The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that all electric power sales into the California power exchange are to be treated as wholesale power sales under Federal Power Act Sec. 201, and for the purpose of qualifying under the definition of "exempt wholesale generator," as defined in Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. (See, Docket No. el97-36-000.)
The September 10 ruling was made in response to a request by Southern California Edison, which plans to divest all its fossil-fueled electric generation plants. SoCalEd had argued that without a PUHCA exemption, a purchaser of generating plants might unwittingly acquire the status of a public utility holding company.
SoCalEd had argued that exempt status would ensure the facilities are properly valued without the price-depressing effects of PUHCA's registration requirements. Exempt status also would allow utilities to receive full market value for divested facilities.
While the power exchange will not take title to electricity, it will act as an intermediary that determines dispatch, price and allocations among wholesale and retail buyers. In those circumstances, FERC found it reasonable to construe that both the PX and supply bidders would engage in sales of electricity.
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