Calendar of Events

Jul 08, 2014 to Jul 10, 2014 | San Francisco, CA
Jul 13, 2014 to Jul 16, 2014 | Dallas, TX
Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

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Public Utilities Reports

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Distributed generation

Distributed Generation: Doomed by Deployment Details?

The industry makes strides, but messy issues like air quality and building codes could be showstoppers.
Carl J. Levesque

 

News Analysis

Phillip S. Cross

But the lower returns on equity don't necessarily result from gen selloffs or moves toward stand-alone distribution.

A survey of utility rate decisions affecting authorized rates of return on common equity (ROE), as issued by state public utility commissions (PUCs) during the period Sept. 30, 1998 to Sept. 30, 1999, indicates a small but discernible trend toward lower returns.

Distributed Generation: Last Big Battle for State Regulators?

Richard Stavros

California again is the proving ground. Analysts see DG as the biggest issue since the PUC first mapped its "vision" for retail competition.

Paradigm Buster: Why Distributed Power Will Rewrite Open-Access Rules

Francis H. Cummings and Philip M. Marston, Esq.

The T&D grid, once deemed a bottleneck, will now face pressure from both ends. Is it still the same old monopoly?

Some 30-odd years ago physicist and philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn coined the phrase "paradigm shift" to describe a radical change in a mental framework for interpreting facts. His key work, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," published in 1962, focused on the role of paradigms in scientific thought - such as the Copernican sun-centered solar system or Planck's work in quantum mechanics.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

The wires business goes up for grabs as California opens its landmark case on distributed generation.

Jay Morse has studied distributed generation for the past seven years. Today, as an engineer and policy analyst on regulatory transition and market development issues for the California PUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, he sits in the eye of the storm. Technology is busting out all over, says Morse, who calls himself the "godfather" of DG in California's electric restructuring.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Micro maverick Bill Althouse sees a grand conspiracy to blot out customer-owned generation.

Distributed generation is out of the box. It's time for regulators to wake up. The paradigm has already shifted."

That's Bill Althouse talking, president of Althouse Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., a seat-of-the pants business (he says he's near bankruptcy) that helps homeowners and businesses install on-site generation. I met him via email as I researched why, on Jan.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

I've been learning about venture capital funds for electric utilities. The lesson has run the gamut: from competition to cannibalization; from portfolios to the laws of thermodynamics; from the next new thing to the renaissance of a 19th-century technology.

Some might ask: Isn't venture capital just like gambling? Not so, say execs from two utilities now getting their feet wet in a venture fund. All the same, this story will take us to Atlantic City casinos before it's done.

Generation: Big or Small?

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Generation: Big orDistributed power may turn

heads, but economics points

to central plants.

By Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

By 2010, distributed power technologies will make up as much as 30 percent of new electric generation.

Distributed Generation: Competitive Threat or Opportunity?

George T. Preston, and Daniel M. Rastler

Will new technologies undermine the customer base?

Or can utilities use them offensively?The electric power industry stands poised to move to a fully competitive market. Business realities already imply a broadening of customer choice.

Distributed Generation: Implications for Restructuring the Electric Power Industry

Mohamed M. El-Gasseir

Until a few years ago, the concept of distributed or modular generation was largely academic. Recent developments in the electric power industry, however, have brought this once esoteric subject to the attention of utility executives as well as state and federal policymakers. Centralized, large-scale plans to use modular generators and demand-side management (DSM) to displace utility investments in bulk-power resources and high-voltage transmission projects is unrealistic.

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