Biggs Councilman Roger Frith has served on the Biggs Council since being elected in 2004 and has represented Biggs as the electric commissioner to the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA). From 2004 to the present Councilman Frith has not missed a meeting whether in Roseville or at any of the NCPA member locations. Since being elected to the Executive Committee a year-and-a-half ago he has sat on several committees to further the benefits that NCPA brings to Biggs and Gridley.
Frith's time at NCPA dates to the days when Tom Sanford, Owen Stiles, Ray Borges represented the City of Gridley, now handled by Councilman Gary Davidson.
As Vice Chair and Executive Board member (NCPA) and Biggs Electric Commissioner, Frith attends Executive Committee meetings, Commission meetings and Legislative & Regulatory (L&R) meetings.
The L&R committee has tracked at the state level this year over 1600 Assembly Bills, over 800 Senate Bills keeping track of 138 bills currently in legislation session that have potential impacts to our cities utilities.
"We are still following 138," Frith stated with the legislature continuing to “dream” up more legislation for next year!
Biggs hosted the annual NCPA Legislative tour on July 24 focusing on small utilities such as Biggs and Gridley, the two smallest utilities in NCPA of the 17 agencies. The day began with NCPA visiting Oroville then coming to Biggs for a NCPA Hydro presentation, Biggs presentation and luncheon, attended by Gridley Councilman Davidson and City Administrator Paul. Eckert followed by the Sun West tour then moving to Gridley to visit Gridley’s electric facilities with Electric Superintendent Daryl Dye leading the tour.
While the tour was being planned Councilman Frith helped arrange for those attending to have a site visit and personal DWR briefing of Oroville Dam along with a tour of Sunwest Rice Mill hosted by GM and Sr. VP Galo Williams.
Biggs is a part owner of the Lodi Energy Center (LEC), Geothermal and a new Solar facility due to come online in 2019. Biggs also receives a substantial allocation of hydro from Western Power (WAPA) with Biggs meeting the states RPS requirements.
Frith is concerned of the impact renewables (solar, wind) is having on the “small” utilities like Biggs and Gridley for every kw of solar installed the utilities have to back up those sources with non-renewables to pick up the load. Renewables also have a negative impact as to everyone who don’t or can’t install solar or wind are paying for those who do with tax breaks and government required subsidies.
Electricity is a natural fit for Frith as he developed and oversaw NEC Electronics, Electric Department in Roseville for 20 years before moving to Biggs with his wife Mary in 2001.
He was a natural choice to represent Biggs at NCPA with his years of experience.
Frith worked on NECEL’s original plant on 60 a acre campus, creating the communication, computer and electrical systems all systems from ~12v to 60kv. He created the first Predictive Maintenance Program (PdM) within NECEL which included infrared imaging, Harmonic Trending and Oil Analysis, this program was shared worldwide within NECEL for implementation.
When the Frith's headed north in 2001 prior to retiring. Biggs had recently completed the installation of new power lines and a new substation.
"Biggs had outages all the time," Frith explained. "When a tree branch came down on the west side of town it took the power off at the highway."
With a new substation put in in 1997 and proper relaying installed, electricity in Biggs runs much smoother with the many updates made since.
"Now if we have any problems they are isolated to that area and the rest of the city is not affected," he said.