The spotlight is on. But true stardom will require more direction from utilities.
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
Wind has become today’s hit—a potential blockbuster, even—but still needing that one big break. To make it big, utilities will have to lead the charge as owners. That will force utilities to consider and evaluate the significant credit implications that can arise when signing a power purchase agreement with developers that lack deep pockets, or implement fly- by-night schemes.
(June 2007) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the selection of Darren B. Ash as CIO and deputy executive director for information services. The Westar Energy Inc. board of directors announced that William Moore will succeed CEO James Haines. Energen Corp. shareholders re-elected five members to the diversified energy company’s board of directors. The Electric Power Supply Association announced the addition of Conrad Lass to EPSA’s senior staff as vice president of legislative affairs. And others...
Why the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy chose Westinghouse’s nuclear power-plant design over GE’s.
Jack Bailey, vice president, nuclear generation, at Tennessee Valley Authority explains why his organization finally decided on the Westinghouse AP1000. TVA is part of the NuStart consortium at the Belafonte site in Scottsboro, Ala., where TVA is developing a combined operating license for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor.
The purpose of utility-system automation, in a nutshell, is to bring utility service into the 21st century. These advancements will help improve customer service by allowing utilities to respond sooner to situations that cause outages—but only if workforce processes make use of the intelligence these new systems provide.
Duke Energy’s Jim Turner and other utility executives weigh the odds on billion-dollar bets.
The heavy investment required for new generation technologies clearly is a global phenomenon, but global-resource competition to build power plants is making power-plant development more expensive—and may even limit the number that any one utility in any one country can develop.
How will carbon-emissions policies affect the generation fleet?
Any climate policy is almost certain to target the electric-power industry, which is responsible for about 38 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions. Said policy especially would affect coal-fired power plants, which contribute about 82 percent of the electric power CO2 total. How would various policy options change the economic value of current and proposed generation assets?
(May 2007) The board of directors of Maine & Maritimes Corp. selected Brent M. Boyles to become the organization’s next president and CEO. Consumers Energy has named Bruce Rasher manager of renewable energy. FPL Group Inc. announced that Oliver D. Kingsley Jr. has been elected to the company’s board of directors. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. named Des Bell as utility chief of staff and vice president.
Will the environmental lobby be even-handed with utilities?
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
They were heralded as “landmark” or “watershed” moments in the industry—a series of deals completed during the last few months in which utilities sat down and negotiated with environmentalists on coal-plant development. While many in the industry had hoped this was the start of a positive new trend, some environmentalists have double-dealt across state lines, arguing against coal plants in one state and then negotiating for their development in the other.
Can markets co-exist with renewable mandates?
Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.
Has restructuring succeeded on either continent?
Terrence L. Barnich & Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D.
The era of polemics about electric competition is nearly over. It’s time to compare the relative performance of competition and traditional regulation as these two established models operate side-by-side.