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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Electric & Hybrid Cars: New Load, or New Resource?

The industry must join a growing chorus in calling for new technology.

Steven Letendre, Ph.D., Paul Denholm, Ph.D., and Peter Lilienthal, Ph.D.

A growing movement to bring plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars to market has emerged, bolstered by the undeniable economic and national-security benefits that result from displacing gasoline with electricity. Also, our editor-at-large talks with Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhart.

The Fallacy of High Prices

We are better off under restructured electric markets.

Howard J. Axelrod, Ph.D., David W. DeRamus, Ph.D., and Collin Cain, M.Sc.

The most important action regulators can take to minimize consumer electricity costs is, and will continue to be, ensuring competitive wholesale markets, while demanding a rich mixture of products from the suppliers in these markets.

Regulators Forum: Taming the Utility Frontier

Policymakers are setting sights on new challenges facing utilities.

Michael T. Burr

Utilities in the United States are heading into uncharted territories, and the regulatory landscape is changing accordingly. To learn what it takes to tame this new territory, we spoke with three FERC commissioners, a state regulator, and a Western governor.

An Unacceptable Outcome

Mixed signals leave developers wary of building new infrastructure.

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher gives mixed signals that leave developers wary of committing to investments in new infrastructure, given his clear desire to affect positive change, while appearing to argue for policy decisions that are politically safe but arguably inconsistent.

How Needed Is NERC?

Critics say its new budget and business plan could simply duplicate the work of RTOs.

Bruce W. Radford

FERC granted formal certification to NERC as the nation’s sole ERO and reliability czar, making it inevitable that NERC would delegate the job of regional enforcement to its various regional reliability councils, already constituted. To understand why FERC acted as it did, turn back the clock nearly a decade.

The Most Effective Way

Market prices send investors clear signals to invest in the most efficient means for producing electricity.

Thomas L. Welch

Higher electricity prices have drawn sharp attention to the design of organized wholesale electricity markets—particularly to areas where residential customers’ rates will increase because multi-year rate freezes are ending. Some suggest changing the way that markets set wholesale electricity prices, or doing away with competitive markets entirely and returning to government regulation of prices. They say that the design of the markets exaggerates the effects of natural-gas price increases and unfairly rewards generators that use lower-cost fuels.

The Nation's Grid Chiefs: On The Future of Markets

Exclusive interviews with the CEOs of five regional transmission systems.

By Bruce W. Radford

Exclusive interviews with CEOs at five regional independent transmission system operators: Phil Harris, at PJM; Gordon van Welie, at ISO New England; Yakout Monsour, at the California ISO; Graham Edwards, at MISO; and Mark Lynch, at the New York ISO.

Bad Day at Black Oak

Beware even the best of attempts at apportioning grid rights and costs.

Bruce W. Radford

Several recent complaints involving PJM and now at FERC pose fundamental questions on how regulators and grid operators should attempt to price and allocate grid rights and costs. Is the transmission network a public asset, with costs that must be apportioned on principles of equity? Or, rather, is transmission an instrument of commerce, to be priced so as to maximize trade?

Don't Mess With Texas

America’s energy competition laboratory prepares to build.

Hind Farag and Gary L. Hunt

The ERCOT region remains a living example of how to make a successful transition to restructured wholesale and retail markets for electricity. At the same time, the market continues to witness some significant developments. Sights are turning from recovery to the next stage of the power business cycle: The Buildup.

Life Along the Potomac

What federal regulators should do to ensure security, reliability, and cleaner air in our nation’s capital.

Sheila Hollis and Ilia Levitine

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission successfully has used two little known provisions in the Federal Power Act (FPA) to prevent an aging generating plant crucial to the national capital region’s reliability from being abruptly shut down by Virginia’s environmental regulators. In the end, the immediate threat to the region’s reliability was obviated while the environmental concerns associated with the plant were not ignored. The action resulted in a model for how federal energy regulators and environmental regulators can address similar problems in the future.

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