Although problems in the power business grabbed the headlines early this decade, the industry now seems fundamentally strong. In contrast to their ratings of banks, rating agencies appear to have...
evaluation, asks why ATC picked 1999 to measure costs for license plate pricing, instead of 2001. Bourbonnais says the 1999 date will penalize his company, which spent bundles on grid investment in the last two years: "The cost of new 1999-2000 investment was allocated disproportionately to WPSC ... forcing it to bear a disproportionately heavy share of the costs of transition.")
But again, it falls to Robert McDiarmid, this time representing the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, to put it all in perspective.
In the upper Midwest, McDiarmid's clients must occasionally transmit energy into or through the Alliant Energy system, which heretofore has charged a single, one-zone transmission rate. But now, as McDiarmid notes, only one of Alliant Energy's three operating utility subsidiaries would belong to ATC. That would be Wisconsin Power & Light. The other two Alliant subsidiaries, Interstate Power and IES would remain outside the transco, forcing Alliant to split its territory into two transmission zones, East and West, and adding costs for customers.
"This re-serving of old, moldy pancakes," McDiarmid says, "has about the attractiveness of similarly aged pancakes for breakfast."
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