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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1998

first-served basis. WPPI, made up of 30 municipal utilities, previously filed a similar complaint against Wisconsin Electric Power Co.

Hydroelectric Relicensing. The FERC has voted 2-1 to issue a precedent-setting order forcing the decommissioning and removal of a hydroelectric dam against the owner's wishes. FERC denied an application for license renewal of the Edwards Project, a 160-year-old, 3.5-MW dam owned by the Edwards Manufacturing Co. and the city of Augusta on the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine. The action drew a sharply worded dissent from Commissioner Vicki Bailey, Project No. 2389-012, Nov. 25, 1997, 81 FERC (pp 61,252.

Stranded Costs. The FERC has issued a preliminary order requiring the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide electric transmission service to Cinergy Services Inc. so it can deliver electricity to the city of Bristol, Va. TVA had demanded $54.1 million in stranded investment reimbursement to provide the service. Docket No. TX07-9-000, Nov. 25, 1997 (F.E.R.C.).

Electric Transmission. The Chicago Housing Authority wants the FERC to order Commonwealth Edison Co. to provide network transmission service so it can receive power purchased wholesale from Wisconsin Energy Corp. and resell the discounted energy to its residents. Federal regulations would allow the housing authority to retain half the savings to improve its properties.

Electric Transmission. The Commission granted conditional approval to revisions to the open-access transmission tariff filed by Florida Power Corp. Florida Power had filed a revision to its tariff proposing a third category of service, "network contract demand transmission service," which incorporates some features of point-to-point and network transmission service. FERC recognized that under certain circumstances, the pro forma tariff does not provide enough flexibility, recognizing that sometimes the utility can propose superior terms and conditions. Docket No. ER97-3057-000, Nov. 25, 1997, 81 FERC (pp 61,247.

Order No. 888. The FERC on Nov. 25 reaffirmed open-access electric transmission and stranded cost rules of Order No. 888. The FERC said it would ensure a forum for stranded costs recovery caused by municipalizations and municipal annexation but only if there is a sufficient link with the FERC's open-access rule. In a related order, the FERC denied rehearing requests related to Order No. 889, the Open Access Same-Time Information System, which requires that electric transmission cost and availability be posted on the Interest. Order No. 888-B, Docket Nos. RM95-8-003, RM94-7-004, Nov. 25, 1997, 62 Fed.Reg. 64688-01, Dec. 9, 1997. Order No. 889-B, RM95-9-002, Nov. 25, 1997, 81 FERC (pp 61,253.

Public Power

Direct Access. The city of Palo Alto, Calif., has approved a direct-access plan allowing choice of electric suppliers to customers of its municipal electric system starting Jan. 1, 1998. The unanimous vote by the city council marks the City of Palo Alto Utilities as the only municipal utility Governed by a city council in the state planning to offer customer choice when competition begins.

Plant Divestiture. The Montana Power Co. on Dec. 9 announced that it will divest its electric generating plants, including 13 dams with 12 hydroelectric generators, four coal-fired plants, a leasehold in a coal plant, and 104 megawatts in purchased-power contracts. The estimated book value