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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 2000

included in the group: N.J., N.Y., Mass., Conn., Maine, and Illinois.)

By 2002, competitive retail energy sales will reach at least $12 billion annually, as additional markets open up in Texas and Ohio, according to managing editor Tom Michelman.

 

Courts

Wheeling Requests. Reversing a federal district judge, a federal appeals court ruled that PacifiCorp had no right to state action immunity against possible antitrust liability where it refused to provide wheeling transmission service to a rural electric cooperative to allow the co-op to supply retail power to a PacifiCorp customers.

The court explained that PacifiCorp failed to justify immunity since Idaho state law exerted no active supervision over state law provisions that sanctioned private agreements to allocate service territories and divide up customers. .

Wholesale Gas Procurement. Reversing a state appeals court, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld an order by state utility regulators that allowed natural gas local distribution companies to create a joint venture and limited liability company—known as ProLiance— to take over the existing gas supply contracts and pipeline capacity held by the LDCs and assume responsibility for negotiating new gas supply contracts on behalf of the LDCs, passing gas purchase costs along to them at indexed prices, rather than cost of service.

Certain gas customers had attacked the scheme as an attempt by the LDCs to circumvent state regulation, and because the LDCs had failed to submit the plan under a special state law for governing alternate forms of regulation. .

Pilot Programs. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a ruling by state regulators that allowed an electric utility to devise a pilot program with discount contracts that were not available throughout the utility's service territory. The program had allowed certain Cleveland-area industrial and commercial electric customers to obtain competitive power supply from a nearby municipal supplier. .

 

Business Wire

Caminus Corp. and HoustonStreet Exchange have spearheaded the formation of the Energy Trading Standards Group , an open consortium with the goal of developing standards to automate the sale of wholesale energy and improve information sharing between energy trading companies. The ETSG consortium will develop open standards to communicate energy trade data based on extensible markup language (XML) technology for business-to-business Internet commerce. Along with Caminus and HoustonStreet, consortium members include ABB Energy Information Systems , Automated Power Exchange , Open Link Energy , RedMeteor.com Inc. , Triple Point Technology Inc. , GFInet, and Sapient. The companies will initially create standards for exchanging data between online trading platforms and transaction/risk management systems used by wholesale electricity and natural gas trading companies.

Altrade Power , an independent online trading exchange operated by Altra Energy Technologies Inc. , set an all-time monthly volume record in August of 18.9 million megawatt-hours, surpassing its previous record of 14.8 million MWh set in February. August also saw a record number of trades. The number of users on Altrade Power has increased by 25 percent since the beginning of the year, despite slower adoption rates for online trading among power traders as compared to traders of other commodities.

American Superconductor and GE