Calendar of Events

Nov 24, 2014 | Washington, DC
Dec 08, 2014 to Dec 09, 2014 | Washington, DC
Jan 14, 2015 to Jan 16, 2015 | San Diego, CA

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Public Utilities Reports

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The CIO Forum: IT Weathers the Storm

In the rough-and-tumble energy biz, IT departments are paddling hard to stay afloat.
Jennifer Alvey

In the rough-and-tumble energy biz, IT departments are paddling hard to stay afloat.

The storm that Enron ignited last fall shows little sign of abating. Information technology (IT) departments at every energy company have had to react to rapidly changing conditions, whether it be shrinking budgets or nervous workforces.

The Fourth Wave

Are banks better at trading power than utilities?

Richard Stavros

Bank of America's recent request to FERC to be allowed to trade power was yet one more reminder that a whole new class of companies are quietly positioning themselves to dominate what's left of the energy trading space after the departure of traders like Enron and Aquila.

M&A for T&D

Grid system operators now hold the cards. That means a bidding war for talent and a new wave of mergers.
Larry Oliva

Grid system operators now hold the cards. That means a bidding war for talent and a new wave of mergers.

TBy issuing new rules for a Standard Market Design (SMD) for wholesale power, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in all likelihood will usher in a new wave of utility mergers. But the pattern will differ from what we have seen in recent years.

The deals will center on the transmission sector, and take a horizontal shape, rather than vertical.

Power Prices Today: Growing More Unpredictable

Even the volatility is volatile. And that can play havoc with hedging.
John Herbert

Even the volatility is volatile. And that can play havoc with hedging.

Jeff Skilling resigned from Enron over a year ago-after power prices in markets serving California had fallen 90 percent in three months.

But in July, Bank of America won approval from the Treasury Department to offer cash-settled electricity derivatives-with a former Enron regional director at the head of the desk.

So what has changed, and what hasn't?

Perspective

The ISO takes on critics of its new market design.
Terry Winter

 

Studying Apples and Oranges

RTO cost/benefit studies are difficult to reconcile.
John D. Clapp and Margaret McGrath

 

RTO cost/benefit studies are difficult to reconcile.

The premise behind the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) push for regional transmission organizations (RTOs)-that they will provide positive economic benefits to society- increasingly is being challenged.

Advanced Metering: Policymakers Have the Ball

Demand response could help solve some energy problems, but not without state regulators pushing for it.
Chris King and Dan Delurey

 

Perspective

FERC's call for regional PUCs will force state regulators to declare their allegiance.
Branko Terzic

 

FERC's call for regional PUCs will force state regulators to declare their allegiance.

How will regulators re-engineer restructuring? That was the theme of the seventh annual convention of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Commissioners (MARUC). But while the theme may have been the re-engineering of restructuring, other regulators felt more inclined to discuss the "re-regulating of restructuring."

News Analysis

Pennsylvania loses faith in FERC, looks for help from the Justice department.
Philip S. Cross

Pennsylvania loses faith in FERC, looks for help from the Justice department.

"A well functioning market on an average day works better than we regulators can do on our best day." Perhaps this quote, attributed to Pat Wood, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), best captures the prevailing view among transmission officials in the Northeast. But the feeling out West is decidedly different. So is the mood among state utility regulators.

Transmission Expansion: Risk and Reward in an RTO World

Some thoughts on who should take the lead and how to set up financial incentives.
Camden L. Collins

 

Some thoughts on who should take the lead and how to set up financial incentives.

One of the most interesting questions that arises from federal restructuring of the electric grid, with regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and a standard market design (SMD), concerns the risk of building transmission in an RTO environment.

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