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Fortnightly Magazine - August 1996

Gas LDC to Recover Stranded Costs

Phillip S. Cross

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has authorized Intermountain Gas Co., a local distribution company (LDC), to implement a new interruptible-distribution transportation service for large-volume industrial customers, including a charge designed to minimize stranded costs associated with migration of customers from sales tariffs.

Green Pricing: The Bigger Picture

Brian Byrnes, Maribeth Rahimzadeh, Renee de Alba, and Keight Baugh

It's not just for residential consumers. Research suggests a

substantial niche market

of commercial

and industrial customers that are favorably disposed to green electricity.Seven utilities across the country have launched "green pricing" programs for residential electric customers. At these utilities, up to 3 percent of residential customers pay rate premiums to underwrite the construction and use of renewable electric generation.

Santa Outlines FERC's Future Focus

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Donald F. Santa, Jr. looked beyond Order 888 electric restructuring when he addressed the second annual DOE/EPRI Executive Conference in Washington, DC, on May 21. According to Santa, the post-Order 888 electric agenda will be marked by three cross-cutting issues.

First, the FERC will grapple with market power in an open-access environment. While open access will mitigate the market power of transmission-owning utilities, the FERC needs to consider market power stemming from generation concentration.

Off Peak

An advance peek at the Edison Electric Institute's 1995 Statistical Yearbook of the Electric Utility Industry reveals a general trend toward increase over last year's figures (see Table 1).

s Installed capacity totaled 749,723 megawatts (Mw), up 0.5 percent. Investor-owned utility (IOU) capacity alone rose 0.4 percent. And the South Atlantic division showed the largest increase: 1.6 percent.

s Generation totaled 2,994,529 gigawatt-hours (Gwh), up 2.9 percent. IOUs contributed 2,340,482 Gwh to this total, increasing its output 1.4 percent.

Research and Renewables: Funding at the National Energy Labs

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Shrinking budgets force staff cuts, but some projects

find friends in high places.

"They're putting the best face on the inevitable."

Funding for renewable energy for government/ industry research partnerships took another beating early this summer (em and that's on top of a $113-million cut suffered this fiscal year.

Lakehead Pipe Line Appeals FERC Ruling

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has refused to rehear or modify a June 15, 1995, rate order (Opinion 397) that denied Lakehead Pipe Line Partners, L.P. any income-tax allowance related to "curative allocations" under section 704(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that increase the general partner's taxable income beyond his or her proportion of company ownership.

The ruling (Opinion 397-A) affirms Lakehead's entitlement to a tax allowance based on the income attributable to corporate partners, but imposes a limit.

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting Green Solutions on Site

John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory, Donald L. Geistert, and James Patterson

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting

Green Solutions

on SiteBy John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory,

Donald L. Geistert, and James PattersonA recent study coordinated by the California Energy Commission shows how stored-cooling applications provide both environmental and competitive benefits in a summer-peaking market.As California prepares for a more competitive electric future, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is taking another look at some key customer technologies.

Reps. Ask FERC for PURPA Reforms

Lori A. Burkhart

Eleven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to Chair Elizabeth A. Moler asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address competitive issues arising from the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).

Special Report Developing Competitive Power Markets: The Planning Stages

Lori A. Burkhart

A special report

on transmission,

power pools, ISOs,

and the fallout from FERC Order 888."WHAT IS NEW IN THE INDUSTRY IS

not the conclusion that coordination in operations is needed to avoid chaos.

In Brief...

Sound bites from state and federal regulators.

Contel Merger. California removes stay on Contel/GTE merger. Orders equal sharing of short- and long-term economic benefits between ratepayers and shareholders. Fessler dissents, finding that the utility "had not established an entitlement to 50 percent of these savings." A.90-09-043, Decision 96-04-053, Apr. 10, 1996 (Cal.P.S.C.).

Local Telephone Resale. California requires two of the state's major LECs to offer a broad range of services for resale at wholesale rates.