Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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General Electric

Washington Briefs

Dakota Gas Plant. FERC reverses law judge, ok's settlement on rates for synthetic natural gas produced at the Dakota Gasification plant. Commissioner James Hoecker terms result "unhappy," citing jurisdictional constraints: "I feel we are supporting a resolution in this case that otherwise would not be in the public interest." Dkt. Nos. RP93-100-000 et al., Dec. 18, 1996.

Reactor Designs. NRC certifies two new designs for nuclear reactors: ASEA Brown Boveri-Combustion Engineering System 80+, and General Electric Nuclear Energy Advanced Boiling Water Reactor.

Joules

Southern Communications Services, Inc., which recently entered the wireless communications market, has begun to market products and services under the name of its parent, Southern Company. Southern also is parent to Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric.

Gulf Power, meanwhile, signed a contract with Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. for two-way energy management applications. Some 40,000 homes will be fitted with the interactive systems over eight years.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

Ever since word hit the street last July that Portland General Electric Co. (PGE) would merge with gas industry giant Enron, the news has been rather one-sided. It's been "Enron this" and "Enron that." From reading the papers one might think Enron, with its strong reputation as a commodities trader, was buying an entire electric utility simply to take a bigger position on the NYMEX futures market.

Electric Utility Expands Market-based Rate Plan

Phillip S. Cross

The Oregon Public Utility Commission has authorized Portland General Electric Co. to expand market-based (discounted) pricing options for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, by lowering the minimum load threshold from 10 to 5 megawatts.

Pricing under the new tariff is based on either 1) an annual fixed-price quote set at the beginning of the contract year and reflecting the market price of power delivery to the utility's service territory; or 2) the daily nonfirm price at the California-Oregon Border, plus 1 mill per kilowatt-hour.

Measuring the Merger: Fact, Fiction, and Prediction

Michael J. Hamilton

Some shareholders do find bottom-line value

in a "marriage of convenience."

With six merger and acquisition (M&A) deals announced between May 1995 and January 1996, and three more so far this year, the long-predicted consolidation of the electric utility industry is taking hold. At least 23 utilities, with business-combination transactions pending, are part of the frenetic domestic M&A activity that has swept the industry.

Northwest Utilities Form ISO

Lori A. Burkhart

Seven electric utilities in the Northwest have formed an independent system operator (ISO), called "IndeGo," to coordinate their electric transmission. IndeGo will operate as a single control area, responsible for the operation of transmission-grid facilities carrying 230 kilovolts or more that are owned or directly controlled by the member utilities.

Green Pricing: The Bigger Picture

Brian Byrnes, Maribeth Rahimzadeh, Renee de Alba, and Keight Baugh

It's not just for residential consumers. Research suggests a

substantial niche market

of commercial

and industrial customers that are favorably disposed to green electricity.Seven utilities across the country have launched "green pricing" programs for residential electric customers. At these utilities, up to 3 percent of residential customers pay rate premiums to underwrite the construction and use of renewable electric generation.

People

Richard D. Spencer, lately of General Electric Corp., has been hired by Equitable Resources, Inc. as v.p. and chief information officer. He was technology programs manager at GE.

Commonwealth Edison Co. has formed a new nuclear division management team. Thomas J. Maiman, senior v.p., is the top executive. He moves from the company's fossil division. Michael J. Wallace, another senior v.p., will market the utility on strategic nuclear business issues.

NRC OK's Trojan Decommissioning Plan

Lori A. Burkhart

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Portland General Electric Co.'s (PGE's) decommissioning plan for the Trojan nuclear power plant. The Trojan plant, which began operating in 1975, was permanently shut down in January 1993. PGE filed its decommissioning plan in January 1995, proposing to move the spent fuel to onsite dry cask storage, dismantle radioactive structures, and decontaminate the site for unrestricted use (except for the dry-cask storage area). t

Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

People

Aquila Power Corp., a UtiliCorp United subsidiary, has hired two executives to expand its market into the western United States. Timothy J. Culbertson, from Portland General Electric, will lead power marketing in the Pacific Northwest. David L. Metz will lead power marketing in the Southwest. Metz comes from Arizona Public Service Co.Consolidated Natural Gas Co. has named Bruce E. Plichta international financial analyst and James M. Mulcahy senior financial analyst.

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