Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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AEP

Going to the Bank

Financial buyers are snapping up power plants faster than at any time in history. The asset shift represents an interim step in a wholesale-market transformation.

Michael T. Burr

A dam broke last year, releasing a wave that even now is spreading through the U.S. power industry. Deals that had been languishing on the auction block for months suddenly surged forward in 2004, and assets began changing ownership at a torrential pace. Understanding what this means for the power industry requires a long-term perspective on wholesale-market trends.

Exelon's Epic End Game

Electric M&A: The merger with PSE&G may herald a new industry structure, squarely at odds with regional markets.

Bruce W. Radford

The marriage between Exelon and PSEG would create the largest electric utility in the United States. The policy implications could loom even larger, however. Standing at risk is nothing less than FERC’s entire regulatory regime for approval of mergers and market-based rates.

People

FERC Chairman Pat Wood III said he would leave the commission at the conclusion of his term of office June 30. Wood is the longest-serving appointee of George W. Bush, who as governor of Texas in 1995 appointed him to the Texas PUC. And others...

Business & Money

Sticking to the Knitting:
Dean C. Maschoff, Thomas F. Read, and R. John Dingle

Business & Money

Sticking to the Knitting:

A review of three years of post-Enron stock performance by electric utilities.

Immediately following the Enron collapse, investors dumped the stock of any electric power company that appeared to be pursuing non-traditional growth strategies. Any company that emphasized unregulated businesses-investments in overseas assets, merchant power plant development, and energy marketing and trading-was suspect.

Frontlines

Can utility executives find happiness in back-to-basics?
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

Frontlines

Can utility executives find happiness in back-to-basics?

We've read the pitch a number of times in these very pages. Top investment bankers have told us that a "back-to-basics" strategy will never produce a high-enough return to please electric utility stockholders; that the only solution to bridge this "earnings gap" would involve a rash of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) between utilities.

A Changing U.S. Climate

GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS
Sanne B. Jacobsen, Neil J. Numark And Paloma Sarria

GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS

The states are getting into the act on greenhouse emissions, and the power industry is getting more proactive. What policy measures are appropriate?

A growing number of U.S. utility companies have come out in favor of federal mandatory limits on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from their facilities.

Coal Gasification Gets Real

The technology works, but public policy will dictate its future.
Michael T. Burr

The technology works, but public policy will dictate its future.

A distant train whistle breaks the silence of a mid-winter evening on Minnesota's Iron Range. The melancholy sound echoes across the expanse of a frozen lake that now fills a long-disused LTV Steel pit near the town of Hoyt Lakes.

Reversing the Gas Crisis: The Methane Hydrate Solution

 Commercialization of methane recovery from coastal deposits of methane hydrates could head off an impending gas shortage.

Henry R. Linden

REVERSING THE GAS CRISIS

Commercialization of methane recovery from coastal deposits of methane hydrates could head off an impending gas shortage.

Looking superficially at today's gas market data, one might conclude that all is well with the gas industry.

IT Roundtable: The Digitized Grid

Data gathering and controllability offer the quickest path to reliability.
Michael T. Burr

IT Roundtable

Data gathering and controllability offer the quickest path to reliability.

Managing power grids in North America has become much more complicated in recent years, and that complexity grows with each passing day.

Commission Watch

PJM/Midwest Market:
Bruce Radford

Commission Watch

PJM/Midwest Market:

Should transmission owners get paid extra for distance and voltage?

While the Midwest now appears set on competitive bidding for the electricity commodity, taking from PJM such tried-and-true elements as locational marginal pricing (LMP), financial transmission rights (FTRs), and a day-ahead market with a security-constrained dispatch, the region remains split over the pricing of transmission.

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