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.
T+D Investment Risk. The Maine PUC appeared to take a pro-consumer stance in setting principles it will use to set a revenue requirement for transmission and distribution (T&D) services provided by Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. after the company becomes a wires-only utility on March 1. The PUC downplayed the risk of wires operations, adopting a return on equity of 11 percent and disallowing about $3.5 million of some $71 million in claimed T&D costs.
The Electric Power Supply Association elected B. Kent Burton, senior vice president of policy and international government relations for Ogden Energy Group, its chair for 2000. Kenneth E. Randolph, senior vice president and general counsel for Dynegy Inc., was named EPSA's first vice chair, and Bill Mack, president and chief executive officer of Coastal Power Co., was named second vice chair.
EPSA also named Donn Salvosa manager of government affairs and Shannon Gordon manager of finance and administration.
Hyde M. Merrill
What we're not arguing about is important too.
More than 200 organizations and individuals have staked out positions in comments filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in response to its proposed rulemaking on regional transmission organizations (RTOs).
The major debate in the reply briefs is on three issues.
Mandatory vs. Voluntary Participation? The FERC's proposed rulemaking relies on strong RTOs rising spontaneously from the primeval murk of the conflicting interests of the states and industry participants.