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Fortnightly Magazine - March 2013

'Resilience'

A new watchword for the industry and its regulators.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

If the concept of resilience—including cyber and physical security—had been baked into the industry’s culture from the beginning, the energy grid might look a lot different from what it does today.

Learning from the States

Energy strategy outside the Beltway.

Thomas J. Sloan

National policymakers will find allies in state legislators who are focused on how to improve the environment and maintain service reliability.

People

(March 2013) NSTAR appoints new president; Southern Company names new financial management team; BPA gets new administrator; plus management changes at AEP, Duke, ITC, ConEdison, GDF Suez, ERCOT, MISO, NARUC, and others.

Transactions

(January 2013) Constellation sold gas assets in Alabama; Atlantic Power sold interests in three Florida cogeneration projects for $136 million; redeemed $150 million of preferred stock; plus debt issues by EdF, and Cheniere totaling $9.8 billion.

Regulated Tax Equity Finance

Distribution utilities could become an important source of renewable funding.

Ralph Loomis

Distribution utilities are well positioned to provide tax equity for renewable projects, but some state laws prevent it. Tapping the potential will require progressive leadership by utility executives and regulators.

Entergy's Power Play

The ITC merger and link-up with MISO.

Bruce W. Radford

The thing to know about Entergy’s bid to join the Midwest ISO—and its plan to first sell its transmission lines to burgeoning grid giant ITC—is just how many moving parts are involved.

Turning Energy Inside Out

Amory Lovins on negawatts, renewables, and neoclassical markets.

Michael T. Burr

Fortnightly speaks with Amory Lovins about the evolving role of conservation, competition, and distributed resources in the energy industry.

Scratching the Surface

A 2013 retrospective on ‘Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts’ (1985)

Amory B. Lovins

The basic conclusion of “Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts”—that big thermal plants are obsolete—has proven true, as has its call for flexibility and strategic risk management. But the big issues now are no longer about marginal costs; they’re about the very nature of the electricity enterprise.

Peaceful Coexistence

Independent microgrids are coming. Will franchised utilities fight them or foster them?

Sara C. Bronin and Paul R. McCary

Despite offering a range of benefits, microgrids are proving to be controversial—especially when non-utility owned microgrids seek to serve multiple customers. The biggest battles are taking place in the realm of public policy. But utilities that pursue collaboration rather than confrontation are finding interesting opportunities for profitable investment.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The transition to distributed generation calls for a new regulatory model.

Robert E. Curry Jr.

With the best of intentions, policymakers have encouraged the proliferation of distributed generation (DG) in various forms. Now, however, the trend toward DG is accelerating more rapidly than traditional utility ratemaking and business models are capable of managing. Failure to rationalize the regulatory framework will bring serious and costly disruption.

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