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Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 1995

Boston Edison Hits Pay Dirt with Call Options

Lori A. Burkhart

Boston Edison Co. (BE), the first investor-owned electric utility in the nation to issue a request for proposals to secure options for buying wholesale electricity, now has received bids for more than 4,300 megawatts, with some offers for 1998 priced between three and four cents per kilowatt-hour.

New Jersey is Cautious on NGV Investment

Phillip S. Cross

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has once again refused to grant "blanket approval" of an investment program for natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling stations proposed by Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G).

Nevada Delays Merger

Lori A. Burkhart

The Nevada Public Service Commission (PSC) has postponed further hearings indefinitely on the proposed merger between Sierra Pacific Power Co. (SPP) and Washington Water Power Co. (WWP).

Maine PUC Hikes Electric Price Cap

Phillip S. Cross

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a 2.43 percent rate increase in the price cap for Central Maine Power Co. (CMP). It also issued findings governing the flow-through to ratepayers of savings earned by restructuring contracts with qualifying cogeneration facilities (QFs).

SDG&E Touts PoolCo, Opposes Forced Spinoffs

Lori A. Burkhart

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has filed comments to support the "majority proposal" by the California Public Utilities Commission on deregulating the electric utility industry, which calls for formation of a wholesale power pool.

SDG&E noted that while a key element of the proposal involved creating an independent system operator, the company would go further and set up a regional transmission company to own the grid.

Virginia OKs Pilit for Onsite Generation

Phillip S. Cross

The Virginia State Corporation Commission has approved a new pilot program for a "Standby Generation Control System" proposed by Virginia Electric and Power Co. The system would allow the utility to dispatch customer-owned generators at periods of system peak demand.

TURN's Krause Lobbies for PUC Job

Lori A. Burkhart

Audrie Krause,

executive director of Toward Utility Rate Normalization (TURN), a consumer advocacy group, has asked California Gov. Pete Wilson for the vacant seat on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Gas LDC Loses Pipeline Bid

Phillip S. Cross

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (UC)has granted authority to Frontier Utilities of North Carolina, Inc., to construct and operate a new natural gas pipeline and distribution system to provide service to four counties in the state.

Perspective

Steven R. Weiss

Does it make good business sense to offer a service that brings in considerable revenue but virtually no profit?

In the past, special circumstances explained why local distribution companies (LDCs) sold natural gas to customers without earning a profit. But circumstances have changed.

PUC Again Refuses to Arbitrate Labor Dispute

Phillip S. Cross

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has once again turned back an attempt by the Communications Workers of America to invoke state utility regulation to solve labor complaints against Pacific Bell.The union had complained that PacBell's use of lower-paid technicians to perform duties allegedly reserved for higher-paid contract classifications violated the state's public utility code.

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