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.
Richard Stavros, Regina R. Johnson, and Bruce W. Radford
Six executives map out the technology, tools, theories and institutions that could change the face of electricity forever.
Liberty is the most important component of enlightenment.
Henry R. Linden
An industry booster looks at the forecasts for price and technology and sees some big "ifs" for modular, on-site and distributed applications.
I'm a believer from way back in using natural gas for modular, on-site and distributed generation. But I worry that we might be overselling it.
Certainly, the idea of a natural gas fuel cell in every home basement needs careful examination. Add to that the notion that we can replace much of our commercial power demand with gas-fired systems such as fuel cells and microturbines.
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.
Regina R. Johnson
With so much at stake, why don't utilities ask vendors for plug and play?
Everyone agrees that competitive retail energy markets need interoperable information systems. Otherwise, the high cost of switching proprietary metering and data communications systems could offset savings from customer choice. Standardization reduces the costs of automating operations - also crucial for competitive companies. Interoperable "plug and play" systems can free companies of dependence on expensive, single-sourced equipment. So why do most utility systems remain incompatible from vendor to vendor?
David Gaw, and Adam Marsh
Roll over wireless, tell your meter the news.
AMR has come full circle - from industry darling to problem child and now back again to the next new thing. For this latest reincarnation, thank the Internet.
Early AMR efforts focused on how to recoup costs through lower operating expenses and more accurate usage data, but infrastructure startup costs proved a stumbling block to modernization when industry uncertainty over deregulation made companies wary of whether they'd ever see a return on their investment.
Now deregulation has matured enough to remove some uncertainties.
Carl J. Levesque
AMRA's annual symposium addresses potential payoffs and lingering concerns about the technology.
The annual Automated Meter Reading Symposium, Sept. 26-29 in Reno, Nev., finds AMR a year further along in its evolution in terms of both implementation and ideas for application and usage.
But while a few electric utilities have embraced AMR and others will arrive at the symposium ready to make purchases, some uncertainty remains for others as to the what, when and how of the technology.
How Soon is Now?
Bruce W. Radford
The wires business goes up for grabs as California opens its landmark case on distributed generation.
Jay Morse has studied distributed generation for the past seven years. Today, as an engineer and policy analyst on regulatory transition and market development issues for the California PUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, he sits in the eye of the storm. Technology is busting out all over, says Morse, who calls himself the "godfather" of DG in California's electric restructuring.