You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
Rapid developments in the electric industry, especially in wholesale markets, have prompted the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to extend its review of a utility's plans to add to its transmission system. Appalachian Power Co., an operating member of the American Electric Power (AEP) system, had asked the SCC for authority to construct a 765-kilovolt transmission line between substations in West Virginia and Virginia.
The SCC noted that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) open-access rulemaking "has the potential of shifting a utility's focus from traditional core businesses to bulk-power markets." Since Appalachian's affiliation with AEP positions it to take advantage of competitive bulk-power markets, the SCC felt that additional consideration of the
utility's transmission planning was required to protect native load interests (em especially since the FERC's proposed rules do not require utilities to include retail loads in projections of available transmission. The SCC directed the utility to describe what measures it will take to ensure that its customers receive benefits associated with the new transmission line. Re Appalachian Power Co., Case No. PUE910050, Dec. 13, 1995 (Va.S.C.C.).
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