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Technology

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Sarah McKinley

Technology is mature, says trade group exec for distributed power.

The general reader might receive the false impression upon reading Joseph F. Schuler Jr.'s article on distributed generation that distributed generation is limited to emerging technologies like microturbines and fuel cells (see "Distributed Generation: A 'Hot Corner' for Venture Capital?" Public Utilities Fortnightly, Oct. 15, 1998, p. 40). Indeed, this is a common misconception.

People

Albert V. Ruggiero was elected vice president for South Jersey Industries Inc. Ruggiero also serves as senior vice president, corporate development for SJI's principal subsidiary, South Jersey Gas Co.

The Bonneville Power Administration announced four new senior vice president positions. Harvey Spigal will return to general counsel after heading BPA's transmission functions for the past two years. BPA's corporate group will be headed by Steve Wright. Paul Norman was named permanent head of the power business line. Mark Maher will head the transmission business line on an acting basis.

Special Report

James R. Pierobon

EPA inventory opens generators to scrutiny, especially if they burn coal.

Hazardous emissions are one thing. Damaging publicity is something else-especially in the point-and-click world of Internet access.

In the coming year, the fuels that utilities choose to generate electricity will fall under a stronger media microscope. That's when coal- and oil-fired electricity generators must begin reporting information about their accumulated releases of toxic chemicals for 1998.

Keys for Success in Power Plant Investing

Bernard M. Fox

It's not as straightforward as it seems, says an industry veteran.

No one can foresee with a high degree of certainty how electric energy markets will be structured over the long-term. The changes facing the electric energy industry may be as profound as those upheavals we've seen in the airline industry during the past two decades. In the "good old days," a flight from New York to Chicago had one price and an electric generating plant had a regulated price for each kilowatt-hour produced.

Solar Mandate? Like it or Not, Consumers Pay

William A. Spratley

States earmark millions to fund solar projects via system benefits charges.

Making solar power a realistic choice for electric consumers is a burgeoning issue for state utility regulators. As part of electric restructuring, regulators are trying to finance the costs of solar installations.

Key to delivering commercial, on-grid solar power to new markets are state efforts, partnered with other government and industry actions. So far, the system benefits charge, or SBC, is the primary short-term incentive to develop solar, wind, biomass and other renewable resources.

10 Innovators to Watch in 1999

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

These executives are energizing the power business with their persistence, ideas and pure gut instincts.

What is an innovator? Must he, or she, be an inventor? Or merely an idea-prone CEO with a knack for building a string of successful companies? Or could an innovator be both a scientist and CEO?

In this first-ever feature, Fortnightly has chosen innovators from all segments of the energy business.

The 1998 Utility Regulators Forum Four States, Eight Views: Looking Back on Deregulation

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

Policymakers reflect on how it "coulda been." Nearly all insist "my state did it best."

California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have deregulated their electricity markets. Yet they're all ironing out wrinkles. California at press time was bracing for a vote on the Proposition 9 recall petition. New Hampshire still faced federal lawsuits filed by Public Service of New Hampshire seeking to quash efforts to bring competition to the state. (See, U.S. District Court, Concord, Docket No. 97-97-JD; U.S. District Court, Providence, Docket No.

Distributed Generation: A "Hot Corner" for Venture Capital?

Joseph F. Schuler Jr.

Robert W. Shaw JR. IS A BETTING MAN. Shaw's Aretê Corp. venture capital fund has invested $100 million in energy technology. This year the Center Harbor, N.H., fund set aside $30 million to invest in micro-generation technologies. Already the fund has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into more than a half-dozen companies trying to develop microturbines, fuel cells and other promising small-scale generation.

"This is a hot corner," Shaw says.

Shaw bucks naysayers like Ralph Selvig of VentureOne Corp., a San Francisco firm that tracks the venture capital industry.

Special Report

Joseph F. Schuler Jr.

FORCING A DIVESTITURE SHOULD REMAIN AN OPTION for regulators in a clear case of market power abuse, NARUC members have agreed.

NARUC's executive committee also has opened discussion on a five-year business plan that would increase the association's visibility, improve its technology and make better use of the $10 million it has in reserves.

Members at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners summer meetings in Seattle, Wash., asked states to give them "clear and adequate authority" to protect consumers from market power.

Electric Meter Deregulation: Potholes on the Road to Plug-and-Play

Bruce W. Radford

NO MORE METER MONOPOLY?

So they say. Many believe that utility control over electric metering exerts a chilling effect on retail choice in energy. They claim that competitive energy service providers cannot earn a high-enough margin on the commodity alone, but must offer companion services - metering, billing and value-added options.

Yet the road to competitive metering is pitted with potholes. Utilities, ESPs and private meter vendors and manufacturers can be found arguing over a raft of issues.

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