Utilities are turning to natural gas as a bridge fuel, and to support non-dispatchable renewables.
At the request of California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) and key state legislators, Southern California Edison (SCE) has forged a consensus with a broad coalition, including electric customers and independent power producers (IPPs), on restructuring principles for California's electric utility industry. According to Thomas Higgins, SCE spokesman, the negotiated settlement represents a breakthrough compromise for the "PoolCo" and "anti-PoolCo" camps that will help prevent a fight in the legislature. Key elements include:
s A nonbypassable competitive transition charge
s Bilateral contracts in conjunction with a pool
s Retail wheeling phased in over five years, including aggregation of residential, small commercial, educational, and agricultural accounts in 1998
s Continued operation of qualifying facilities under existing contracts, and a framework for their transition to a competitive market
s Resolution of market power issues within five years of exchange operation.
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