FERC Gives Guidance To Foreign Affiliates. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 15 denied a petition by British Columbia Power Exchange Corp. (Powerex), the power marketing affiliate of British Columbia Hydro and Canada-utility Power Authority (BC Hydro) to sell power at market-based rates.
The order marked the first time the FERC showed how it will apply Order 888's open-access requirements to foreign utility affiliates (Docket No. ER97-556-000).
"I look forward to Powerex taking another run at this issue," says Commissioner James Hoecker. He pointed out that comparability of transmission service is needed because Canada is largely regulated by provinces, and the advent of competition there will affect rates by region in the U.S.
The FERC did not allow Powerex to use market-based rates because it had not demonstrated that transmission market power had been adequately mitigated. FERC was not convinced that BC Hydro's tariffs satisfied its nondiscriminatory transmission access requirements.
DOE Moves On Nuclear Transportation. The Department of Energy is accepting comments from private firms until March 31, 1997 on a proposal to move spent nuclear fuel from storage near reactors across the nation to a government facility, which has not yet been designated.
The proposal divides the nation into four service regions, and bidders would submit proposals to service each. DOE expects to award one or more contracts under a cost-sharing plan.
The overall waste acceptance, transportation and storage project is expected to last about 40 years, and DOE expects to seek more competitive proposals during that time.
OASIS Launched On The 'Net. The Open Access Same Time Information System mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission began commercial operation on Jan. 3 with a few technical problems.
The problems on opening day were related to lack of familiarity among users, and technical problems with OASIS.
OASIS, which allows customers to purchase electric transmission services on the nation's electric grid through the internet, is structured around 22 computer nodes located throughout the U.S. Users access each OASIS node to obtain up-to-the-minute information on transmission services, price and availability, and to purchase or resell transmission services.
The network is open to electric utilities, other transmission providers, independent power producers, or power brokers.
Several Canadian utilities also are registered as transmission providers. t
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