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.
Wisconsin Power & Light Co. (WP&L) has announced that it will withdraw from its current regional reliability council, Mid-America Interconnected Network, Inc. (MAIN), effective December 31, 1997. According to president and chief executive officer of WPL Holdings Errol B. Davis, Jr., WP&L may join the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP), but will not finalize plans until later this year because restructuring may produce new organizations: "Our primary reason for leaving MAIN is our desire to participate in a regional organization that will address transmission equity and access."
MAIN currently provides no compensation for power flows or losses on parallel path systems when members buy or sell power over a contract path. Also, regional discounts are not available to stimulate the regional power market. Last November, WP&L Holdings announced a merger with two utilities that belong to MAPP, which does compensate transmission providers for actual power flows and losses.
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