Stanley A. Klein
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS ARE HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON computers and communications. The electric power industry is reputed to be the third largest user of computers and communications, behind government and the banking industry. When regulators and legislators make decisions regarding the electric power industry, their decisions often carry implications for the industry's computer systems. However, it is rare for these implications to attract significant consideration or influence in the deliberative process.
Bruce W. Radford
NO MORE METER MONOPOLY?
So they say. Many believe that utility control over electric metering exerts a chilling effect on retail choice in energy. They claim that competitive energy service providers cannot earn a high-enough margin on the commodity alone, but must offer companion services - metering, billing and value-added options.
Yet the road to competitive metering is pitted with potholes. Utilities, ESPs and private meter vendors and manufacturers can be found arguing over a raft of issues.
Bruce W. Radford
Did you hear the one about the utility dispatcher who downed one too many and paid too much for power? He said his system was loaded.
But his customers weren't. To learn more, I refer you to Kati Sasseville, the recently, though only somewhat, retired general counsel of Otter Tail Power Co., who believes that she and other colleagues at her former company have discovered something that everyone else has overlooked. The story begins in 1924, when Allegheny Power and Philadelphia Electric became the first utilities in the country to interconnnect their lines.
FERC Commissioner Vicky A. Bailey named Robert H. Solomon as her new attorney advisor for electric matters. Solomon has been with the Office of General Counsel since joining FERC in 1988. He has held key positions such as Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Electric Rates and Corporate Regulation.
AmeriGas Propane Inc. announced the election of Richard C. Gozon as director. Gozon will replace Robert C. Forney who recently retired. Gozon is executive vice president of Weyerhaeuser Co.
Bruce W. Radford
EARLIER IN THIS DECADE, FERC CHAIRMAN MARTIN ALLDAY delivered his famous quote: "Everybody is somebody's native load customer."
Today, that truism has fallen under attack. It could go out the window if power marketers get their wish. One group of marketers has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to open a new rulemaking on electric system reliability. This group proposes to end the notion of transmission responding to load.
THE board of trustees for Con Edison named James P. O'Brien general auditor. O'Brien joined Con Edison in 1972 after serving in the U.S. Navy. He will replace Lawrence F. Travaglia who is retiring.
Consolidated Natural Gas Co. named Elena C. Mola vice president, Latin America/Europe, of its subsidiary CNG International.
Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution named David Johnson vice president of its distribution automation division.
The Energen board of directors announced two promotions.
Steven P. Schneider
THREE FACTORS (em RESTRUCTURING, TECHNOLOGY AND environmental controls (em now create both reason and opportunity for electric utilities to lower their property taxes, which often make up a substantial cost of doing business.
Property tax valuation is fairly straightforward. Most states compute property taxes on fair market value, or what a hypothetical buyer and seller would agree the property is worth, with both parties having knowledge of the relevant facts and neither compelled to buy or sell.
Lori M. Rodgers
NO ONE LIKES TO BE TOLD THAT HE OR SHE ISN'T CEN-
tral to the job at hand. But that was part of the message that Vinod Dar, managing director of Hagler Bailly's restructuring group, told a gathering of state public utility commissioners.
Take electric utility industry restructuring, for example. At the beginning of the game, Dar said, regulators are important because they create the intellectual structure. They are also important at the end game, to codify rules.
Karl Stahlkopf and Philip R. Sharp
POWER DISTURBANCES COST U.S. ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS about $26 billion each year: nearly three times the anticipated annual saving from deregulation.
Competition and restructuring will only turn up the pressure, as the grid carries more low-cost power over longer distances to a wider variety of customers.
Already we are seeing a rapid rise in wholesale power transactions. Some utilities now complete as many such transactions in one day as they previously made in one week. Overall, the value of wholesale transactions has increased fourfold over the last decade.
CON EDISON renamed two unregulated subsidiaries: ProMark Energy Inc. (now Con Edison Solutions Inc.) and Gramercy Development Inc. (now Con Edison Development Inc.). Con Edison Solutions will provide electricity, natural gas and oil to commercial and residential customers in the Northeast. Con Edison Development will invest in energy and nonenergy business in the U.S. and overseas.
AES Corp. has begun construction of an 830-megawatt, gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in San Nicolás, Argentina. Nichimen Corp.