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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Residential Pilot Programs: Who's Doing, Who's Dealing?

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Residential Pilot Programs:

Doing,

Dealing?

Customer choice and electric restructuring may appear synonymous to regulators, but for utilities "choice" means "market share."

THERE WERE 19 PILOT PROGRAMS

planned or underway in the United States by the end of November, involving some 500,000 customers in all classes. The goal? To test competition in retail electric markets.

In the residential class, pilots were operating in Illinois, New Hampshire, and New York. Massachusetts expected to roll out its pilot by January 1. Pennsylvania was planning an April startup.

1996 Regulators' Forum

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

As electric restructuring rockets to the top of state public utility commission agendas, regulators find themselves pushed in every direction. Pushing the hardest, in most cases, are legislators, who, like commissioners, are being lobbied by utilities, industrial consumers, and sometimes, residential customers. Each party has its agenda. Some wield more clout than others.

Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight commissioners about the demands of restructuring and about an issue particular to their state.

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Comments by P.

ERCOT Turns into Nation's First ISO

Lori A. Burkhart

The Texas PUC has approved a plan creating the nation's first independent system operator (ISO) from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The ISO will be governed by an 18-member board, with three members each from IOUs, municipal utilities, electric co-ops and river authorities, transmission-dependent utilities, IPPs, and power marketers.

A key part of the ISO plan is an electronic transmission information network (ETIN), which ensures equal access to transmission system information, such as available transmission capacity, product offerings, and prices.

OASIS: A Mirage of Reliability

John C. Hoag

A Mirage of ReliabilityBy John C. Hoag

The Internet doesn't suit companies

that are vulnerable to security or financial risk (em

like electric transmission providers.

THE RUSH IS ON TO SET OASIS IN MOTION.

New Estimates of Nuclear Stranding

Lori A. Burkhart

R.J. Rudden Associates, Inc. (RJRA) estimates U.S. nuclear plant stranded costs at $65.5 billion ($1994) if electric industry restructuring is fully implemented in 1997.

The firm's analysis relied on historic cost and performance data for each facility, and on RJRA projections of regional competitive prices for capacity and energy. RJRA said a slower restructuring would reduce the investment at risk to between $46.3 billion (year 2000) and $23.2 billion (year 2010).

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting Green Solutions on Site

John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory, Donald L. Geistert, and James Patterson

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting

Green Solutions

on SiteBy John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory,

Donald L. Geistert, and James PattersonA recent study coordinated by the California Energy Commission shows how stored-cooling applications provide both environmental and competitive benefits in a summer-peaking market.As California prepares for a more competitive electric future, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is taking another look at some key customer technologies.

FERC Responds to EPA's Open-access Challenge

Lori A. Burkhart

On May 13, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol M. Browner referred the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) open-access rule, Order 888, to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). In effect, Browner has asked the Clinton Administration to intervene in the restructuring process.

Browner feels that under certain circumstances the open-access rule could lead to future increases in air pollution. She believes these impacts can be minimized through a combination of actions by EPA and states under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

Mergers: Driven by Dividends?

Chris Neil, and Albert Pearson

The movement to introduce competition in the electricity industry comes at a time when many utilities are already ailing or underperforming. In fact, since 1990, half of U.S. investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have failed to consistently grow their dividends, or have cut or eliminated them altogether. According to a new study by Resource Data International, U.S. Electric Utility Industry Merger and Acquisitions, 1996, the current trend toward mergers and acquisitions is fueled by a desire to improve shareholder returns.

Texas Utility Pushes Pooling

Lori A. Burkhart

Central and South West Corp.'s subsidiary, Central Power and Light Co. (CPL), has proposed that all ERCOT nonnuclear utilities (em including IPPs, co-ops, and municipals (em become part of a competitive wholesale bulk power pool run by an independent system operator (ISO).

Transmission and distribution companies would continue to own and operate power lines, purchase all nonnuclear generation from the pool, and assume responsibility for actual delivery.

Municipals to Pool

Lori A. Burkhart

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) of the City of Brownsville, TX, have announced their intent to form a municipal power pool spanning four states. OMPA is a full and partial requirements wholesale supplier to 35 municipal electric systems in Oklahoma. PUB owns coal- and gas-fired generation plants. The two entities offer a combined supply resource of about 800 megawatts, but rely on the transmission system of Central and South West (CSW).

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