

This webinar will cover how employers are to ensure (under certain conditions) that employees wear a flame-resistant outer layer of clothing that will provide protection based upon the assessments completed by the employer.

Overall, employers must ensure that employees who are exposed to hazards from electric arcs wear protective clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating that is greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy. The revised rule requires that employers complete an analysis of the workplace by January 1, 2015, that includes an estimate of the incident heat energy of any potential electric-arc hazards to which employees could be exposed. The compliance date for the additional elements of the provision is April 1, 2015.

Minimum Approach Distance, December 16

  • A comparison of the old and new Minimum Approach Distance (MAD) values to see how much the minimum approach distances have changed for various voltage levels;
  • A review of when MADs have to be calculated and when table values can be used;
  • A discussion of how to calculate MADs based on “T” which is the maximum anticipated per-unit transient overvoltage factor (also sometimes referred to as a switching surge factor);
  • A working knowledge of Appendix B to OSHA §1910.269 which is titled, “Working on Exposed Energized Parts”;
  • An understanding of the term “Reach” and the phrase, “Reasonably Likely Movements of Employee”;
  • An understanding of the terms “Phase-to-Ground Exposure” and “Phase-to-Phase Exposure”;
  • What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to go inside the MAD and at what position the employee can put on and remove the PPE; and
  • The timeline that OSHA has proposed to require the use of the new MAD values

Who should attend:

  • Power lineman/superintendents
  • Utility directors
  • Crew foremen
  • Engineers
  • Technicians
  • Safety personnel
  • Tree trimmers
  • Contractors
  • Others working in the electric utility industry

The registration fee for individual webinars is $89 for APPA members and $179 for nonmembers. Purchase the entire 4-part webinar series and get one webinar free: $267 for APPA members and $537 for nonmembers.

Click HERE for more information or to register.

2014 Special Olympics donation

Heartland donates to Special Olympics of SD

Special Olympics South Dakota hopes to bring together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete on the same team with the construction of the first-ever Unify Center.  Heartland recently made a $2,000 dontation towards the construction of the facility, which will be built in Sioux Falls, SD.

“Heartland’s donation is going to help make a positive impact for those with disabilities in South Dakota for years to come,” said Special Olympics SD President and CEO Darryl Nordquist.

According to Nordquist, the Unify Center will be key in growing Special Olympics across the state of South Dakota, including increasing the number of participants both with and without disabilities.

“The Unify Center will impact the athletes by providing more opportunity to improve confidence and self-esteem as well as greater independence through social integration and life skills training,” Nordquist said.  “It will impact our community by building connections to Special Olympics families, increasing awareness of Special Olympics’ mission beyond sports, and increasing opportunities for family time, shared activities and community involvement.  It also creates the potential for statewide tournaments and events that could bring revenue to the area.  Building unity through the Unify Center is a way of making Special Olympics relevant to everyone.”

Specifically, the building will facilitate the organization’s programs focused on health, wellness and education, including the Healthy Athletes Initiative.

“The Healthy Athletes program promotes health education to everyone involved with Special Olympics, including participants, volunteers, families and staff, and provides free health screenings at our state events,” said Nordquist. “It focuses on seven disciplines, including Fit Feet, FUNFitness, Healthy Hearing, Health Promotion, Opening Eyes(r), Special Smiles(r) and MedFest.”

Nordquist hopes the Unify Center will one-day house the organization’s first MedFest, which will provide free physicals to participants.  The center will also facilitate growth of Project Unify, the namesake of the facility.

“Unified sports brings together athletes with and without disabilities to be teamates, and educates those without about the importance of inclusion and acceptance for those with disabilities,” said Nordquist.  “Project Unify focuses on education in our schools to help students become agents of change for those with intellectual disabilities.  We were in 68 schools last year for the ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’ campaign, which discourages the use of the ‘R’ word.”

Artist's rendering of the Unify Center, courtesy SOSD.

Artist’s rendering of the Unify Center, courtesy SOSD.

The Unify Center will be a 16,000 square-foot facility and will include athletic training areas, open space and a commons area.  It will feature handicap-accessible locker rooms, showers and facilities as well as a kitchen and concessions area.  The building will be multi-purpose, allowing for everything from training to social activities.

Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports.  Special Olympics SD provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults from across the state with intellectual disabilities.  The number of participants in South Dakota has grown from 1,400 to over 2,000 in the past four years and includes people ages eight to 82.  For more information on the organization or the Unify Center, visit