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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GE

Coal Gasification Gets Real

The technology works, but public policy will dictate its future.
Michael T. Burr

The technology works, but public policy will dictate its future.

A distant train whistle breaks the silence of a mid-winter evening on Minnesota's Iron Range. The melancholy sound echoes across the expanse of a frozen lake that now fills a long-disused LTV Steel pit near the town of Hoyt Lakes.

Commission Watch

PJM/Midwest Market:
Bruce Radford

Commission Watch

PJM/Midwest Market:

Should transmission owners get paid extra for distance and voltage?

While the Midwest now appears set on competitive bidding for the electricity commodity, taking from PJM such tried-and-true elements as locational marginal pricing (LMP), financial transmission rights (FTRs), and a day-ahead market with a security-constrained dispatch, the region remains split over the pricing of transmission.

Model Risk Management: How to Avoid an Earnings Surprise

MODEL RISK MANAGEMENT:
John Bampfylde and David Shimko

MODEL RISK MANAGEMENT:

The industry is going down the mark-to-market route, creating significant opportunities for earnings swings and distortions.

Model risk is no longer the purview of quants and analysis groups hidden deep within the organization. With mark-to-market (MTM) accounting, the quants' MTM pricing models now drive earnings, and, as we all know, earnings drive CEOs.

Roundtable: The Future Of Generation

ROUNDTABLE
Michael T. Burr

ROUNDTABLE

Meeting tomorrow's power needs will pose tough choices

"I have seen the future, and it doesn't work."

Journalist Robert Fulford wasn't thinking about the power-generation industry when he coined this oft-quoted expression. But he almost could have been.

Business & Money

After FERC's Market Power Ruling:
Mike Beck and Craig Hart

Business & Money

After FERC's Market Power Ruling:

Will financiers dominate the market?

The recent approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of its "interim" market power screen and policies on investor-owned utilities (IOU) affiliate transactions is changing the market dynamics for buying and selling generation assets. Yet, while the market test has drawn plenty of comments and complaints, the long-term effects are still uncertain.

Frontlines

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

Frontlines

Imported natural gas contains more Btus and fewer impurities than the domestic variety, raising questions for LNG development.

It started as a small problem that was supposed to stay small. When Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called for a global natural gas market in 2003, the industry knew inherently that the quality and composition of natural gas imported from places like Qatar and Nigeria would vary from the gas used domestically in the United States.

Power Measurements

Energy trading returns, healthier and wiser.
Gary L. Hunt and Grant Thain

Power Measurement

Energy trading returns, healthier and wiser.

The recent announcement of a trading joint venture between TXU and Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) is the latest in a series of positive news items supporting the return of energy trading. Wall Street firms continue to expand into the energy-trading sector, with Citigroup as well as CSFB moving into an area already well represented by the likes of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS.

People

New Opportunities:
Pueblo Chieftain

People

New Opportunities:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appointed Joseph H. McClelland director of its Division of Reliability in the Office of Markets, Tariffs, and Rates. McClelland is general manager of the Custer Public Power District in Nebraska.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens appointed Carl Miller, a state representative, to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The reports that Miller cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Business & Money

Investors are asking utilities questions about environmental and social risks. Answers can be a challenge.
Michael T. Burr

Business & Money

Investors are asking utilities questions about environmental and social risks. Answers can be a challenge.

When the tech-stock bubble burst in 2001, investors were outraged to learn that many stock analysts were being paid to over-hype stocks. The following year, Enron's ugly public death revealed the presence of a virulent infection in governance of many large and respected companies.

Business & Money

A spate of proposed U.S. tax rule changes soon may open a window of opportunity for certain utilities.
Todd M. Landau, Tadd A. Fowler, and Craig King

Business & Money

A spate of proposed U.S. tax rule changes soon may open a window of opportunity for certain utilities.

In the mid-1990s, before the rise of the Internet and the fall of Enron changed the calculus of business investing and the regulatory landscape, the historically staid U.S. utility industry began to be viewed as a "growth play." This triggered a global buying spree that led U.S. companies to invest tens of billions of dollars in electricity generation and distribution businesses all over the world.

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