Just after the sun rose on January 19, 1994, the mercury fell to new record low temperatures. Lights went out, furnaces shut off, and computer screens went blank in parts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.
W. Lynn Garner
When a steel mill threatened to pull out of New Jersey and move to the Southeast where electricity rates are cheaper, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) did some creative thinking.
How could it keep the mill, Co-Steel Raritan, and its 500 jobs and $36-million annual payroll in Perth Amboy, NJ?
After considerable negotiation, PSE&G proposed an experimental hourly pricing plan that lets Co-Steel Raritan take advantage of the lowest fuel costs within the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) pool.
W. Lynn Garner and Lori A. Burkhart
Electric utilities beware. Power marketers are not only here to stay, but their ranks are growing. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) logged approximately 100 applications in 1994, compared to nine in 1993. About half have been acted on already.
The fledgling industry is also staking out its regulatory territory. Notably, on December 14, the FERC ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to provide nonfirm transmission service to AES Power Inc.