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NERC

Letter to the Editor

March 2004, p. 61

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

The article "NERC's Cloudy Crystal Ball" () contends that the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) has consistently underestimated the growth in U.S. electricity demand. The only evidence offered for this conclusion is that observed data did not encircle the 45-degree line in a graph of actual vs. forecast percentage growth rates. Conjectures such as this are invalid for numerous reasons.

Commission Watch

Solving the dilemma.
John Seelke

Commission Watch

Solving the dilemma.

The rationale from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for eliminating through-and-out (T&O) rates while simultaneously imposing a Seams Elimination Charge/Cost Adjustment/Assignment (SECA) is an acknowledgement that FERC is conflicted on a fundamental economic principle: regional transmission organization (RTO) loads use the transmission systems of exporting RTOs; therefore, it is correct for importing customers to compensate exporting RTOs for the use of their transmission syste

Perspective

A face-to-face interview with FERC Chairman Pat Wood III.
Richard Stavros

Perspective

A face-to-face interview with FERC Chairman Pat Wood III.

Bold. Fearless. Relentless. These are the words now being used by both critics and supporters to describe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Pat Wood III.

FERC's recent policy initiatives and directives mark a strong shift from what was last year regarded as a more reluctant commission.

The Generation Glut: When Will It End?

An analysis of the timing, location, and mix of new capacity additions that may be needed in the future.
Stephen T. Marron & John H. Wile

An analysis of the timing, location, and mix of new capacity additions that may be needed in the future.

It is universally accepted that there is excess generating capacity in most, if not all, regions in the country. Looking forward, several obvious, and interesting, questions arise: (1) When will new capacity be needed? (2) Where will it be needed? and (3) What types of plants will be needed? As any good economist would say, it all depends.

NERC's Cloudy Crystal Ball

How much confidence do NERC demand forecasts warrant?
Tom Replogle

How much confidence do NERC demand forecasts warrant?

Independent consultants must properly estimate peak demand growth if they are to provide clients with reasonable market analysis. Some consultants defer to the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) on this matter because NERC bases its projections on utility-specific estimates developed with more information than consultants typically can access. NERC recently rolled out new demand growth forecasts, so the time seems right to explore whether this confidence is justified or misplaced.

Frontlines

Is FERC the rightful heir?
Richard Stavros

Frontlines

Is FERC the rightful heir?

The possibility that energy legislation drafted last year won't pass in 2004 has created a power vacuum. Who now is czar of electric utility reliability? Language in the proposed bill would have answered that question. But when Congress demurred, did that imply an endorsement of the ?

Commission Watch

FERC's AEP ruling begs the question: Can the feds bypass states that block transmission reform?
Lori A. Burkhart and Bruce W. Radford

Commission Watch

FERC's AEP ruling begs the question: Can the feds bypass states that block transmission reform?

In its search for the perfect power market, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at last has joined the battle that lately has brought state and federal regulators nearly to blows. A recent ruling puts the question squarely on the table:

Generation Reserves: The Grid Security Question

A cost-benefit study shows the value of adding synchronized generating reserves to prevent blackouts on the scale of Aug.14.
Rajat K. Deb

A cost-benefit study shows the value of adding synchronized generating reserves to prevent blackouts on the scale of Aug.14.

If nothing else, the blackout of Aug. 14 showed just how physically vulnerable the electric transmission network has become to problems that begin at a very localized level. That vulnerability stems in part of the greater volume of long-distance transactions imposed on the grid by today's power industry.

New Nuclear Construction: Still on Hold

A number of factors point to expanded nuclear generation. But when?
Neil J. Numark and Micheal O. Terry

A number of factors point to expanded nuclear generation. But when?

The role that nuclear power will play in the U.S. electricity generation mix during the coming decades has been a subject of continuing speculation. Few analysts deny the remarkably improved prospects for the existing fleet of reactors: Efficiencies realized by industry consolidation, reactor uprates, and plant license renewals have, in a period of about five years, greatly increased the market value of nuclear plants and the competitive advantage of companies that own them.

Generation Roundtable: Power Flux

Generators struggle to plan for the future as they cope with an unstable present.
Michael T. Burr

Generators struggle to plan for the future as they cope with an unstable present.

When the acting administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Marianne Horinko, signed the EPA's "routine replacement" rule on Aug. 27, 2003, she proclaimed that the new approach to Clean Air Act regulation would "provide … power plants with the regulatory certainty they need."

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