Phillip S. Cross
THE RECENT INCREASE IN MERGER ACTIVITY IN THE energy and telecommunications industries has concerned state regulators for some time. Such concern reveals how the practical or "local" aspects of business deals often clash with broader national issues reviewed by federal authorities in merger cases.
In electric utility mergers, for instance, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will address effects on competition, rates and regulation.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
WHAT IS A SCHEDULING COORDINATOR?
At least 33 organizations know the answer to that question in California because by late last year that's how many SCs had filed to act as go-betweens to the independent system operator.
Although the definition varies depending on who's asked, an SC is simply a preschedule and dispatch office. An SC puts a power schedule together for itself or for energy service providers a day ahead or hour ahead.
Stephen L. Teichler
WE HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT IS THE HOURLY pricing of electricity.
In California, the power exchange serves as the cornerstone for a restructured electric industry. The raison d'être of the PX is to reveal the hourly marginal cost of electricity. Now add PJM to the list. Like California, an integral aspect of the restructured Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by order dated Nov. 25, 1997, is the mid-Atlantic market, which intends also to fix an hourly price for electricity.
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.
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.
Lori A. Burkhart
Portland General Electric doesn't want to sell electricity anymore.
PGE, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enron, wants to focus on the transmission and distribution of electricity and has asked the Oregon Public Utilities Commission to allow all 670,000 of its customers to choose their electric provider.
It also has proposed a new way to calculate franchise fees in an unbundled environment.
In its customer choice proposal, PGE said restructuring had triggered the need for changes in the way franchise fees are calculated.
Lori M. Rodgers
A state-by-state look at retail competition.
RHODE ISLAND'S CUSTOMER CHOICE PROGRAM FOR LARGE-industrial and government consumers is five months old. California consumers will see retail choice on Jan. 1. New York, Illinois, Idaho and Washington have pilot programs well under way. And a statewide pilot program was set to begin this month in Pennsylvania.
Yet retail choice may prove vulnerable in New Hampshire (em the one state that has shown the greatest commitment to retail choice.
A $35 million, 45-mile Texas-to-Mexico natural gas pipeline is set to be ready by mid-December. With a capacity of 212 MMBtu/d, the 24-inch diameter pipeline will supply the 700-megawatt Samalayuca I and II power plants, set partially to open in 1998. El Paso Natural Gas Co. and El Paso International Co. are partnered with Pemex Gas Y Petroquimica Basica in the 50-50 joint venture.
El Paso International also has signed a joint development pact with Furnas Centrais Eletricas S.A., BHP of Brazil Energy, Centrais Electricas Brasileiras S.A., and British Gas of Brazil.
Cliff Rochlin, and Roger Clayton
Divide the grid by usage (em local vs. regional. Apportion costs accordingly, to energy customers by fixed charge, and power producers by flow and distance.
Traditionally, utilities have received transmission costs through an average, rolled-in access fee, or postage-stamp approach. In a deregulated environment, that approach will lead to distorted pricing.
And not just because of transmission-line congestion.
Much of the current debate over electric transmission pricing has centered on the various competing methods of congestion pricing, such as zonal vs.
Bruce W. Radford
My electric company, Potomac Electric Power Co., has announced a joint venture with RCN Corp. of Princeton, N.J., to offer local and long-distance telephone service to callers in Washington, D.C., and nearby areas, plus cable television and high-speed connections to the Internet. With stockholder money, PEPCO would compete head-on against Bell Atlantic, which won approval from the Federal Communications Commission on Aug. 14 for its $25-billion merger with NYNEX.
Reporting the story, The Washington Post quoted PEPCO President John M.