Calendar of Events

Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL
Sep 29, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Michigan State University, Lansing MI
Oct 01, 2014 to Oct 03, 2014 | Washington, DC

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Public Utilities Reports

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Transmission

PV vs. Solar Thermal

Distributed solar modules are gaining ground on concentrated solar thermal plants.

Jonathan Lesser and Nicolas Puga

Photovoltaic technologies are beginning to appear more attractive than concentrated solar thermal plants. PV’s competitiveness is improving from technical and operational advancements, as well as significant commitments made by such utilities as Southern California Edison. In the long run, distributed central PV plants likely will gain a strong market position.

Letters to the Editor

Regarding "Transmission Rights Row:" While technological advances and the development of fiber optic communications was not foreseen by utilities companies when they executed easement agreements for transmission rights of way, the tremendous escalation of land values, especially near some metropolitan areas, may not have been foreseen by the easement grantors.

Energizing the Big Apple

Uncertain market design affects generation investment planning.

Mark Griffith and Keith Durand

Faced with state-wide electric utility restructuring and power-market deregulation, the state of New York constantly has been adjusting the state’s power markets to meet the potentially contradictory goals of low cost, yet reliable power. In New York this has taken many forms, including monitoring of energy prices, caps on capacity prices and forced divestment of assets to reduce potential market abuses.

Prime Time for Efficiency

New England shows the benefits of demand resources in forward capacity markets.
By Sandra Levine, Doug Hurley and Seth Kaplan

New England is leading the way toward a future that is both cleaner and provides greater electric reliability at reduced cost. New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) has created an innovative mechanism that addresses concerns about ensuring adequate energy capacity by allowing the cleanest and lowest-cost resources to be used to meet the nation’s power needs.

Windpower's Warning

ERCOT’s February emergency suggests storage capacity is needed to support renewables.

Gary Moland

ERCOT in February averted a blackout that could have become a disastrous defining moment for the windpower industry. This near miss can teach utilities and system operators valuable lessons about integrating variable energy sources into the power grid.

Letters to the Editor

In light of your prescient Frontlines column, “PURPA Redirected” (February 2008), I am curious of your insight. Is there a nexus between §571 of EISA and the demand response (DR) text in the pending FERC NOPR, RM07-19-000, “Wholesale Competition in Regions with Organized Electric Markets,” issued Feb. 22, 2008?

People

The New York ISO named Mary McGarvey its vice president and chief financial officer. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced that its board of directors elected Barbara Barcon as vice president, finance and chief financial officer. Henry B. “Brew” Barron was appointed president, chief executive officer and chief nuclear offer of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. announced that Gregory E. Abel became the chief executive officer. And others...

Transmission Rights Row

Fiber optic lines expose grid companies to class action lawsuits.

Arnold Tesh and Deborah Haskell

Property owners are banding together and filing class-action lawsuits against transmission owners who sell dark-fiber capacity on their rights of way. Utilities have strong arguments against demands for hefty compensation.

Transforming the SysOp

Strategic pain points require an artful approach.

Monica Benner and Mani Vadari

Utilities are at the threshold of some of the most significant changes they have faced in their history, rivaling the passage of PUHCA in 1935. This change emanates primarily from a handful of key business drivers associated with major technological improvements (i.e., AMI, smart grid), the need for increased customer focus, increased regulatory mandates, and a changing workforce.

The Queue Quandary

Why developers today are often kept waiting to get projects ok’d to connect to the grid.

Bruce W. Radford

Late last year FERC learned that the Midwest regional grid likely would require at least 40 years — until 2050 — simply to clear its backlog of proposed gen projects awaiting a completed interconnection agreement to certify their compatibility with the interstate power grid. But grid engineers would meet that date only by shortening the process and studying multiple projects simultaneously in clusters. To apply the process literally, studying one project at a time, as envisioned by current rules, the Midwest reportedly would need 300-plus years to clear its project queue.

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