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News Digest

State PUCs
Fortnightly Magazine - May 1 2000

a deregulated electric market in the state declared unconstitutional. The companies alleged the law will be detrimental to some customers while giving unfair advantages to others, based on regulatory decision implementing the law, and will be harmful to company shareholders.

Emergency Backup Service. In a case involving a 90-megawatt experimental retail access program, the Michigan PSC upheld a complaint by CMS Marketing, Services and Trading Co. that Detroit Edison was attempting to require third-party suppliers to sign a contract obligating them to pay an emergency energy service charge that had not been approved by any regulatory authority.

Vermont Energy Efficiency. Vermont on March 28 unveiled its "energy efficiency utility," which was created at the directive of the Vermont Board (See News Digest, December 1999, p. 17) to administer energy efficiency programs in the state.

The utility, the first of its kind in the nation, will be operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corp., a non-profit organization, and will replace most programs previously run by 22 electric utilities so as to provide uniformity in services offered around the state.

Texas Energy Efficiency. Rules adopted by the Texas PUC on March 1 the state's electric utilities to develop energy efficiency programs to offset 10 percent or more of a utility's annual growth in energy demand.

Utilities must develop standard-offer programs to install energy efficiency measures and services, and independent service providers will deliver the services to customers.

Utility Marketing Affiliates. The Wyoming PSC said it would not require structural separation of K N Energy's regulated and non-regulated activities, or require it to employ guidelines against cross subsidies developed in 1999 by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. It explained that the gas utility's retail choice program was voluntary and limited in scope.


Power Plants

Grid Interconnection. The FERC ruled that when a power producer applies for authority to connect with the interstate electric transmission network without requesting transmission service at the same time, the interconnection service qualifies as an "element" of transmission service that is governed by the pro forma open-access transmission tariff mandated by FERC in Order 888.

Grid Interconnection. Entergy proposed and filed with the FERC a pro forma tariff governing rights, obligation, and procedures for the interconnection of generating plants with its transmission facilities.

It proposed a three-step process, including (1) a feasibility study that would take 45 business days, (2) a detailed interconnection study lasting eight to 10 weeks, and finally (3) a facility study lasting six to eight weeks.

In response, the Electric Power Supply Association on March 22 filed a protest against the Entergy tariff and proposed its own nine-point "Bill of Rights" for interconnections. EPSA said that power producers ought to be able to request interconnection without any transmission service (to suit tolling deals) but still preserve a right of first refusal that would guarantee them a reservation of transmission capacity in the future, should they seek to exercise that right.

SO2 Auctions. The Chicago Board of Trade's eighth annual acid rain allowance auction, conducted for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 27, sold 253,388