A strategic approach to mitigating rate increases and greenhouse gas price risk.
Experience in the Duke Energy Carolinas service territory shows that high penetration rates for electric vehicles, combined with increased natural gas-fired power generation, can result in lower costs to customers and lower risks for utility shareholders—while also reducing total emissions of greenhouse gases. However, these outcomes depend on policy changes that facilitate smart, off-peak vehicle charging, and that allow utilities to capture the benefits of a more environmentally friendly power system.
(September 2011) Walgreens to install eVgo charging stations at 800 sites; Siemens and eMeter team up in Maryland; Glasgow muni installs Elster meters; ABB completes Mincom acquisition; JDSU acquires Quanta-Sol PV technology; Survalent installs SCADA system at tidal power project; PECO selects Telvent; plus announcements and contracts involving Trilliant, Sensus, S&C Electric, Navigant, Ernst & Young, PSE&G, Portland General Electric and others.
(January 2009) El Paso Electric (EPE) selected David W. Stevens as CEO. DPL Inc. promoted Frederick J. Boyle to senior vice president, CFO and treasurer of DPL and its principal subsidiary, The Dayton Power and Light Co. Great Plains Energy named Todd Kobayashi v.p., strategy and risk management. Consumers Energy promoted Richard J. Ford to vice president of energy delivery. And others...
Utility turbines bridge the capacity gap.
Utilities are turning to natural gas as a bridge fuel, and to support non-dispatchable renewables.
State and federal incentives push utilities to invest in grid intelligence.
State and federal incentives provide the carrot for utilities to invest in grid intelligence. But regulatory and technological incentives are not enough without customer participation. Smart-grid policies will succeed only by focusing on customer needs and benefits.
Volatile markets are causing delays, but most deals are moving forward.
Although problems in the power business grabbed the headlines early this decade, the industry now seems fundamentally strong. In contrast to their ratings of banks, rating agencies appear to have recently upgraded more of the electric sector than they have downgraded. It remains a strong investment grade, usually BB or BBB. For an index of 68 electric utilities, the debt-to-equity ratio averaged only 55:45 and return on equity exceeded over 13 percent through January.
January’s debt-issue activity portends a rush on the markets later this year.
Something seemed rotten in December. Fortnightly’s survey of utility and financial deals for that month turned up so few debt issues, we wondered if our research methods were failing. We found only one significant utility bond issue during the month; Allegheny’s West Penn Power issued $275 million in 10-year notes. December’s deathly quiet raised questions about whether we were missing most of the deals.
Conservation investments benefit participants and non-participants alike
Charles J. Cicchetti, Ph.D.
For-profit energy efficiency programs are coming. Duke Energy proposes to align the interests of shareholders and retail customers within an expanded least-cost approach. Convincing regulators will require taking a holistic view of the costs and benefits.