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Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 1997


Aquila Energy, a subsidiary of UtiliCorp United, has hired David H. Stevenson former marketing v.p. of Duke/Louis Dreyfus, as v.p. power marketing for its mid-continent and western regions.

Charles Falcone, who retired as American Electric Power's system power markets senior v.p., was named project managing director of the New York State Power Pool's Independent System Operator. Falcone served as an official with the U.S. Department of Energy for several years before joining AEP.

Ohio Electric Utility Institute has elected William J. Grealis as board chair and president.


The Northwest Power Planning Council is accepting comments on a revision of its Fourth Northwest Power Plan through Oct. 31. The plan is the latest created by the council since 1983. It reviews industry developments in generation, conservation, gas and electric. It also examines institutions created in response to increasing competition and policy evolution. The draft reflects recommendations of the Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System and suggests ways to carry out many of those recommendations. For a copy (Document 97-11), call (800) 222-3355.

NEES to Hold First Auction

Lori A. Burkhart

New England Electric System has selected 12 companies from the U.S. and Europe to take part in an auction to supply electricity to Massachusetts and Rhode Island "standard offer" customers when retail competition begins.

Standard-offer service is set at seven years in Massachusetts and 12 years in Rhode Island. When competition begins, slated for Jan. 1, 1998 in both states, consumers can choose a new energy supplier through the standard offer.

Baltimore Court Keeps Merger Case

Lori A. Burkhart

The chief executive officers of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. have expressed disappointment over a July 28 decision by a Baltimore County judge denying a motion to return their proposed merger case to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The judge's decision will keep the merger proceeding before the Baltimore County Circuit Court.

"As we previously stated and made very clear to the court, we cannot merge in accordance with the terms of the current PSC order," said BGE Chair Christian Poindexter and PEPCO Chair Edward F. Mitchell.

TVA, Utilities Settle Lawsuit

Lori A. Burkhart

Five utilities suing the Tennessee Valley Authority for allegedly making electric sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside its service territory have agreed to a joint settlement.

The settlement calls for TVA only to sell or deliver power to authorized exchange power companies. TVA agreed not to knowingly enter any exchange power transactions if the purchaser buys that power intending to resell it at wholesale to an unauthorized entity. TVA will reiterate its contract requirements with its exchange power companies.

Northeast Utilities Settles Nuclear Management

Lori A. Burkhart

Northeast Utilities Co. has reached an agreement in principle with its shareholders who had claimed that certain NU trustees and officers had failed to manage prudently the affairs of the utility, causing problems for its nuclear power program.

The settlement calls for insurers of those trustees and officers named in the suit to pay NU $25 million, less attorney's fees. NU has agreed to certain corporate governance changes. The agreement was reached after more than eight months of mediation by retired U.S. District Judge Robert C.


Daniel William Fessler

To the discomfort of my predilections, I cannot deny that which is just.

In the June 1 issue of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY, Ken Rose ("Securitization of Uneconomic Costs: Whom Does It Secure?" p.

Blue-Flame Blues: Gas Pilots Sputter at Burnertip

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

As marketers discover, some LDCs keep a strong grip on the residential class.

Michael Meath of Agway Energy Products has a dream. A dream to tap the 4.5 million natural gas customers in New York State, supplying commodity and then, other services.

New York state unbundled gas rates in March 1996, with new tariffs approved later that year. Since then, just 11,000 customers out of 4.5 million (em less than half a percent (em have decided to use aggregated transportation service.

Not all New York utilities have filed customer aggregation programs, however.

FERC Ends Summer Session Without Fanfare

Lori A. Burkhart

No clear signal as yet from new chair James Hoecker.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had a busy day on July 30, but observers will have to wait until the fall to learn of any new wide-ranging policy initiatives planned by incoming chair James Hoecker, who has now succeeded Elizabeth Moler in the top post.

The end-of-summer meeting (em and Commissioner Donald F. Santa Jr.'s last (em was marked largely by a lack of controversy.

Regional Power Markets: Roadblock to Choice?

David E. Wojick

Competition abounds at wholesale, but retail is another story.

Will geography, politics and regional economics stand in the way of real choice for electric consumers at the retail level? Consider this tale of two power players.

One competitor, the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, is proud of itself. In its annual report, IMPA says that open access and competition in the wholesale market allowed it to trim wholesale rates for power it delivered to member distribution companies in 1996. "The results were remarkable," the report reads.