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Do-nothing regulators scare off investment, raising prospects for yet another large-scale power failure.
Fortnightly Magazine - March 2004

be as a single project, like a tunnel under a river.

"Everything else would be left to the market," he says. "This would be a principled hybrid system."

Also missing from the dialogue is how new technologies that increase reliability on the grid will be introduced and paid for, even as industry experts debate how transmission is going to get upgraded or built. For example, technologies already exist that could allow utilities to more ably control power flows and improve system monitoring, and materials are in development that could increase transfer capability. One state regulator at the conference confessed he really hasn't quizzed utilities during rate cases on their technology spend, but he says he will in the future.

Let's hope the industry spends the money before Mother Nature throws her next pop quiz.


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