ITC Holdings shareholders approved the proposed acquisition of Entergy’s transmission business. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
(March 2013) NSTAR appoints new president; Southern Company names new financial management team; BPA gets new administrator; plus management changes at AEP, Duke, ITC, ConEdison, GDF Suez, ERCOT, MISO, NARUC, and others.
Sempra board names Debra Reed chairman; Entergy utilities and FENOC appoint new CEOs; Rep. Heath Shuler becomes Duke’s federal affairs v.p.; Dominion gets new CIO; NARUC names new officers; plus executive appointments at Constellation, ITC Holdings, Gas Technology Institute, and others.
(October 2012) Entergy Mississippi to spin off its transmission business to ITC; Calpine acquires Bosque Power merchant plant in Texas; WPS acquires Fox Energy plant; E.On buys interest in Magic Valley wind farm; plus bond issues by Nstar, Western Mass. Electric, Texas Eastern Transmission, Alabama Power, and NSP totaling $1.55 billion.
A challenging year brings a change in the rankings.
By Michael T. Burr
(September 2012) Our annual financial ranking shows some remarkable shifts among the industry’s shareholder value leaders. Despite flat demand and low commodity prices, investor-owned utilities are investing heavily in capital assets. Investment discipline and operational excellence distinguish leaders on the path to financial performance.
(April 2012) Anne R. Pramaggiore became president and CEO of ComEd, following the retirement of Frank M. Clark, chairman and CEO since 2005. Pramaggiore joined ComEd in 1998 and most recently held the position of president and COO. In addition, ComEd named Tracie Morris v.p. of human resources. Morris previously served as v.p. of human resources for DeVry Inc.
Unforeseen consequences of dedicated renewable energy transmission.
Roger H. Bezdek and Robert M. Wendling
Achieving aggressive renewable energy goals will require building thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and these so-called “green-power superhighways” could bring major new sources of low-cost electricity into the market. But will those sources be renewables? Analysts Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling argue that with new access to distant wholesale markets, coal-fired generation would become more competitive than ever.
IIt’s ironic that in today’s market, as the cost of hedging against commodity price increases has declined, support for utility hedging programs has sunk to a historic low. The ideal time to hedge is when prices are low and markets are relatively calm, because that’s when hedging costs and risks are the lowest. Conversely, waiting until prices rise and markets become volatile will expose customers to higher costs. Convincing regulators to approve hedging programs now will require a collaborative approach to educating and enlisting support from stakeholders.
When a capital-intensive industry enters an asset-building cycle, many companies will operate in the red for a few years or more. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as cap-ex investments represent growth for shareholders. The devil is in the details, however, and companies facing a large slug of environmental compliance investments might produce disappointing returns over the next few years.
FERC fights for the green-grid superhighway—even if Congress won’t.
Bruce W. Radford
The Senate’s deadlock over carbon cap-and-trade legislation has not deterred FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff from an agenda bent on promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change. Last fall, even as Congress dithered, FERC launched a landmark initiative that likely will lead to sweeping new rules for expanding the nation’s electric transmission grid, grounded on Wellinghoff’s belief in wind, solar, and green power resources.
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