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Public Utilities Reports

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Fortnightly Magazine - October 2013

Disruption on Wall Street

Financial executives contemplate the rise of distributed resources.

By Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

In a January 2013 report, EEI said fast-growing distributed energy could undermine the utility business model. Wall Street is paying attention.

Energiewende

Nuclear fear and Germany’s headlong plunge into renewable energy.

Tim Echols

On a recent trip to Germany to study the country’s energy policy, the phrase “energy transition,” or “energiewende” as the Germans say, was on everyone’s mind.

People

Duke appoints Steve Young to replace Lynn Good as CFO; CenterPoint and OGE Energy name executives for their new natural gas partnership; First Solar hires Joe Kishkill as chief commercial officer; Pepco promotes Donna Cooper to president; Cleco changes executive management team; plus announcements and appointments at KCPL, Chesapeake, UNS, FirstEnergy, and EPRI.

How to Build a Fence (and When)

A formal methodology for developing ring-fencing arrangements and setting conditions.

Howard Lubow, Ryan Pfaff, Robert Malko, and Leslie Moore Romine

How can decision makers determine the appropriate degree of ring-fencing for a utility holding company? The authors propose a systematic and objective method – recognizing business and financial risks specific to the regulated utility and its affiliates.

Hidden Predictability

Mining price signals in Ontario’s electricity market.

Russ Houldin and Bunli Yang

Hourly spot prices in Ontario power markets reveal no particular pattern – that is, unless you plot the price as a monthly average.

Cross-Border Bargaining

Interregional grid planning under FERC Order 1000.

Bruce W. Radford

Territorial fights emerge in the interregional transmission plans proposed for compliance with FERC Order 1000.

Five Years Later

Wall Street is back in business. What’s next for utility finance?

Michael T. Burr

When Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008, it marked the beginning of a financial crisis. By most accounts, the utility industry has been a picture of stability through tumultuous times. The view from Wall Street remains bullish – despite some reasons for concern.

Modeling Storm Outages

New tools for enhancing utility preparedness and response.

Michael Beck, Seth Guikema, Ken Buckstaff, and Steven Quiring

Sandy and other major storms have raised the bar for outage management. New modeling systems help utilities predict effects and plan their response.

What Price, Resiliency?

Evaluating the cost effectiveness of grid-hardening investments.

Philip Mihlmester and Kiran Kumaraswamy

As with any investment, resiliency upgrades can reach a point of diminishing returns. Analyzing the costs and benefits can help guide upgrade strategies.

America’s Energy Future: So Who Are the Good Guys?

Not just ‘all of the above,’ but ‘how much of each?’

Harvey L. Reiter

For proponents of a clean energy economy, identifying the “good guys” is no easy task.

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