Calendar of Events

Apr 14, 2014 to Apr 16, 2014 | Atlanta, GA
Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY

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Public Utilities Reports

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RTO

East Vs. West: Growing the Grid

The models and motives behind tomorrow’s transmission expansion.

Bruce W. Radford

Major transmission projects based on two distinct models are showing signs of life. What can these projects teach us about future transmission investment?

A Candy-Coated Grid

Incentives for transmission investment could boost postage-stamp pricing over license-plate rates.

Bruce W. Radford

FERC proposed a new set of regulations, under the new section 219 of the Federal Power Act, explaining in broad outline how it might approve generous financial incentives for new investments in transmission—incentives once dubbed as “candy.” As of mid-January, the new NOPR had spawned more industry comment than just about any other FERC proposal in recent memory.

Market Resurgence

Banks are reshaping the energy-trading landscape. When the dust settles, utility companies will face different strategic horizons.

By Michael T. Burr

Utility executives face volatile energy markets, skyrocketing fuel prices, and changing federal energy policies. How are utilities benefiting from the turnaround in energy trading?

Long-Term Transmission Rights: A High-Stakes Debate

The absence of long-term transmission rights could exclude potential competition—and cause higher electricity costs.

Laurence D. Kirsch

Power-industry restructuring redistributed financial uncertainties that discourage generation investment and ultimately raise the price of electricity to consumers.

Winning the Merger Game

A new wave of consolidation is coming. To succeed, a company must understand where its strengths are.

Peter Lorenz, Matt Pond, and Thomas Seitz

Companies that relied heavily on mergers and acquisitions generated more than half of the value in the power industry during the past 10 years. Furthermore, more than half that value was generated by a handful of companies. How did they do it?

After EPACT: A Mad, Mad Scramble for Talent

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 makes human resource challenges even more significant.

Michael B. Brown

Hidden in the 1,700-plus pages of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is a set of regulatory requirements that will redefine the technology, leadership, training, culture, compensation, job design, and organizational models currently employed in the industry.

The Merger Paradox

More consolidation could trim costs, but some CEOs fear a backlash from regulators.

Richard Stavros, Executive Editor

With the possible exception of keeping the lights on, the merger game dwarfs just about every other question facing today’s electric utilities. The last big wave of consolidation hit in the late 1990s. Now the forecast calls for a repeat performance, but don’t bet the farm. There’s a hitch, you see. It’s today’s high commodity costs.

Encore for Negawatts?

Congress renews PURPA’s call for conservation and load management, but the world has changed since the 1970s.

Bruce W. Radford

The “N-word” in the title first appeared in this journal more than 20 years ago, courtesy of the celebrated environmentalist Amory Lovins and his widely quoted piece, “Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts” (Fortnightly, 1985). Scroll forward a few decades. With restructuring of wholesale electric markets at FERC, plus formation of regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, the game was changed.

The CIO Forum: The Changing Face of Energy I.T.

Budgets are expected to increase, even as new IT challenges present themselves.

Christian Hamaker

In our annual technology forum, we talk with tech/information specialists at four companies: Patricia Lawicki at PG&E; Ken Fell at the New York ISO; Mark C. Williamson at American Transmission Co.; and John Seral at GE Energy.

Sunset on Grid West

RTOs in the region continue to struggle.

Lawrence J. Risman, Ph.D.

Efforts to develop more RTOs in the West came to a near standstill again after talks last year among key players Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Grid West, and the Transmission Improvements Group collapsed over BPA’s convergence proposal. The end of talks is one more failure in a long line of failures to find consensus on an RTO approach in the West. Grid West is attempting to reorganize following BPA’s withdrawal, but its fate is indeterminate. Key issues are funding for continued development and achieving agreements with BPA and other transmission providers in the region.

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