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Public Utilities Reports

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Fortnightly Magazine - April 2013

Smaller, Cheaper, and More Resilient

The rationale for microgrids.

Edward N. Krapels and Clarke Bruno

Despite an array of challenges, microgrids are becoming a force in the market. Innovative projects bring greater efficiency and resilience.

No Going Back

Free markets are not a fad.

By Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Half-hearted deregulation hobbles the forces of supply and demand before they can get out of the gate.

Elevated Risk

In an open letter to directors, IBM’s energy security lead recommends appointing a senior executive with authority to effect cultural change.

Andy Bochman

Achieving security requires a new office in the C-suite. An open letter to utility directors.

People

Southern Company makes changes in operations and power subsidiaries; Michael Chesser to leave KCPL board; Dynegy names new e.v.p.; Rolando Pablos resigns from Texas PUC; In Memoriam: Kris R. Nielsen.

Transactions

February was a quiet month for debt issues, with asset sales and equity issues dominating the market. Deals by NextEra, Sempra, SRP, Dominion, TransCanada, and others totaled at least $2.4 billion.

No Fuel, No Power

Lessons from New England on electric-gas market coordination.

Bruce W. Radford

Despite the hype about cheap gas, pipeline constraints are creating new risks. New England’s wholesale power prices ran three times as high this past February compared to the same month in 2012.

Build to Order

Engineers and constructors adapt to serve an industry in transition.

Michael T. Burr

From gas pipelines to PV arrays, the nation’s contractors are seeing growth in utility infrastructure. Fortnightly talks with executives at engineering and construction firms to learn what kinds of projects are moving forward, where they’re located, and what lies over the horizon.

Looking Beyond Transmission

FERC Order 1000 and the case for alternative solutions.

Elizabeth Watson and Kenneth Colburn

How FERC Order 1000 gives short shrift to NTAs (non-transmission alternatives) in regional system planning—while consumers pay the price.

Bottling the Genie

Why deregulation is easy and reregulation is hard.

Douglas N. Jones

Even with convincing evidence that deregulation has failed to deliver promised benefits, efforts to restore public oversight face tough resistance. The reasons involve policy inertia—and blind faith in free markets.

Sandy and the Smart Grid

Disaster shows the need for grid modernization. Is technology up to the challenge?

John D. McDonald

With a road map for planning, utilities can realign organizations, integrate systems, and satisfy stakeholders. The destination: a more resilient grid

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