Calendar of Events

Jul 13, 2014 to Jul 16, 2014 | Dallas, TX
Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Aug 11, 2014 to Aug 12, 2014 | New York, NY

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Public Utilities Reports

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Southern California Edison

Courts & Commissions

Phillip S. Cross

WITH DIRECT ACCESS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON Jan. 1, 1998, California regulators are moving quickly to set up their long-considered policies on electric restructuring. The restructuring actions touch nearly every aspect of electric regulation in the state from financing decisions and rate design to the sale of generating assets and monitoring new capital additions.

In addition, restructuring has affected ongoing regulatory activities such as the development of performance-based rate making plans and pricing and rate designs for large incumbent utilities.

Headlines

Lori A. Burkhart

PITTSBURGH CHALLENGES MERGER; ALLEGES COLLUSION

The city of Pittsburgh has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Allegheny Power Systems Inc., and Duquesne Light Co., to stop the merger proposed by the two companies.

In its Sept. 29 court filing, Pittsburgh claimed the two utilities acted jointly to restrain trade. The city said the companies did this by agreeing to maintain higher rates for electric retail service at two industrial sites targeted for redevelopment zones pending their merger.

Cutting Electricity Costs for Industrial Plants in a Real-Time World

Eric Hirst, and Brendan Kirby

AS U.S. ELECTRICITY MARKETS BECOME increasingly competitive, large industrial customers will discover many new choices. These choices include the opportunity to modify the amount and timing of electricity use in response to prices that vary from hour to hour. In addition, customers can sell certain electricity services, including operating reserves and load following, to the system operator. And industrial customers with cogeneration facilities can participate fully in bulk power markets, buying and selling energy and ancillary services in response to changes in spot prices.

Renewable Subsidies in the Age of Deregulation

Steven Ferrey

BY WHAT AUTHORITY CAN STATES FAVOR RENEWABLE

energy in a restructured electricity market?

Renewable resource funding marks a major point of contention in utility deregulation. Environmental groups fear that without some form of compulsion or subsidy, or both, renewable resources will not survive in an energy economy based on least direct consumer cost. However, utilities do not want to be saddled alone with the chore of carrying all renewables to market.

Utilities Must Educate, Again

Phillip S. Cross

Seeking to wrest control of public relations for electric competition from private "stakeholders," the California Public Utilities Commission has authorized the state's three largest investor-owned electric utilities (em Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co. (em to spend $89.3 million for consumer education on electric restructuring, through mass media, mail, local outreach and a toll-free call center.

In a separate order, the PUC authorized PacifiCorp and Sierra Pacific Power Co.

Electronic Trading: Toward an Hourly Market in Natural Gas

Greg M. Lander

THERE IS MUCH TALK ABOUT CONVERGENCE.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asks, "What needs to be done to enable the gas and electric markets to work together to become more integrated?" The real question is more direct: "How can the gas industry transform what is presently, at best, a daily market, with daily procedures, to an hourly or quarter-hourly electric generation business and gain benefits at the same time?"

Will the answer come from hourly gas trading and pricing?

Sellers in Power Exchange Can Qualify as EWGS

Lori A. Burkhart

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that all electric power sales into the California power exchange are to be treated as wholesale power sales under Federal Power Act Sec. 201, and for the purpose of qualifying under the definition of "exempt wholesale generator," as defined in Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. (See, Docket No. el97-36-000.)

The September 10 ruling was made in response to a request by Southern California Edison, which plans to divest all its fossil-fueled electric generation plants.

SoCalEd Begins Plant Auction

Lori A. Burkhart

Southern California Edison has begun auctioning its 12 gas- and oil-fired generation plants. The plants boast an operating capacity of about 10,000 MW and a combined value of about $700 million.

The auction is being conducted in two phases. The first phase began Aug. 5, when SoCalEd sent out a confidential offering memo for its five "non-must-run" plants. The second phase took place in late August, when SoCalEd auctioned "must-run" plants.

California PUC Issues Final Rate Unbundling Order

Lori A. Burkhart

The California Public Utilities Commission issued its final order on unbundling rates for generation, transmission and distribution functions performed by the state's three largest investor-owned utilities on Aug. 1.

The commission also determined how to calculate transition costs and addressed customer billing and education issues. (Decision 97-08-056, Docket A. 96-12-009 et al.)

The utilities affected are Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.

Rates by Function.

Off Peak

Follow the arrows as California's direct access workshops map out who will have access to electric customer data.

In its latest order implementing direct access for electric customers, the California Public Utilities Commission told Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric to conduct workshops to recommend rules on the release of customer information in a deregulated electric industry.

The PUC offered guidelines.

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