Calendar of Events

Oct 27, 2014 to Oct 31, 2014 | Clearwater Beach, FL
Nov 05, 2014 to Nov 06, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov 10, 2014 to Nov 12, 2014 | Toronto, Canada

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Public Utilities Reports

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Hydro

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

But does anyone know the real price of power?

You've read the headlines from Maine - how regulators asked for bids for competitive electricity but got prices higher than the old regulated rate.

But it gets worse. The more open the market, the higher the bid.

Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro-Electric operate within ISO New England, which now is open for competition.

News Digest

State PUCs

Gas Appliance Repair.

News Digest

Mergers & Acquisitions

CP&L + Florida Progress. Carolina Power & Light announced Aug. 23 that it would purchase Florida Progress Corp. for $5.3 billion in a combination that would create the nation's ninth-largest utility in terms of generating capacity, with $6.7 billion in annual revenues and 2.5 million customers in three states. CP&L would pay a premium (between 16.5 percent and 21 percent) over the pre-announcement share price of FP stock.

News Digest

State PUCs

Gas Capacity Rights. The New York PSC told retail suppliers that to serve firm retail gas load they must have rights to firm, non-recallable, primary delivery point pipeline capacity for the five winter months, November through March, or else must augment secondary capacity with a standby charge payable to local distribution companies holding primary rights.

People

Stephen W. Bergstrom was named president and chief operating officer of Dynegy Inc. Bergstrom formerly was president and COO of Dynegy Marketing and Trade and senior vice president of Dynegy Inc.

Texas-New Mexico Power Co. promoted Robert E. Castillo to vice president and regional customer officer for its Mountain Region. Castillo, formerly assistant vice president-New Mexico, replaces Allan Davis, who retired after 34 years with TNMP.

William W. Schivley was named president of Select Energy, Northeast Utilities System's marketing affiliate.

News Digest

Carl J. Levesque, Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross and Beth Lewis

Studies & Reports

Year 2000 Readiness. On Jan. 11 the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) predicted a minimal effect on electric system operations from Y2K software problems. The Department of Energy, which had asked NERC to run the electric industry assessment, added that 98 percent of U.S.

Distribution Utilities: Forgotten Orphans of Electric Restructuring

Jonathan A. Lesser, Ph.D.

The "duty to connect" demands definition - such as the optimal investment in local wires, and who should pay for it.

As the electric utility industry continues its slow but inexorable transformation into a more "competitive" industry, there has been a notable absence of discussion concerning continued regulation of local distribution utilities, or discos.

News Digest

Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross, and Carl J. Levesque

Studies and Reports

Natural Gas Retail Choice. Utility affiliates hold large market shares in natural gas customer choice programs, raising questions about the extent of true competition, according to a study released on Dec. 15 by the U.S. General Accounting Office. Participation varies by region, however, according to the report, "Energy Deregulation - Status of Natural Gas Customer Choice Programs."

In Pennsylvania, for example, three out of four programs showed very high shares for utility affiliates. The Equitable Gas Co.

News Digest

Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross and Beth Lewis

State PUCs

Distributed Generation. California opened a rulemaking proceeding to consider regulatory reforms in electricity distribution service, with a possible focus on distributed generation. The commission emphasized that its intent was not to define new policies, but to gather information. Comments are due March 17, and the commission intends to consider a proposal from the assigned commissioner this summer. Rulemaking 98-12-015, Dec. 17, 1998 (Calif. P.U.C.).

Gas Transportation Rates.

Price Spike Redux: A Market Emerged, Remarkably Rational

Robert J. Michaels and Jerry Ellig

The post-mortems on last summer's price spikes in the Midwest are in. At least three studies of the event diverge in their conclusions:

First, on Sept. 24 of last year, the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found the root cause of the spikes in extreme weather and unexpected outages. It observed no direct evidence of market manipulation and concluded that the events were unlikely to recur.

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