A call for utilities to leave the marketing business.
Many of us on the front lines can identify with Stanley Klein's observation that, in terms of its implementation, the restructuring of the electric power industry is "fundamentally an information technology event."1
PLT: History of Developments and Debacles
PLT could allow energy companies to provide Internet, voice, and data via the grid, but technological hurdles and fierce competition remain obstacles.
Carl J. Levesque
EDI Standards: At a Snail's Pace in New York
See Public Utilities Fortnightly
The fuel cell article in the March 15 Fortnightly twice mentions a target of $50 per kilowatt for fuel cells. (See "Fuel Cells: White Knight for Natural Gas?" p. 22.)
I hadn't heard that target before. At that price, something like the General Electric/Plug Power residential unit of 7 kilowatts would cost $350 (instead of something like $3,500, which has been talked about). Anything close to $50 per kilowatt would be truly incredible.
Lori A. Burkhart, Carl J. Levesque and Bruce W. Radford
State regulators say they won't bargain under "threat of blackouts," but their complaint only highlights how the power is shifting.
The Michigan Public Service Commission is concerned about power supplies this summer - so much so that for the third year in a row it has ordered electric utilities in the state to file plans assessing their generation and transmission capacity for the upcoming summer.
Regina R. Johnson
New technologies cloud the future for the traditional electric utility, but offer hope to the gas industry in boosting residential demand.
Investors apparently were paying attention in January when a Web-based analyst predicted Plug Power's stocks could gain 10,000 percent or more by 2010. Before month's end, the fuel cell manufacturer, which doesn't expect to turn a profit before 2004, saw a ninefold increase from the $16 closing day share price at its October initial public offering. That month Avista Corp.
Distributed Generation. In December and January the Illinois commission took comments from utilities, marketers, manufacturers, and trade and advocacy groups on how to develop policy on distributed generation.
* Rulemaking Strategy. Enron has urged the state to proceed in a fashion similar to the California PUC's
two-track investigation. It asked for two separate rulemakings on (1) interconnection standards for DG installations of 50 megawatts or less, and (2) rate design and operational issues.
* Unit Size Limits.
Carl J. Levesque
Utility restructuring seems to prompt more lawsuits by customers.
In Chicago, Commonwealth Edison Co. settles a class action lawsuit for a heat-wave outage, paying $2.5 million for items including "food spoilage," to customers served by certain city substations. In California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spends $8.3 million to resolve 98 percent of some 6,600 outage-related claims.