How a move to bring power markets to the Great Plains has uncovered a crisis in grid planning.
They call the United States the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” That’s due in large part to the huge potential of the Great Plains. But there’s a hole in the metaphor. Wind power development in some parts of the prairie is falling short of expectations.
How to account for lack of strong price signals. A hard year puts deregulation to the test.
Catherine McDonough and Robert Kraus
The greatest benefits of time-of-use pricing come from avoided costs of peaking power and T&D capacity—but only if hourly retail prices accurately model the true costs of delivered energy, including scarcity rents. Restoring the missing price signals will encourage economic investments in AMI, conservation and system capacity.
(December 2008) Arizona Public Service named Daniel Froetscher vice president of energy delivery. Southwest Gas Corp. hired Don Soderberg as vice president of external affairs.Chesapeake Utilities Corp. named Michael P. McMasters as executive vice president and COO. American Gas Association elected Thomas E. Skains chairman. And others...
New green mandates force portfolio planners to re-think their models.
Rob Cleveland and John Brown
Quantifying the impacts of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) on utility integrated resource plans (IRP) sounds straight forward—just add more wind, solar, hydro, biomass, etc., to the plan and everything should be good to go. The reality is not quite so simple.
T&D investments prioritize reliability and load growth.
A massive T&D system build-out is starting, but more needs to be done. Executives from Northeast Utilities, Pepco Holdings and ITC Holdings discuss improvements needed for reliability, capacity, security, smart-grid and demand-response measures, as well as accommodating wind and green-energy quotas.
(November 2008) Atmos Energy promoted Kim R. Cocklin to the new position of president and COO. Exelon Corp. named Christopher M. Crane president and COO. Public Service Enterprise Group elected Thomas P. Joyce as president and chief nuclear officer of PSEG Nuclear. Northeast Utilities (NU) announced new leadership for Yankee Gas Services Co. and Western Mass Electric Co. And others...
Intelligent networks support better decision making.
Sophocles once said, “Quick decisions are unsafe decisions.” Apparently Sophocles did not work in the utility industry. Utilities must make quick decisions every day to maintain a safe and reliable grid. As they have learned, the key to a quick and safe decision is making a well-informed decision. Yet utilities face challenges in providing enough information for their employees and automated systems to make these types of decisions.
Understanding the value of pumped storage.
Pumped-storage technology allows utilities to defer the time value of energy, but project developers have struggled to make their economics work. Increased demand for ancillary services and standby capacity might make pumped storage more viable.
A billion-dollar ‘gold rush’ could send grid rates through the roof.
Money may be difficult to come by for Wall Street financiers in these dark days, but apparently not for electric transmission construction—at least so far. A rash of recent orders from FERC shows that generous financial incentives remain available to companies seeking to expand the nation’s grid capacity.
(Octover 2008) Xcel Energy named David Sparby president and CEO of Northern States Power Minnesota. Entergy Corp. appointed Terence Burke general counsel and chief legal officer for EquaGen, the joint venture operating company to be owned 50 percent by Entergy and 50 percent by Enexus Energy. Steven Agresta was named executive vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer for Enexus Energy. NorthWestern Energy appointed Robert C. Rowe as president and CEO. And others...