Accounting reforms might force regulators to abandon their live-now, pay-later practices.
When an advisory committee of the SEC voted recently to phase out special accounting treatment for various industries, it signaled the end may be near for power plant depreciation deferral mechanisms. Such mechanisms are a mainstay of regulatory accounting in many states, and their discontinuation could send plant owners and regulators back to the drawing board to find a new, GAAP-compliant way to recognize asset depreciation in financial reports.
Nuclear power cost projections should incorporate fuel cost uncertainties.
Nuclear fuel cost projections typically consist of current reported costs that are escalated at the rate of inflation. These projections usually consist of a single estimate in each year. In the past, when nuclear fuel costs were low and declining, this approach was acceptable and may have even been conservative. But this approach is likely to understate projected nuclear fuel cost when nuclear fuel costs are increasing.
Federal loan guarantees raise hopes for new reactors planned by affiliates of Constellation and NRG.
Federal loan guarantees have been unleashed to support new nuclear plant construction. Will this be the watershed event that finally gets nuclear moving forward in the United States?
Utilities are gearing up for cyber security compliance. Will the standards prove worthy?
The NERC CIP standards represent an historic achievement. They include the first mandatory cyber security requirements of their kind to be imposed on a U.S. private-sector industry. Considering the scope and sensitivity of the grid-security issue, developing a set of enforceable standards inevitably would entail a complex and contentious process. From that perspective, NERC, FERC and the industry have made remarkable progress, and their efforts deserve accolades.
(November 2007) Pacific Gas and Electric Co. elected William D. Arndt to the newly established post of vice president, project management and program office. Calpine Corp. promoted Zamir Rauf to treasurer and senior vice president of finance. FirstEnergy Corp. named William D. Byrd director of rate strategy, vice president and chief risk officer. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission assigned David Dumbacher as senior resident inspector at the Callaway nuclear plant, near Fulton, Mo. And others...
(October 2007) J. William Ichord joined Sempra Energy as vice president of government relations. DPL Inc. appointed Frank F. Gallaher to the boards of directors of DPL and The Dayton Power and Light Co. The board of directors of NiSource Inc. elected Deborah S. Coleman, executive vice president and COO of the National Urban League, to the NiSource board of directors. And others...
Next-gen technologies race to dominate the big build.
New nuke plants will take at least eight years to complete, while the coal that powers new IGCC plants is no longer cheap. Regulatory and market obstacles confront both technologies, just as they emerge from the starting gate. Which type of plant will win the future?
The Southeast again is the battleground for fuels, technology, and market structure.
One sure sign of recovery in boom-and-bust power-generation markets is the renewed growth in the planning and construction of power plants. Active efforts are underway in generation development in the Southeast markets in spite of the high levels of generating reserve margins. With its traditional utility-dominated market structure and a preference for baseload generation, the Southeast is the battleground for the next round of power-generation development.
Experts predict the top issues that utilities will have to weather this year, and beyond.
Richard Stavros & Michael T. Burr
A soup-to-nuts preview of the next 12 months that touches on spinoffs and interest rates, climate change and New Source Review, the future of nuclear, investor returns, and natural-gas price volatility.
(August 2006) Patricia Chadwick, president of Ravengate Partners LLC, has been elected to the board of directors of Wisconsin Energy Corp. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. elected Sanford L. Hartman as vice president and managing director, Law, and Brian K. Cherry as vice president, regulatory relations. Jessie J. Knight Jr. was named to the newly created position of executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy. And others...