Calendar of Events

Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Aug 11, 2014 to Aug 12, 2014 | New York, NY
Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL

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Public Utilities Reports

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EPA

The Blackout of 2003: Why We Fell Into The Heart of darkness

The road to the current reliability crisis is paved with four decades of bad policy decisions.
John O. Sillin

The road to the current reliability crisis is paved with four decades of bad policy decisions.

 

The technical causes of the great Northeast blackout of August 2003 are coming into focus. For reasons yet unknown as of press time, transmission lines in northern Ohio were lost to the grid, and within seconds 50 million people in the United States and Canada were without power. Soon we will no doubt know the specific reasons for the blackout, and technical corrections and improvements will be made.

People

New Positions:
We welcome submissions to People, especially those accompanied by a high-resolution color photograph. E-mail to: photos@pur.com

People

New Positions:

Mirant's board of directors elected Robert N. Dangremond as its chief restructuring officer, following the company's Chapter 11 filing in mid-July. Dangremond is a principal with AlixPartners LLC.

Beth W. Cooper was appointed corporate treasurer of Chesapeake Utilities Corp., headquartered in Dover, Del. Cooper moves from the role of assistant treasurer for the utility.

Benchmarks

Significant obstacles stand in the way of achieving cost savings that should accrue to market-based emissions trading policies.
John Blaney

Face-Off: The Renaissance of Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is on the verge of an extraordinary expansion.
John Sillin

PUHCA Companies: Caught By Superfund

An analysis of holding company liability under federal Superfund and parallel state laws.
Kenneth R. Myers, Esq.

An analysis of holding company liability under federal Superfund and parallel state laws.

Environmental cleanup to meet federal and state requirements carries substantial costs that tend to rest disproportionately on public utilities. Looking back at their corporate history, a few utilities have discovered some unique tools to reduce this economic burden.

Feel-Good Electric Waste

Like diets that make us fat, efficiency is bad for the environment.

Andrew Rudin

The last 30 years in America have seen great improvements in the energy efficiency of electric motors, appliances, and other end-use equipment. Think of compact fluorescents, ground-source heat pumps, and thermal window glazing. Add variable speed drives, chilled water AC, and high-pressure sodium street lighting. You name it, we've got it.

Capping Emissions: How Low Should We Go?

Investigating where environmental efficiency and good public policy intersect.
Karen Palmer, Spencer Banzhaf, and Dallas Burtraw

Investigating where environmental efficiency and good public policy intersect.

More than a decade after adopting the first national cap-and-trade approach to regulating pollution from electricity generators, Congress is considering another round of cap-and-trade regulations on a number of gases emitted by electricity generators.

Benchmarks

As Latin America swoons, the electricity sector holds on tight.

Jeffrey Barron

Fighting to Privatize

As Latin America swoons, the electricity sector holds on tight.

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) World Economic Outlook September 2002 gives a fragile outlook in the short-term for Latin America. In 2002, regional output contracted by 2.5 percent in the first quarter (compared with the final quarter of 2001) and is expected to fall in 2002 as a whole, according to the IMF.

Off Peak

Power plants choose that most renewable of fuels.

Dung Deal

Power plants choose that most renewable of fuels.

Power from pig poop. Sounds like a skit from Saturday Night, but it's not. In July, a bona fide dung-fired power plant came online in that most proper of nations, Great Britain. And according to the firm behind the project, Farmatic UK, the plant could be the first of many in Britain.

Dung-fired power plants are also popular in Germany and Denmark, which each has about 20 large-scale plants operating.

Gas Turbinemania: The Merchant Power Plant

Why it happened? Who lost in the bust? Who will survive to build another turbine?
Robert L. Sansom and A. Michael Schaal

Why it happened? Who lost in the bust? Who will survive to build another turbine?

The period from late 2001 to April 2002 witnessed a classic industry shakeout as a result of a merchant power development sector that became too ambitious in its power plant development plans.

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