Calendar of Events

Jul 08, 2014 to Jul 10, 2014 | San Francisco, CA
Jul 13, 2014 to Jul 16, 2014 | Dallas, TX
Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Reliability

Pricing the Grid: Comparing Transmission Rates of the U.S. ISOs

Laurence D. Kirsch

How does each region manage congestion, allocate losses and dispatch resources? Which players gain the most from each approach?

The United States now has six independent system operators, five approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and one approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. These ISOs present an astonishing array of similar and conflicting rules and philosophies by which transmission services are defined and priced.

This article aims to explain some of the key similarities and differences among the ISOs' transmission pricing schemes.

News Digest

Carl J. Levesque

Agency moves ahead despite ruling that Clean Air Act is unconstitutional.

By granting petitions filed by four Northeastern states seeking to reduce ozone pollution in their geographic areas through reductions in nitrogen oxide emission (NOx) from out-of-state sources, along with other initiatives, the Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 17 began to clean the regulatory air that has grown murky as of late.

The Power Market: E-Commerce for All Electricity Products

Edward G. Cazalet, Ph.D., and Ralph D. Samuelson, Ph.D.

Why not use the Web to buy and sell transmission rights at prices derived from bids and offers?

You make an offer, I accept. You deliver a product, I deliver money. This simple construct works well in just about any industry you can name. When a willing buyer and seller negotiate a contract, each achieves an outcome he considers best. Moreover, each is obliged to meet the needs of the other - reliably. No central authority sets the price or allocates supply. We depend on markets for reliable production and delivery of other essential goods; why not for electricity?

News Digest

State PUCs

Gas Retail Rate Design. In a move toward equalizing rates of return between customer classes, the Oregon PUC authorized Northwest Natural Gas Co. to increase base rates by nearly $246,000, at the same time boosting residential rates by 1.3 percent but lowering rates for large commercial and industrial users. It set return on equity at 10.25 percent, finding the rate "consistent with the downward trend of ROEs authorized by other regulatory commissions." Order No. 99-697, Nov. 12, 1999 (Ore.P.U.C.).

Electric Restructuring.

Ancillary Services: A Call for Fair Prices

Eric Hirst, and Brendan Kirby

A case study shows how today's typical tariffs can force some industrial electric customers to subsidize others.

There ought to be a better way for electric utilities to set prices for ancillary services - so that customers pay rates that fairly reflect the needs they impose on the bulk power system. However, while federal officials seem to agree with this point, so far they have done little to turn the idea to action.

Merchant Mania: Regional Markets Draw Gen Plant Projects

Carl J. Levesque

Developers launch 70,000 MW of new capacity in Texas, PJM and New York state, but how much will get built?

It's so hot down here, it isn't funny," laughed Ken Donohoo, senior transmission systems engineer at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas independent system operator. But no, he wasn't talking about last summer's scorching temperatures.

Instead, Donohoo was referring to some 30,000-plus megawatts of generation capacity proposed to be built in ERCOT between 2001 and 2003.

Wisconsin Forges Grid Model

Lori A. Burkhart

Transco law opens the door to munis and co-ops.

As the electric industry awaits a final rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on regional transmission organizations, Wisconsin has moved to create its own stand-alone transmission company, or transco.

In the process, Wisconsin will allow grid-dependent utilities to get a piece of the action.

The Legislation. On Oct. 27, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson signed Assembly Bill 133, an omnibus budget bill that incorporated original Assembly Bill 389.

News Digest

State PUCs

Electric Standard Offers. Connecticut OK'd a regulated standard offer distribution rate of 10.84 cents per kilowatt-hour for United Illuminating Co. The rate included subcomponent rates:

Gen. Shopping Credit 4.52 cents

T&D Regulated Service 3.89 cents

Systems Benefit Charge 0.17 cents

Compet. Transition Charge 1.91 cents

Conservation Funding 0.3 cents

Renewable Energy Funding 0.05 cents

The T&D charge was calculated without backing out unbundled retail transmission subject to FERC jurisdiction. Docket No. 99-03-35, Oct.

Benchmarks

Chris Leshock, and Patrick Wright

Steep environmental costs mean coal-fired power's competitive edge will drop by half.

A mid increasing pressures to reduce costs, the competitive positions and profitability of U.S. coal-fired power plants will change dramatically in the near-term. Resource Data International Inc.

Electric Restructuring: Before, During and After

Richard Stavros

Five commission chairs from states in all phases of deregulation ponder their changing roles. Will market success make them obsolete?

As most state electric competition plans are implemented within the next few years, regulators face an uncertain future. And they're already reflecting on their role in a changing industry.

Regulatory commissions in both Illinois and California have created panels to discuss the issue and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has held closed-door sessions on the subject.

Pages