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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 2001

Texas utilities to reimburse ratepayers through a billing credit when retail competition begins, to recapture millions of dollars in costs previously assumed to be stranded, but now likely not, because the recent general increase in natural gas prices has made nuclear power more competitive.

The bill would affect TXU Electric and Gas, AEP's Central Power and Light, and Reliant HL&P, which oppose the bill and together have claimed about $7 billion in stranded costs.-L.A.B.

Electricity Conservation. On April 11 California Governor Gray Davis signed into law two bills that earmark about $850 million toward energy conservation, including home weatherization for low-income residents, rebates on energy-efficient appliances, and public information campaigns, plus $35 million for purchase and installation of advanced meters. Overall, the program aims to cut at least 2,000-MW daily in electric use.-L.A.B.

Power Plants

Station Power. In a small victory for independent power producers against distribution utilities, the FERC OK'd Attachment K to PJM's Open Access Tariff, and ruled that a generator may take its station power (SP) requirements (for site-specific operations) as a net credit against the power output sold at wholesale, rather than be forced to buy station power at retail from the local electric utility.

As OK'd by the FERC, the rule applies if the plant's gross power output exceeds its SP needs, so that it qualifies in effect as a self-supplier for on-site power requirements. The case had involved several power plants owned by NRG, including the Dunkirk unit. .-B.W.R.

News Digest was compiled on April 24 by Bruce W. Radford, editor-in-chief, from contributions as noted from Carl J. Levesque, associate editor, and Phillip S. Cross and Lori A. Burkhart contributing legal editors.

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