Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Fortnightly Magazine - November 15 1997

California Water Utilities Band, Save $5 Million

Lori A. Burkhart

Starting January 1998, New Energy Ventures will provide electricity to the first coalition of water agencies to have joined together to purchase and sell the service.

The Association of California Water Agencies Utility Service Agency has agreed to purchase electricity from New Energy for one year. It will allow members to save a minimum of $5 million annually on electric costs, depending on how many members sign up.

Fitch: Merchant Plants Prove Risky Investments

Lori A. Burkhart

According to Fitch Investors Service, the absence of long-term power purchase agreements, coupled with the increased price volatility associated with short-term energy sales, likely will result in noninvestment grade ratings for most merchant projects.

In its new report, Power Projects in a Less Regulated World, Fitch examines power plants and how to evaluate this riskier class of projects. Now, the company would rate a good merchant power project in the 'BB' category.

PG&E's Rate Hike Request Shocks Consumer Group

Lori A. Burkhart

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s announcement that it wants to increase energy rates by almost $1.2 billion was met with outrage by consumer watchdog organization The Utility Reform Network.

Pacific Gas has notified the California Public Utilities Commission that it plans to file a 1999 general rate case to raise natural gas rates by $506 million to maintain gas pipeline safety and reliability. It also plans to increase electric base level rates by $703 million beginning Jan. 1, 1999 to improve service reliability.

Marketing & Competing

Nainish K. Gupta & Albert L. Danielsen

HOW DO CUSTOMERS RESPOND TO REAL-TIME PRICING?

Even when the customer is a commercial or industrial organization, the answer can prove illusive.

Real-life responses to RTP depend on the entirety of the incentive and monitoring systems, group dynamics and individual personalities. Managers within an organization respond to RTP signals based on information and incentives that only they can know and comprehend. Only people employed by the organization are privy to these intangibles, which remain highly idiosyncratic within any organization.

Information Technology for Utilities

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

IN THE DRIVE TO MATCH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS WITH THE

demands of "deregulatory" standards, utilities are investing billions in information technology (em some launching new business lines from their experience.

Worldwide, utilities are investing $20 billion; electric utilities pony up the most: $12 billion each year, according to Newton-Evans Research Co. An average U.S. electric utility will invest $43 million this year; a gas utility will invest $9 million.

FERC Briefs

CINERGY MERGER CONDITIONS. FERC allows two-year deferral of prior requirement (a condition of the 1993 Cinergy merger) for Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. and PSI Energy Co. to build a 345-kV transmission line by 2000 to link territories to guarantee central dispatch for generation. Cinergy says it can now duplicate the capacity with open access. FERC Chair James Hoecker concurs, citing "further evidence that the bulk power market is working." (Docket No. EC93- 6-004, Sept. 24, 1997)

Hydro Licensing.

Electronic Trading: Toward an Hourly Market in Natural Gas

Greg M. Lander

THERE IS MUCH TALK ABOUT CONVERGENCE.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asks, "What needs to be done to enable the gas and electric markets to work together to become more integrated?" The real question is more direct: "How can the gas industry transform what is presently, at best, a daily market, with daily procedures, to an hourly or quarter-hourly electric generation business and gain benefits at the same time?"

Will the answer come from hourly gas trading and pricing?

Northeast Utilities, NRC Could Face State Probe

Lori A. Burkhart

Connecticut's Department of Public Utility Control and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal alleged gross mismanagement of the 582-megawatt Connecticut Yankee nuclear plant in charges filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Northeast Utilities owns 49 percent of the facility.

The plant has been shut since December 1996 and is being dismantled. The filing claimed the utility lost control of contamination and created an undocumented nuclear waste dump.

Electronic Trading: Toward a Mature Power Market

Lori M. Rodgers

A MASSIVE, WORLD WAR I-era building in downtown Baltimore houses Constellation Power Source, an unregulated, wholly owned power-marketing subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. Upon introducing the new company in February, BG&E announced that Goldman Sachs would serve as "exclusive advisor" for the start-up.

Later, when asked to clarify the relationship between the two companies, Charles W.

FERC's Massey Previews Fall Electric Agenda

Lori A. Burkhart

Commissioner William L. Massey said four issues would dominate the fall electric agenda of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Orders 888 and 889 implementation, mergers, independent system operators and reliability.

Speaking on Sept. 11 at the PowerMart Power '97 conference and expo in Houston, Massey said the FERC hoped to issue a major order this fall on elements of California restructuring to ease implementation of the ISO and power exchange by Jan. 1, 1998.

Pages