Mergers & Acquisitions
NSP + New Century. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission OK'd the merger of Northern States Power Co. (NSP) and New Century Energies Inc. (NCE), to form Xcel Energy Inc., on condition that the new company would join the Midwest Independent System Operator. FERC Docket No. EC99-101- 000, Jan. 12, 2000, 90 FERC ¶61,020.
* Rate Pancaking. The FERC found no problem with transmission rate pancaking with the MISO condition, even though NCE subsidiary Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS) belongs to the rival Southwest Power Pool.
<p>Not hardly. And now the FTC would leave consumers in the dark on some environmental claims.</p>
The green power mind-set is locked in the wholesale world, clueless about what it takes to perfect real consumer products.
Philip M. Marston
Want auctions for gas capacity? Don't think pipeline. Think online.
In July 1998, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signaled its intent to try one more time to make greater use of electronic auctions in the pricing and allocation of regulated gas pipeline transmission capacity. The proposed rule, issued in Docket No. RM98-10, marks the third major effort by the commission in this area. Several workshops have already been held. Formal comments are due Jan. 22.
Joseph F. Schuler Jr.
IF COMPETITIVE ELECTRIC MARKETS PROMISE LEAN MARGINS and slim savings on commodity sales, then perhaps transmission and distribution companies could play a larger role in selling end-user services.
Yet low-risk T&D companies, building on their reputations as reliable providers, may need to grow to acquire the "critical mass" needed to make money selling services over delivery systems.
One of the few, if not only, businesses publicly betting on this strategy is the $4.1-billion GPU Inc. of Morristown, N.J. - and GPU means business.
Phillip S. Cross
WHETHER YOU CALL IT "DEREGULATION" OR "re-regulation," the promised move to competition does not mean less regulation - at least not any time soon.
Bruc W. Radford
THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS," SO THE ADS SAY.
But what about a hostile bailout? I wouldn't have believed it myself until the news arrived, forcing me to rewrite this column at press time.
Imagine: Enron offering to reimburse PECO Energy for $5.4 billion in stranded costs, while taking on the role as the electricity provider of last resort for southeast Pennsylvania.
No doubt you have already read a half-dozen news stories about Enron's play for PECO. The details should sound familiar; the Philly papers were filled with lively quotes. On Oct.
Today's critics decry stranded costs, yet fail to cover their tracks.
Many of today's most vociferous critics of stranded cost recovery were once among the most ardent supporters of the nuclear plants they now disavow.
Back in the '70s, when electric utilities and regulators laid out their long-term plans, nuclear power played a leading role, and American industry largely concurred. Now, however, 20 years later, the business sector sings a new tune. "I told you so," the refrain goes.
MCN Investment Corp. and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. plan to build a $45-million liquified natural gas plant near the Delaware-Maryland border. The project, named Continental States Peaking Services L.L.C., would liquify, store and vaporize gas beginning in early 2000. It would connect to the Eastern Shore Natural Gas pipeline system, with access to the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Columbia Gas Transmission system.
Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
Appliance Repair Business. Responding to complaints from unregulated providers, New York rules that natural gas LDCs must run their appliance repair services through a separate subsidiary. PSC terms its existing policies "anachronistic" and finds that subsidies for appliance repair services are inappropriate. Case 93-G-0804, April 4, 1997 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
DSM Program Design. Michigan appeals court says state PSC exceeded authority and "impermissibly interfered with management decisions" of Detroit Edison Co.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
"When they come to town ... we'll ... accompany them to Capitol Hill ... to make their trip to Washington a 'two-fer,' if you will."
Paul Rodgers knocked NARUC on its ear last July when he announced his resignation as executive of that century-old association.
Rodgers, also general counsel, had served the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners for more than 30 years.
His unexpected move came in the midst of strategic planning at NARUC.