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Fortnightly Magazine - May 1 1996

Leave it to the Experts

Peter Pequignot

As utilities refocus resources on their core business, they are developing strategic partners to manage day-to-day support services more efficiently. Operational functions that received scant notice in the past are now identified as areas for big savings.

Transportation services mark one such area. Activities like vehicle acquisition, resale, maintenance, fueling, and routine administration are now widely viewed as outsourcing opportunities (em to reduce costs and enhance productivity.

Appeals Court Holds FP&L Immune From QF Antitrust Complaints

Phillip S. Cross

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled that Florida Power and Light Co. (FP&L) is protected by the state action immunity doctrine from liability to cogenerators (QFs) for alleged antitrust violations. The QFs had claimed that FP&L violated federal antitrust laws when it refused to wheel their power to offsite end users.

Transmission Tariffs: Still Pro Forma? Locational Pricing and the Federal Power Act

Stephen L. Teichler

Two power pools (em one existing, the other inchoate (em have announced that they will file tariffs to price electric transmission as the difference in spot prices in the generation and consuming markets.

Restructuring: It's Not Unpatriotic Anymore

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Consumer advocates, utility chiefs, regulators, and analysts offered conflicting visions of retail competition's future at NASUCA's 1996 Capitol Hill Conference.

The National Association of State Consumer Advocates ( NASUCA) conference, "Restructuring the Electric Industry: What Are the Costs and Benefits to Consumers?," was held on February 29 and March 1 in the Rayburn House Office Building. The event was co-sponsored by Rep.

Appeals Court Upholds Retail Sales by QF

Phillip S. Cross

A New York appeals court has upheld a 1994 decision by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) authorizing a qualifying cogeneration facility (QF) to make retail sales to certain industrial customers in the service territory of a retail electric utility. The PSC had authorized Sithe/ Independence Power Partners L.P. (em developers of a 1040-megawatt natural gas fired QF (em to sell electricity to steam host customers Alcan Rolled Products Co. and Liberty Paperboard L.P. See, Re Sithe/Independence Power Partners L.P., 155 PUR4th 149 (N.Y.P.S.C. 1994).

Why My Tariff is Different Than Yours: Comparing Nonprice Terms in Utility Filings Against FERC's Pro Forma Tariffs

Kevin Porter

Comparing Nonprice Terms in Utility

Filings Against FERC's Pro Forma Tariffs

AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT, THE VARIATIONS REFLECT THE HISTORIC TENSION BETWEEN NATIVE LOAD AND WHOLESALE TRANSACTIONS.

Columbia Gas System Expands into New Era

Lori A. Burkhart

Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. and Columbia Gulf Transmission Co., the interstate natural gas pipeline subsidiaries of The Columbia Gas System, Inc., have a new chief executive officer (CEO), Catherine Good Abbott, as well as plans for an ambitious expansion. The project and the CEO mark the beginning of a new era for a once-troubled pipeline system that recently emerged from bankruptcy.

Off Peak

Will deregulation spell the end of utility philanthropy? Not necessarily so, according to a new study

of charitable giving at 11 investor-owned electric utilities from across the country.

Of those companies surveyed, one pegged its charitable contributions budget as a percent of revenue. Some indicated that they

followed the "utility average" of giving 0.5 percent of income before taxes. (The national average for all companies is 0.9 percent.) Four utilities reported donations at or above that figure.

Revenue Caps or Price Caps? Robust Competition Later Means Healthy Choices New

Kenneth W. Costello

The debate over restructuring the electric industry has encompassed a revisiting of the traditional rate-of-return (ROR) pricing model. Parties of widely divergent interests increasingly advocate alternatives. Under the label "performance-based regulation," these new pricing models share the objective of strengthening incentives for electric utilities incentives to pursue some specified "socially desirable" outcome.

FERC Modifies Offshore Pipeline Policies

Lori A. Burkhart

A new policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) makes water depth a factor in deciding whether an offshore facility is primarily a gatherer rather than a transporter of natural gas (Docket No. RM96-5-000). The Natural Gas Act (NGA) requires the FERC to regulate transportation and wholesale transactions, but exempts gathering and production. Under the new policy, a facility that operates in depths of 200 meters or more will be considered a gatherer. The FERC hopes to encourage exploration and development of deep water reserves on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

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