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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2005

Exelon's Epic End Game

Electric M&A: The merger with PSE&G may herald a new industry structure, squarely at odds with regional markets.

Bruce W. Radford

The marriage between Exelon and PSEG would create the largest electric utility in the United States. The policy implications could loom even larger, however. Standing at risk is nothing less than FERC’s entire regulatory regime for approval of mergers and market-based rates.

Capacity Markets: A Bridge to Recovery?

A review of the ongoing evolution of market design.

Craig Hart

While it appears that capacity markets are here to stay, there is little consensus regarding the best design. Markets in the United States are in a state of flux, with debate raging over many different capacity market pricing schemes. While the winning recipe has yet to be selected, it is likely that participants in certain markets will witness significant changes.

The Bigger CIS Picture

Data Mining and Warehousing: Many utilities have no ability to turn raw customer information into significant insights about their business.

Bill Barnett

The customer-information system (CIS) is the system of record for both customer and meter data, and in combination with asset databases, these information repositories comprise the lifeblood of every utility. They usually are not tuned for analysis or for easy reporting, so a single view of the customer and the business processes surrounding the customer does not exist in most of the systems in use today. Many utilities, as a result, are data rich but information poor. Enter the Data Warehouse.

Mastering the Mastering Agreement

Special Series Part 5:  How to find "commercially reasonable" valuation in power contract terminations.

Justin Harlow and Brett Friedman

Contract termination should be easy. Consult the applicable master agreement, calculate the close-out amount, and send or receive a check. If only it were so. In this discussion, we investigate the guidance offered in the key electricity master agreements regarding the calculation of settlement amounts following an event of default and subsequent termination. We also illustrate what we perceive to be a "commercially reasonable" or "good faith" approach to determining settlement amounts.

Windpower: Beyond Boom and Bust

Windpower is caught in a vicious cycle of Washington politics. Escaping the cycle will require visionary leadership in Congress and the utility industry.

Michael T. Burr

With the Production Tax Credit subject to the whims of a fickle Congress, U.S. windpower remains in an ongoing state of uncertainty. Will the United States embrace the technology?

Distributed Generation: Hastening Genco Obsolescence?

DER: This final installment of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's series on distributed energy resources investigates efficiency, the environment, and generation displacement.

S. W. Hadley, T. K. Stovall

Do distributed energy resources result in more pollution, or less? Our final installment of the series from Oak Ridge National Laboratory answers the question.

Fulfilling the Value Proposition

The Next M&A Wave: If mergers are once again a potential strategy for accomplishing growth objectives, the previous round of transactions offer several lessons.

Tom Flaherty and Bill Kemp

The industry stands at an inflection point regarding consolidation. But this time, it is less likely to retreat from more and larger combinations. What’s driving renewed interest in mergers and acquisitions?

The EPA Speaks Out: The Clean Air Interstate Rule Explained

The Environmental Protection Agency reviews how the multi-pollutant control concept is to work.

Misha Adamantiades, Linda Chappell, and Sam Napolitano

Currently, 132 areas do not meet the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particles or ozone, affecting some 160 million people, or 57 percent of the U.S. population. What efforts are under way by the EPA to bring these areas into compliance?

Spot-Market Clearing

Solving the electricity credit malaise.

Todd W. Bessemer and Francis X. Shields

A monthly billing cycle results in exposures of up to 60 days’ settlement. Participant default is likely, and the potential loss from such an event is significant. Spot-market clearing can solve these problems.

A New Solid South

Where Entergy leads, will Wal-Mart follow?

Richard Stavros

Everyone is talking about Entergy's move to form a single-company RTO-lite across its service territory in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

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