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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - October 15 2000

to an ESP. When MDP ends for any class, then rate freeze ends for nonswitching customers in that class, and the freeze also ends on charges for wires ancillary services for switching customers in the class. .

Electric Customer Enrollments. Massachusetts OK'd an aggressive electric customer aggregation plan proposed by a group of municipalities on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard that will allow the retailer, Select Energy, to deviate from established customer enrollment protocols to ensure an adequate customer base by requiring automatic initial enrollment of all new residents, subject to opt-out rights after the fact. .

Transmission & ISOs

Automated Dispatch. The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 12-month extension of time to present the design of its much-touted Market Redispatch Pilot Program, which the FERC approved in principle in June. NERC said it would still file an interim progress report on MRD by Dec. 1.

Also, NERC said it expected on Oct. 17 to implement new definitions and other changes to its Transmission Loading Relief (TLR) rules, also approved in principal by the FERC on May 8.

NERC suggested the two moves were connected.

"Key to both," said NERC, "is the addition of a complex software change to allow for automated adjustment and reallocation of transactions in the Interchange Distribution Calculator. That change É [the automated MRD program] will make it possible to reduce the three-hour scheduling limit for MRD transactions to 45 minutes." .

Alliance RTO. The Alliance group tendered its compliance filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with thousands of pages of testimony and analysis, answering issues raised in prior FERC orders and announcing a proposed startup date of Dec. 15, 2001.

Alliance proposes a single access charge with license plate pricing for all transactions that deliver power inside the RTO, plus a single region-wide "postage-stamp" rate for all transactions that deliver power outside or through the RTO. Dr. David Patton (Capital Economics) acknowledged that while the Alliance RTO would be larger than any operating RTO in the nation, the presence of two RTOs in the Midwest would "not inhibit" power markets there. .


California Power Wars

Rate Stabilization. Gov. Gray Davis on Sept. 6 signed Assembly Bill 265, which stabilizes the commodity price of electricity year-round at 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for residential and small commercial customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., starting retroactively on June 1, 2000, and extending to Dec. 31, 2003.

The California PUC implemented the new law on the very next day. .

FERC Investigation. With William Massey dissenting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened hearings to consider the complaint filed Aug. 2 by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to review markets at the California ISO and Power Exchange, but rejected SDG&E's request for the FERC immediately to impose a cap of $250 per megawatt-hour on all sellers in California. Massey would have granted relief.

The FERC also agreed with various intervenors and stakeholders that any move to overhaul the ISO's market structures or congestion-management procedures was premature.

  • Real-Time Pressures.