(December 2006) Michael Heyeck was named senior vice president of transmission at American Electric Power Co. Duke Energy announced that Jim Stanley would lead its...
Transmission and ISOs
Dot.Com Favoritism. A group of Pennsylvania electric utilities (UGI, Metropolitan Edison, PECO Energy, Pennelec, and PPL) accused the PJM Independent System Operator (ISO) of violating its own rules by allowing the competitive electric retailer Utility.com to prematurely terminate its operating agreements with the ISO after the supplier ceased operations in the state in a manner, say the utilities, that "violated its obligations under Pennsylvania law."
According to the utilities, the success of the Pennsylvania market has stemmed in part because PJM has synchronized its tariffs with the state's retail access rules, but that in this case, they allege that PJM coddled Utility.com and its withdrawal from markets by allowing transmission service to shift from one load-serving entity outside the window of the meter read date required by PJM and state market rules. .-B.W.R.
NEPOOL Governance. A broad coalition of New England electric consumers, including industrial companies (National Semiconductor, Georgia-Pacific, and Chinet) and the Maine Public Advocate have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) immediately to reform the governance of the New England Power Pool, saying that the 66.6 percent minimum vote required to approve major policies (congestion management system, for example) is simply unworkable and will interfere with the development of a collaborative plan for a New England regional transmission organization.
The coalition expressed appreciation that NEPOOL had given end users a "place at the table," and also saw no problem with equal 20-percent voting shares for five different industry segments, but insisted that "common sense principles must prevail so that rough justice can be achieved." .
Alliance Transco. Nearly every interested party has asked for a rehearing of the FERC's Jan. 24 decision that OK'd certain aspects of the proposed Alliance transmission organization, including state PUCs (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania), marketers (Enron Power Marketing), electric associations (APPA, NRECA), consumer advocates (NASUCA), customer coalitions (industrial and transmission-dependent utilities) and, of course, the Alliance sponsors themselves. The parties challenge FERC rulings on several points:
- Alliance Sponsors. Insist on rights for Class B (passive) owners to veto future RTO merger or dissolution, and for Class C (non-divesting) participants to veto rate design changes during a moratorium period set up to attract new members. Accuse FERC of pre-judging rate design matters before Alliance files its tariff-specifically, on whether the "regional through and out" rate (RTOR) should exceed the highest zonal rate.
- Electric Associations. Claim that new proposed "stated rate" method for network transmission service violates FERC's previously accepted method (in Order 888) based on load ratio. Also argue that new single RTOR rate will not remedy problem of rate pancaking on internal transactions within the Alliance region. Question why FERC lauds expansion of Alliance when two new members (Dayton P&L and NIPSCO) lack extensive transmission networks, and when additional member growth (Illinois Power, for example) erodes the already approved Midwest ISO.
- State PUCs. Claim Alliance still lacks scope and size, and still functions as a "toll gate," collecting an added transmission charge for power trades between the western ECAR and MAIN regions to the West, and