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News Analysis

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 2000

law defines NSP as "the mix of electricity fuel source types¼representing the sources of electricity consumed in California that are not disclosed as specific purchases." In practical terms, NSP represents the percentage of generation produced in California during the previous calendar year from each of the fuel type categories represented in the statute. Imports of out-of-state generation are added in by fuel type, but self-generation is excluded, as are any specific purchases by fuel type.

Assumptions on Imports. The California Energy Commission must make certain controversial assumptions in calculating the generic mix. Some data is hard to get. Some companies withhold data, claiming it is confidential.

Imports from out of state may differ from the California mix, but if such imports come from power pools, and are not linked to a specific resource, they will be characterized as generic according to a standard formula, even if that formula may distort the makeup of resources from a particular region. Thus, for its 1998 analysis of net system power, the CEC staff used data from system operators to estimate imports and characterized fuel sources on the basis of fuel mix assumptions for non-firm energy contained in a 1994 report. It assumed that power imported into California from the Pacific Northwest as 80 percent hydro and 20 percent coal. For imports from the Southwest, it assumed 74 percent coal and 26 percent natural gas.

Source: California Energy Commission

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