Associate Member Announcements

FCS GROUP Announces New Appointments

FCS GROUP Principals John Ghilarducci and Angie Sanchez Virnoche have been appointed to the roles of company president and vice president, respectively. Ghilarducci joined the firm in 1991 and Sanchez Virnoche in 2006. With 40 years of combined utility finance, rate development, and fiscal policy analysis experience, they have been significant catalysts throughout FCS GROUP’s existence, helping us build to a 35-person staff and become one of the largest, most successful independent firms of our kind in the West.

We are also excited to announce that FCS GROUP’s success has been translated in the opening of two new offices: Boulder, Colo., in 2017, and Spokane, Wash., in 2018. FCS GROUP is also located in Redmond, Wash., and Lake Oswego, Ore.

Since 1988, FCS GROUP has been helping local governments succeed through our utility rate, public finance, economic analysis and asset management consulting services. For more details, visit or call (425) 867-1802.

Senstar Announces First Major Sale of Senstar LM100™

Senstar is pleased to announce the first major sale of its Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system. Over 1,300 LM100 luminaires will protect the 28,000-foot (5.3 mi) perimeter of a $1.5 billion brewery being constructed by a Fortune 500 international beverage company.

“The Senstar LM100 is the first perimeter intrusion detection product of its kind to combine two key security features in one cutting-edge product––deterrence (lighting) and detection (vibration-sensing)––illuminating intruders at the fence line and alerting the site’s security management system of any attempt to cut, climb, or otherwise breakthrough the fence fabric,” said Senstar Product Manager Todd Brisebois. “We are honored the beverage company has chosen the Senstar LM100 to safeguard its people and property and are confident the system will provide the desired level of security for the site.”

This project, in which the Senstar LM100 will be coupled with layers of video analytics and surveillance cameras, will be the second partnership between Senstar; the beverage company; A&E firm Benham, A Haskell Company; and installer EON Solution SA de CV. The group previously worked together on the expansion of a brewery site where Senstar’s FiberPatrol fence-mounted fiber-optic intrusion detection system was installed to protect a 5,000-foot (0.95 mi) section of new perimeter fence.

“There was not a one-size fits all for the beverage company’s two most recent construction projects,” said Senstar Executive Director of Business Development Nancy Marshall. “But with Senstar’s broad portfolio of perimeter intrusion detection products, we were able to offer solutions that met the different requirements of the distinct sites.”

Senstar has been safeguarding people, places, and property with the world’s largest portfolio of perimeter intrusion detection sensors for over 35 years. Now combined with world-class video management systems and analytics (formerly Aimetis), Senstar offers a comprehensive suite of proven technologies that work together to reduce complexity, improve performance, and unify support. For more information, visit,, or

Click here to read the full release.

Smart Grid Northwest Holds NW Energy Resiliency Summit

Last week, Smart Grid Northwest held its Northwest Energy Resiliency Summit in Seattle, Wash., on June 12. Utility and industry professionals from across the region participated in presentations, panel discussions, and working sessions focused on helping regional stakeholders with developing resiliency solutions for energy systems in our region. Topics included developing microgrids at critical facilities; preparing for cyber resiliency, asset monitoring, rapid restoration, all-hazard resilience, and finding metrics for tracking and quantifying resiliency efforts. NWPPA members present included Central Lincoln PUD, Seattle City Light, Cordova Electric Cooperative, and Eugene Water and Electric Board.

Many presenters focused on the Cascadia Subduction Zone and what it will mean to the Pacific Northwest. Brigadier General Jeremy Horn, commander of the Washington Air National Guard, opened the summit with a keynote presentation that referred to the work that Snohomish County PUD has done with the National Guard to build its resiliency. He added that summits such as this one will help everyone become more resilient. “We have already started building collaborative solutions and I hope we leave here with momentum because we are the ‘they’ who people rely on,” he said. “We’ve set a very high bar because we do keep the power on. Puerto Rico times 20 is what will happen with the subduction earthquake, so we are taking away as many lessons learned as possible.”

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Carl Imhoff took a moment to define resiliency before the panel discussions began, which provided to be very useful. “Resiliency is keeping the power on,” he said, “and getting it back up quickly if an outage does occur.”

A common theme throughout the day was the need to identify vulnerability. BPA’s Leon Kempner hammered this point home by saying, “Earthquakes will find the weakest links.”

The day was packed full of details about the Cascade Subduction Zone, hospital power concerns, transmission issues with disasters, grid modernization objectives, metrics for quantifying resiliency, cybersecurity, and much more. Central Lincoln PUD’s Shamus Gamache shared his utility’s project of moving the headquarters to a safer location further inland, and Cordova CEO Clay Koplin talked about his involvement in the DOE-funded RADIANCE project.

Smart Grid Northwest’s mission is to promote, grow, and enable the smart grid industry and infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit

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