Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross and Beth Lewis
MICHIGAN CHOICE APPEAL. Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley filed an appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals of the Michigan PSC's Jan. 14 rehearing order (News Digest, March 15, 1998, p. 18) adopting a phase-in schedule for electric restructuring and retail choice for Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison. Kelley alleged that the order fails to create a competitive generation market or foster lower rates. He called it an "outrage," that gave the utilities everything they wanted. Case Nos. u-11290 et al., Feb. 13, 1998 (Mich.P.S.C.).
NEW HAMPSHIRE RESTRUCTURING. The U.S.
Lori A. Burkhart
Southern California Edison has begun auctioning its 12 gas- and oil-fired generation plants. The plants boast an operating capacity of about 10,000 MW and a combined value of about $700 million.
The auction is being conducted in two phases. The first phase began Aug. 5, when SoCalEd sent out a confidential offering memo for its five "non-must-run" plants. The second phase took place in late August, when SoCalEd auctioned "must-run" plants.
George A. Avery
Too many rules can make any plant uncompetitive.
Now, more than ever, the commission must weigh
the costs when it looks at health and safety, decommissioning and antitrust impacts. Nuclear assets seem to pop to the surface wherever one looks for causes behind the current upheaval in the U.S. electric utility industry. The nuclear experience (em with its costly prudence reviews so prevalent during the 1980s (em has helped fuel a major shift in attitude.
Senior utility managers have now come to accept fundamental changes in the electric industry.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Can NERC Juggle All Three En Route to Open Access?
At the year's start, the North American Electric Reliability Council decided to leave its "peer pressure" policy behind and require mandatory compliance with its reliability standards. As NERC grapples with its new policy, Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight industry representatives how they might ensure reliability in a restructured electric industry.
It had taken time for NERC to arrive at this point, but itÆs official: Mandatory sanctions and business incentives will soon be used to enforce compliance.
Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
Talk runs gamut from "rocket docket" to "Just go slow." A merger announcement kickstarted NARUC's annual conference last year. This year, in San Francisco, there was little difference in conference chatter. Only this time, MCI Communications Corp. and British Telecommunications Plc were the suitors, in a $20 billion corporate marriage.
Regulators had better get used to the "M" word, noted speaker John E. Hayes, Jr., chairman of Western Resources Corp.