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Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1997

Sellers in Power Exchange Can Qualify as EWGS

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that all electric power sales into the California power exchange are to be treated as wholesale power sales under Federal Power Act Sec. 201, and for the purpose of qualifying under the definition of "exempt wholesale generator," as defined in Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. (See, Docket No. el97-36-000.)

The September 10 ruling was made in response to a request by Southern California Edison, which plans to divest all its fossil-fueled electric generation plants.

Relicensing Settlement Moves to FERC

Lori A. Burkhart

New England Power Co. has agreed with 17 parties, including government agencies and conservation groups, on the relicensing of the Fifteen Mile Falls hydroelectric project on the Connecticut River.

New England Electric System President and CEO John W. Rowe, Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vermont) and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) signed the agreement.

The agreement governs requirements for a new, 40-year license for Fifteen Mile Falls, the largest conventional hydroelectric project in New England.

Gas Producers Must Refund Ad Valorem Tax

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered natural gas producers in Kansas to refund to customers approximately $500 million for erroneously adding the state's ad valorem tax onto interstate rates.

In its Sept. 10 ruling, the FERC said such taxes are not eligible for rate recovery under the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and, following court directive, ordered the customer refund. (See, Docket Nos. rp97-369-000 et al.).

The refund covers gas produced from October 1983, when the petition challenging the add-on tax originally was filed at the FERC, until June 1988.

Power Ploy? Colorado Co-Op Splits with NRECA, But May Rejoin

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Says association too wishy-washy on retail choice.

CONSUMER CHOICE MAY TURN BELLY UP THIS Congress but it has hit the gut of the nation's rural cooperative association: a member co-op has dropped out over the NRECA's stance on a federal Choice mandate.

Metering, Loads & Profiles: Let the Cherry-Picking Begin

Howard M. Spinner

Competing for the underappreciated electric customer.

IT MAY APPEAR ODD THAT, IN MOVING TO COMPETITION, A KEY

cost characteristic surrounding the production and consumption of non-storable electric power (em i.e., its pattern of use (em is deemed too expensive, too impracticable or unnecessary to measure. %n1%n

One problem stems from the dynamic nature of electric consumption. Electric consumers impose costs on suppliers and distributors. Current rate structures employing a demand charge are imperfect because demand is not necessarily measured at the time of system peak.

Electric Utility Must Offer Stand-by Service at Market Rates

Phillip S. Cross

The Missouri Public Service Commission has directed Kansas City Power & Light Co. to offer stand-by electric services to self-generation customers at market-based prices.

The rate design approved by the commission allows the utility to recover stranded costs that might otherwise be shifted to customers who continue to take bundled electric service on the utility's regulated distribution system.

The PSC approved a plan proposed by its staff that would require the utility to employ "real-time pricing" for the energy component.

Kilowatts by Choice, Ready or Not

Lori M. Rodgers

A state-by-state look at retail competition.

RHODE ISLAND'S CUSTOMER CHOICE PROGRAM FOR LARGE-industrial and government consumers is five months old. California consumers will see retail choice on Jan. 1. New York, Illinois, Idaho and Washington have pilot programs well under way. And a statewide pilot program was set to begin this month in Pennsylvania.

Yet retail choice may prove vulnerable in New Hampshire (em the one state that has shown the greatest commitment to retail choice.

Idaho Reviews Surcharge for Conversation Research

Phillip S. Cross

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has rejected a request by Idaho Power Co. to include a "public purpose charge" in ratepayer bills to fund its participation in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

The utility said that the goal of the new organization is to transform existing energy markets to permit improvements in energy use efficiency without the need for long-term utility incentives.

The commission permitted the utility to capitalize and defer the costs of its investment in the organization until additional information is available.

Unbundling Capital Costs: It Doesn't Add Up

Robert G. Rosenberg

G+T+D=? Why the sum of the future parts is greater than the present whole.

GENCO, TRANSCO, DISCO. IF THAT IS the future, then rates collected formerly by the integrated electric company (em with its generation, transmission and distribution functions (em will have to be determined again for each segment. One aspect of these rates (em the cost of capital (em has generated significant controversy.

Electric Pilot Uses Tariff Rate, Energy Credit

Phillip S. Cross

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a pilot program for Jersey Central Power and Light Co. that will allow some of the utility's electric customers to choose a private energy supplier and then compare bills with and without retail competition.

JCP&L, an electric utility doing business as GPU Energy, serves more than 11,900 mostly residential customers in Monroe, N.J., the targeted town.

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