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Fortnightly Magazine - January 2007

A Utility Executives' Guide to 2007: A Cloudy Forecast

Experts predict the top issues that utilities will have to weather this year, and beyond.

Richard Stavros & Michael T. Burr

A soup-to-nuts preview of the next 12 months that touches on spinoffs and interest rates, climate change and New Source Review, the future of nuclear, investor returns, and natural-gas price volatility.

Trading on Carbon: How Markets Will Save the World

Utilities should plan for U.S.-wide CO2 emissions restrictions that will be more effective than state efforts.

Chuck Chakravarthy and John Rhoads

Utilities need to begin planning for U.S.-wide emissions restrictions that will be more effective than state efforts. Such restrictions are no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.”

Why You Should Care About CAIR

New provisions nearly eliminate the financial impacts of the rule’s ozone regulations.

Stephen T. Marron and John H. Wile

As of 2009, annual caps on NOx emissions imposed by the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) nearly will eliminate the financial impacts of CAIR’s ozone provisions. What does this mean for your utility?

Reliability Monitoring: The High-Tech Eye In the Sky

How reliability performance monitoring and standards compliance will be achieved in real time.

Carlos A. Martinez, Robert W. Cummings, Philip N. Overholt, and Joseph H. Eto

The North American electric power grid has suffered several significant outages in recent years. These events and other incidents around the world spotlight the need for enforceable grid-reliability standards, wide-area visibility of the health of the power system, and real-time monitoring of grid-reliability performance to prevent blackouts. Effective reliability management requires real-time tools and technologies that can detect standards violations so that timely corrective or preventive actions can be taken.

Letters to the Editor

Jay Kumar, President, Economic & Technical Consultants Inc.: Could Hind Farag and Gary L. Hunt point out any winner whose power costs have decreased after the implementation of LMP? I can bet they won’t find even one single (real) entity. ... I am glad that MISO is sticking to the original basis of a supposedly competitive market.

Diane Moody, Director, Statistical Analysis, American Public Power Association: “The Fallacy of High Prices” purports to show that restructuring of wholesale power markets has resulted in significant benefits. However, the analysis it offers in support of this proposition is not credible.

How Coal-Dependent Utilities Will Stay Clean

Case studies on how AEP and Southern Co. are preparing for CO2 regulations.

Chuck Chakravarthy and John Rhoads

Energy producers already have begun to prepare for coming CO2 regulations. As a first step, many companies are implementing internal trading schemes. In this article, we have focused on AEP and Southern Co. as case studies of how companies are preparing for a carbon-constrained world, because they are in the top 5 companies in the United States with the highest proportion of coal-fired generation in their fleets.

Another Food Fight!

The new transmission siting and permitting policies could be just as messy and unruly as the old ones.

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

The idea behind the NIETC is a noble one: to help facilitate the construction of badly needed transmission capacity to relieve congestion problems and improve reliability. In fact, the promotion of new infrastructure investment is at the heart of EPACT. But there’s just one problem. The new process for permitting and siting electric transmission under EPACT appears to be as flawed and contentious as it was pre-EPACT.

People

(January 2007) PNGC Power promoted Tom Haymaker to vice president of power supply. Calpine Corp. announced that Larry B. Leverett joined the company as senior vice president, gas trading. ITC Holdings Corp. announced that William J. Museler has been appointed to its board of directors. Sierra Pacific Resources announced that William D. Rogers has been named to the new position of vice president, finance and risk, and Corporate Treasurer. And others...

Consensus, Compromise, and Chopping Wood

NARUC President James Kerr seeks harmony among an unruly bunch of state regulators.

Michael T. Burr

As NARUC president, James Yancey Kerr II brings a federalist philosophy that emphasizes state and local sovereignty—and consensus among state regulators.

What's That Power Plant Really Worth?

An analysis of current valuation trends explains why some assets command better values than most.

Devrim Albuz and Gary L. Hunt

Average North America power-plant asset value is at $725/kW.1 Compared with our winter 2005-2006 analysis, this figure has barely changed; however, we have seen significant value movements based on region, fuel, and asset types.

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