How to maintain continuous power supply while measuring for weak spots.
Peter van der Wielen and Barry Ward
Failures in medium-voltage power cables and their components cause a large proportion of annual power service interruptions, especially in high-density urban areas. Locating and repairing weak areas in cables at an early stage can improve the reliability of the energy supply considerably. Partial discharge testing is a proven condition assessment/test methodology.
Robert Garvin, MAJ, TC, 3RD Corps Support Command: Serving here and seeing how poor the people of Iraq are after 30 years of a dictatorship is truly life changing. You would not believe the electricity challenges they face here. In a country of over 25 million people, Iraq has only about 5,000 MW of electricity at any given time.
Daniel Simon decided to investigate how much the extra heat of incandescent light bulbs over CFLs might cost a customer in air-conditioning cooling costs, compared to an analysis in “Squeezing BTUs From Light Bulbs.”
Discordant global-warming solutions may end up burning utilities.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
How will utilities in the next 10 years manage a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure buildout, higher interest rates/cost of capital, diminishing free cash flows, state renewable mandates, and political pressures to keep rates or power prices low, all while complying with carbon emissions programs that emphasize higher-cost fuels? Meeting the challenges may depend on whether a national carbon program that regulates carbon emissions is established.
(October 2006) Kansas City Power & Light promoted Kevin Bryant to vice president of Energy Solutions. American Electric Power announced a series of executive reassignments as part of the company’s succession planning strategy. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. elected Bill Morrow as president and COO. Bob Drennan, a 23-year Progress Energy veteran, has been named vice president of investor relations. And others...
America’s energy competition laboratory prepares to build.
Hind Farag and Gary L. Hunt
The ERCOT region remains a living example of how to make a successful transition to restructured wholesale and retail markets for electricity. At the same time, the market continues to witness some significant developments. Sights are turning from recovery to the next stage of the power business cycle: The Buildup.
Market prices send investors clear signals to invest in the most efficient means for producing electricity.
Thomas L. Welch
Higher electricity prices have drawn sharp attention to the design of organized wholesale electricity markets—particularly to areas where residential customers’ rates will increase because multi-year rate freezes are ending. Some suggest changing the way that markets set wholesale electricity prices, or doing away with competitive markets entirely and returning to government regulation of prices. They say that the design of the markets exaggerates the effects of natural-gas price increases and unfairly rewards generators that use lower-cost fuels.
Can utilities simultaneously manage rising costs and pressing capital investment needs?
Johannes P. Pfeifenberger
Does the utility industry have the financial strength sufficient to meet the combined challenges of: (1) sharply increasing and highly volatile fuel and purchased-power costs; (2) significant capital investment requirements; and (3) rising interest rates?
Beware even the best of attempts at apportioning grid rights and costs.
Bruce W. Radford
Several recent complaints involving PJM and now at FERC pose fundamental questions on how regulators and grid operators should attempt to price and allocate grid rights and costs. Is the transmission network a public asset, with costs that must be apportioned on principles of equity? Or, rather, is transmission an instrument of commerce, to be priced so as to maximize trade?
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