Calendar of Events

Oct 20, 2014 to Oct 23, 2014 | Orlando, FL
Oct 27, 2014 to Oct 31, 2014 | Clearwater Beach, FL
Nov 05, 2014 to Nov 06, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada

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Public Utilities Reports

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Capacity Planning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Market-Power Tests: A review of FERC’s market-based rate (MBR) screens, from theory to application.

John R. Morris, Ph.D.

FERC’s market-power screens have been tested and found wanting in some areas. The author examines the screens’ strengths and weaknesses, then proposes future solutions.

Windpower: Beyond Boom and Bust

Windpower is caught in a vicious cycle of Washington politics. Escaping the cycle will require visionary leadership in Congress and the utility industry.

Michael T. Burr

With the Production Tax Credit subject to the whims of a fickle Congress, U.S. windpower remains in an ongoing state of uncertainty. Will the United States embrace the technology?

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.

A New Solid South

Where Entergy leads, will Wal-Mart follow?

Richard Stavros

Everyone is talking about Entergy's move to form a single-company RTO-lite across its service territory in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Gas Executives Forum: The New Downstream Dynamic

Gas distributors tell how their business strategies are changing in response to issues such as higher gas prices, electric M&A, LNG, and gas pipeline development. 

Michael T. Burr

Does the push for liquefied natural gas raise more questions than it answers? Will natural-gas prices level off? Gas executives from Duke Energy, New Jersey Natural Gas, National Grid USA, Sempra Energy, and Southern Co. tackle the most pressing issues.

Gas Transport Rates: A Puzzling Prospect

Why does FERC want to limit pipeline discounts?

Bruce W. Radford

It's certainly puzzling, if not downright peculiar. That's the feeling one gets after studying the notice of inquiry (NOI) that FERC launched late last year, after nearly 10 years of dragging its feet, to re-examine the wisdom of encouraging the practice of rate discounting by interstate natural gas pipelines.

FERC’s Market-Power Test: First, Do No Harm

Why a new market-power screen—accounting for the relationship between customers and suppliers in the wholesale marketplace—is a necessity.

Louis R. Jahn

The philosophy of "first, do no harm" has served the medical profession well for more than 2,000 years. Today, it may be equally good advice for FERC as it seeks to create fair and accurate screens to determine who does and does not have market power. One of the two interim screens FERC is using to evaluate applications for market-based rate authority may create a large number of false positives—power suppliers judged to have market power when in reality they do not. To remedy this, FERC should add a new market-power screen based upon an analysis of the actual relationship between customers and suppliers in the wholesale marketplace.

Commission Watch

What everybody missed in setting up the regional grids.
Bruce W. Radford

Commission Watch

What everybody missed in setting up the regional grids.

While the electric utility industry has largely agreed on what elements to include in a standard market design (SMD) to govern wholesale power trading in a given region, recent experience shows that the regulators from time to time have overlooked a number of things.

The Global LNG Gamble

The Geopolitical Risks of LNG
Michael T. Burr

The Geopolitical Risks of LNG

To many energy-industry analysts, 2005 is a make-or-break year for the U.S. gas market. If we don't have at least several liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in construction by the end of the year, the country arguably will face serious gas-supply shortages and price spikes beginning in about 2008.1

Commission Watch

Alaskan Gas Development
Bruce W. Radford

Commission Watch

Alaskan Gas Development

FERC may have to carve out a special set of rules if it wants to bring Arctic gas south to the lower-48.

When President Bush signed the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2004, forcing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the first time to set formal rules to cover capacity solicitations and subscriptions for a new pipeline, one might have thought that North Slope gas was on the fast track.

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