Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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New York Public Service Commission

Nine Mile 2 Loses Out on Performance Incentive

Phillip S. Cross

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has canceled efforts to develop a performance incentive mechanism for costs associated with the Nine Mile 2 nuclear power plant. The efforts stemmed from a 1993 settlement that determined recoverable plant operation and maintenance costs. The PSC said its staff had withdrawn from ongoing incentive negotiations, citing a "change in emphasis" from specific to broad-based incentives in electric regulation.

People

MidCon Corp. named Dennis M. Lawler power marketing v.p. in its MidCon Power Services Corp. unit. Lawler comes from Consolidated Natural Gas Co.

In a promotion, Mark Kugelman will manage account sales for Parker Hannifin Corp.'s Power Distribution Group.

The American Gas Association (A.G.A.) elected chairmen for its financial and administrative, operating, marketing and legal sections: Bruce R. Debolt, senior v.p. and CFO of Northwest Natural Gas Co.; Frederick L.

Local Telephone Competition

Phillip S. Cross

The Arizona Corporation Commission (CC) has approved new rules that allow telephone companies to provide basic dial tone service in competition with existing monopoly providers. The competitive companies may also provide intraLATA toll service.

Gas Roundup

Phillip S. Cross

While setting a new gas cost adjustment rate for Delmarva Power & Light Co., a combined electric and gas utility, the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) found the utility's unaccounted-for-gas incentive program unnecessary because it had accomplished its objective, as evidenced by a steady decline in the rate of unaccounted-for gas. The PSC approved a $300,000 incentive award for the current adjustment. Re Delmarva Power & Light Co., PSC Dkt. No. 94-123F, March 21, 1995 (Del.P.S.C.).In another case, the PSC allowed Chesapeake Utilities Corp.

Financial News

Charles M. Studness

Traditional utility regulation has been unable to prevent the electric rates of some utilities from rising far above those of neighboring companies. Two factors are responsible for this failure. First, regulators lack the means to keep seemingly reasonable but unnecessary costs from creeping into rates. Second, ratemaking considers a utility's costs in isolation and does not use peer benchmarks to true up rates.

Political pressure helped limit rate increases for nuclear plants during the 1980s.

NPPA Proposes Single Operator Transmission System

Lori A. Burkhart

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) favors restructuring opportunities consistent with a statewide,

single-operator transmission system. Their proposed model, submitted to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the "Competitive Opportunities" proceeding, envisions an independent system operator that would own and operate all transmission facilities in the state. Alternatively, NYPA would agree to a consortium in which owners cede their facilities to a single operating entity via a contractual relationship.

Performance-based Ratemaking

Phillip S. Cross

Performance-based ratemaking (PBR) departs from the cost-of-service standard in setting just and reasonable utility rates, but that departure isn't as easy as it looks.

Up until now, cost-of-service ratemaking has provided relatively stable rates, while enabling utilities to attract enormous amounts of capital. Of late, however, regulators appear to be heeding the argument that changing markets warrant a second look.

Niagara Mohawk Appeals Sithe Case

Lori A. Burkhart

Niagara Mohawk Power Co. (NiMo) has appealed a New York Public Service Commission (PSC) order upholding its purchased-power contract with Sithe Energies. In a series of decisions, the PSC had allowed Sithe to sell electricity from the 1,040-megawatt Independence plant to two NiMo customers: Alcan Rolled Products and Liberty Paperboard. In April 1994, the PSC ruled that if Sithe were to sell electricity at retail it would be lightly regulated.

NY Approves Self-generation Deferral Incentives

Phillip S. Cross

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a proposal by New York State Electric & Gas Corp., an electric utility, to offer a new rate mechanism to retain and regain low-load-factor (5 to 35 percent) customers with viable self-generation options.

PURPA: At Odds With the New Industry?

Lori A. Burkhart

The issue of the day is what to do with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Whether the act will be repealed or merely revised is open to debate, but the consensus is that changes are forthcoming.

Ever since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its February order finding that the California commission had violated PURPA by requiring Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas and Electric Co.

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