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Fortnightly Magazine - January 2007

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.

Utility Profits Soar

The recovering merchant sector leads earnings improvements in the third quarter.

Jean Reaves Rollins

Although total revenues were up by almost 5 percent for the third quarter of 2006 over Q3 2005, operating income and net income were up by 22.82 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Future Imperfect: Managing Strategic Risk In an Age of Uncertainty

Part 1 of a 2-part article explores new technologies most likely to influence competitive success.

Dr. David L. Bodde

When fighter pilots list the advantages of one combat aircraft over another, they do not speak primarily of speed. Rather, they refer to the ability of one aircraft to “turn inside” another, to negate other aspects of performance with a superior turning radius. For the utility industry, fundamental changes in technology, markets, or regulatory requirements can “turn inside” the ability of companies to respond, as long-lived investments and choice of fuels lock them into their strategic choices for decades. This article proposes ways for utility leaders to understand strategic risk better and manage it more effectively.

States of Denial

Three challenges to federal authority from those unhappy with the status quo.

Bruce W. Radford

A look at how regulators, grid operators, and consumer advocates in Arkansas, California and Connecticut have posed challenges to established law and policy at FERC.

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.

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