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Fortnightly Magazine - December 1995

PoolCo and Market Dominance

Randall J. Falkenberg

Imagine if the airlines had followed a utility model when they deregulated back in 1978.You and five other planeloads show up at the airport to catch a flight to Chicago. Every few hours the airport operator holds an auction for the next hour's Chicago flights. Delta offers two new 767's at $200 per ticket. U.S. Air bids one 737 at $300. American has six

DC-9's and bids each one at $1,000 per head. When the auction ends, Delta and U.S. Air fill their planes.

D'Amato Seeks to Replace PUHCA

Lori A. Burkhart

Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) has introduced a bill to replace the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) with a new holding company act that would give the utility industry greater flexibility. Endorsed by a bipartisan group of senators, the bill is co-sponsored by Frank Murkowski (R-AK), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and J.

Deconstructing the Information Superhighway: A Map for Utilities

Chris S. King

Analysts may tout the coming "convergence" of communications technologies, but the real trend is "divergence."

No subject in recent memory has received as much media attention as the "Information Superhighway". But exactly what it is remains curiously unclear. The Internet? Wireless personal communications services (PCS)? Interactive fiber-optic cable to the home? The Infobahn is all of these and more.

Salem Outage Catches Moody's Eye

Lori A. Burkhart

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has imposed a $600,000 civil penalty on Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) for six violations at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station. PSE&G, which owns and operates 42.59 percent of the plant, responded by shutting Salem down temporarily.

"We take no issue with the concerns raised by the NRC," says Leon R. Eliason, PSE&G chief nuclear officer and president of its nuclear business.

Today's Data is Tomorrow's Service

Rob Neilson

Better use of existing data is the key to enhanced revenue.

Utility automation seeks to reduce operational costs and deliver new value-added services.

The first goal is straightforward and quantifiable. For example, when Public Service Co.

FERC Urges Flexibility on Natural Gas Decontracting

Lori A. Burkhart

A new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order in the restructuring proceeding for Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGP) suggests how the Commission will handle evolving issues in natural gas decontracting (Docket Nos. RP95-326-000).

NGP had asked to implement its compliance rates for new services in conjunction with a deferred-cost mechanism, allowing it to defer collection of revenue shortfall it allegedly would experience under those rates.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

John Anderson is jumping out of his shoes. And his socks, too. His group, the Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON, where Anderson serves as executive director) may at last get its way.During a few weeks in October, a good half-dozen energy industry players (em including utilities and regulators (em came out in favor of customer choice for electric and gas service.

FERC Upholds N.J. QF Procedures

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has denied a Jersey Central Power & Light Co. (JCPL) request that it invalidate the procedures used by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to implement the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) (Docket No. EL95-36-000).

JCPL claimed that state procedures required it to enter into a purchase agreement with a qualifying facility, Freehold Cogeneration Associates, L.P., for 100 megawatts of power at rates that exceeded JCPL's avoided cost at the time of contract execution and approval.

People

Entergy Corp. has hired John A. Brayman, former president of Ameritech Corp.'s telephone industry services subsidiary in Chicago. Brayman will continue company expansion into nonregulated, domestic energy, and utility-related business as executive v.p. of Entergy Enterprises, Inc. and president of an as-yet unnamed group.J. William Holden was named Southern Electric International's v.p. for operations and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

GE Supply, a General Electric division, promoted William C. Betke to g.m.

Financial News

Leonard S. Hyman

At Addison Mizner's pink fantasy on a Spanish theme, the Boca Raton Resort, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) waited for Godot. Yes, that was the theme of EEI's 30th financial conference, and its first plunge into literature. You may remember the play, in which two hobos talk endlessly while waiting for the mysterious Godot, who has not yet arrived by the final curtain. In the same way, electric utilities and those who invest in them have been awaiting the advent of restructuring, the California remake of the industry, retail wheeling somewhere, and the wipeout of stranded assets.

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