Siemens and Accenture joint venture on smart grid management systems; CenterPoint picks Itron for RF meter rollout; Memphis picks Elster electric, gas, and water AMI system; TransAlta acquires...
to serve seven additional municipalities adjacent to the Bangor area and currently without gas service. Docket No. 98-46, Oct. 22, 1998 (Me.P.U.C.).
It declined to set a uniform policy regarding the amount that a gas distributor can earn when expanding into unserved territories, in a case concerning a price cap regulatory plan for gas services provided by Central Maine Power Co. The PUC said that while a "one-size-fits-all" policy was inappropriate, it remains open to the possibility that an LDC may be allowed to earn high returns that are "appropriate to the allocation of the risk for the undertaking." Docket No. 96-786, Oct. 5, 1998 (Me.P.U.C.).
Water Line Extensions. New York rejected a request by a water utility to cancel existing free footage allowances for new service hook-ups and instead institute a policy of charging each applicant for the difference between the actual cost of installing a new service and the company's existing average investment per customer. According to the commission staff, the proposal by United Water New Rochelle Inc. would boost average charges to new customers to $1,600. The staff also noted that rather than seeking to shift installation costs from the general body of ratepayers to individual applicants, the utility instead should seek to minimize such costs by allowing more competition or promoting innovative technologies in the field of service connections. Case 98-W-0569, Oct. 27, 1998 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
Gas Rate Design. North Carolina eliminated existing winter/summer rate differentials for Public Service Co. of North Carolina, while supporting a rate design with higher rates for small users and rate decreases for larger customers. It also rejected calls for changes that would minimize the revenue burden on interruptible users and transportation customers.
While finding that cost-of-service figures supported increases for residential users and reductions for the industrial class, the commission pointed out that a full move to equalized class rates of return or strictly "cost-based rates" was inappropriate. It observed that smaller users had borne the brunt of increases in several recent rate cases, while industrial users had seen their rates lowered. Docket No. G-5, Sub 386, Oct. 30, 1998 (N.C.U.C.).
Nuclear Decommissioning. Arkansas increased the decommissioning cost estimate for the Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear generating facility (units 1 and 2) operated by Entergy Arkansas Inc., to reflect increases in the expected cost of materials and labor, the cost of the final site for disposal and the volume of radioactive waste. Docket No. 87-166-TF, Order No. 27, Oct. 30, 1998 (Ark.P.S.C.).
New Plant Certification. Massachusetts certified the new 350-MW, combined-cycle Cabot cogeneration plant, contingent on a mitigation plan to offset carbon dioxide emissions. The approval also assumed such factors as the retirements of older fossil-fired plants, the continued unavailability of the Millstone 1 nuclear plant and future needs for more generating resources in New England. Cabot Power Corp., the project developer, would locate the plant in Everett, Mass. E.F.S.B. 91-101A, Oct. 9, 1998 (Mass. E.F.S.B.).
Industrial Gas Rates. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority rejected requests by Chattanooga Gas Co. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta Gas Light Co.) to "detariff" certain industrial rates, finding