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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reliability standards

News Digest

Mergers & Acquisitions

CP&L + Florida Progress. Carolina Power & Light announced Aug. 23 that it would purchase Florida Progress Corp. for $5.3 billion in a combination that would create the nation's ninth-largest utility in terms of generating capacity, with $6.7 billion in annual revenues and 2.5 million customers in three states. CP&L would pay a premium (between 16.5 percent and 21 percent) over the pre-announcement share price of FP stock.

Special Report

Courtney Barry

September meeting sends draft legislation back to the drawing board.

Reliability is a self-correcting issue (em if we let it slide, something will happen and it will be corrected ¼ [But] do you want the government to do it?"

That was one industry representative speaking of attempts by the North American Electric Reliability Council (known as NERC) to evolve into a self-regulating reliability organization, or SRRO.

News Digest

Lori A. Burkhart, Phillip S. Cross, and Beth Lewis

State PUCs

ISO GUIDELINES. Marking a contrast with California, but lining up with states in the Northeast, the Iowa Utilities Board has urged that independent system operators should have authority to order redispatch to help fulfill service requirements for electric transmission. That rule came as part of a set of principles issued by the board to guide the formation of ISOs in managing electric transmission systems and preventing the exercise of market power.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

"THESE ARE THE DOG DAYS OF DEREGULATION." That's how Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman James Hoecker put it last month in Houston at his luncheon talk at the Sixth DOE/NARUC National Electricity Forum. He bemoaned the "evidence of delay" in restructuring that now "clearly exists."

Don't be fooled. What Hoecker has up his sleeve is nothing less than a full-scale overhaul of FERC Orders 888 and 889.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

No one has yet explained why the electric industry needs independent system operators to manage the transmission grid and a private institution to do essentially the same thing.

That question remains unanswered even now that the North American Electric Reliability Council has released its draft legislation showing how it would recreate itself as NAERO, a self-regulating electric reliability organization insulated from antitrust scrutiny by governmental oversight.

"Reliability does not exist in a vacuum," noted P.R.H. Landrieu, v.p.

James Hoecker: Building Consensus, Preventing Paralysis

Lori M. Rodgers

PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY SPOKE WITH FEDERAL Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman James Hoecker shortly after the Clinton Administration released its long-awaited Comprehensive Electricity Competition Plan.

Although Hoecker sees new legislation as only "the remotest of possibilities" for this session of Congress, he expects that the "real debate" will begin next year, with environmental issues perhaps proving to be the most difficult to solve.

Are mergers bad for competition? "Not necessarily," he says.

Electric Reliability Sanctions or Commerce?

Bruce W. Radford

EARLIER IN THIS DECADE, FERC CHAIRMAN MARTIN ALLDAY delivered his famous quote: "Everybody is somebody's native load customer."

Today, that truism has fallen under attack. It could go out the window if power marketers get their wish. One group of marketers has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to open a new rulemaking on electric system reliability. This group proposes to end the notion of transmission responding to load.

Perspective

George C. Loehr

AMERICANS ARE fascinated with lists. There are lists of just about anything you can name, from the Fortune 500 to baseball batting averages. There's even a book of lists. We especially like to rank "top tens," like the 10 best cities to live in or the 10 worst school districts in America. Television has popularized these lists.

News Analysis

Bruce W. Radford

In an ideal world, legislation would have already happened."

That was Elizabeth Moler, deputy secretary of energy, testifying as the first witness at a Feb. 20 public conference at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The forum attempted to address how to ensure access to transmission as the electric industry builds a new framework to maintain system reliability.

Having just stepped down from the top spot at the FERC, Moler knew what to expect. She understood the limits of the FERC's statutory authority and its budget.

Frontlines

Bruce W. Radford

THERE ARE NO FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS. Our systems are functional."

So said CEO Dennis Loughridge, of the California Power Exchange, in announcing nevertheless on Dec. 22 that the opening of the state's day-ahead electricity market, planned originally for Jan. 1, would be delayed because software and systems testing could not be completed satisfactorily.

"California's electron highway is the fifth largest in the world. We need to take the time to make the transfer¼ seamless," added Gary Heath, executive director for the state's electricity oversight board.

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