Calendar of Events

Aug 04, 2014 to Aug 15, 2014 | Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Aug 11, 2014 to Aug 12, 2014 | New York, NY
Sep 08, 2014 to Sep 10, 2014 | Chicago, IL

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Public Utilities Reports

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Transmission

The High Cost of Restructuring

RTO markets aren’t living up to the promise of cheaper power.

Robert McCullough, Berne Martin Howard and Michael Deen

Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) have not performed as well as open wholesale markets over the past decade. RTO advocates want governmental intervention, but the best answer may be requiring RTOs to file system lambdas.

Taming the Wind

Modern approaches to system operations and forecasting make the most of variable energy sources.

Michael T. Burr

Nobody disputes windpower’s variability; that’s a given. But modern approaches to demand management, grid integration and wind forecasting are making windpower more predictable and grid friendly. And technology companies are marketing a variety of equipment and services to support a growing base of variable wind capacity—sort of like a virtual Country Kitchen Buffet for the windpower picnic.

Vintage, Voltage or Votes

AEP rekindles debate over grid pricing, but should the outcome hinge on majority rule?

Bruce W. Radford

You might have thought the Feds closed the book on any broad, region-wide sharing of sunk transmission costs—especially after FERC ruled last spring in Opinion No. 494 that PJM could stick with license-plate pricing (LPP) for transmission lines already planned and built. If you thought that, you weren’t alone. Of 25 transmission owners (TOs) in the Midwest ISO (MISO), 24 voted recently to do the same for their market as well.

Demand-Side Dreams

FERC would relax price caps—sending rates skyward—to encourage customers to curtail loads.

Bruce W. Radford

About four months ago, at a conference at Stanford University’s Center for International Development, the economist and utility industry expert Frank Wolak turned heads with a not-so-new but very outrageous idea.

The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio

What the U.S. electricity sector must do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coming decades.

Revis James, Richard Richels, Geoff Blanford, and Steve Gehl

The large-scale CO2 reductions envisioned to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, global atmospheric CO2 concentrations present major technical, economic, regulatory and policy challenges. Reconciling these challenges with continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.

Solve the Seams

The big challenge facing the Northeast energy markets.

Gary L. Hunt

The Northeast energy markets are working hard to establish new levels of regional coordination and cooperation. The region’s concerted effort is essential to resolving some of the industry’s toughest issues since the individual markets evolved. These issues include the elimination, reduction, or bridging of seams issues that prevent the economic transfer of capacity and energy between neighboring wholesale electricity markets, or control areas, as a result of incompatible market rules or designs.

Tilting to Windward

As if carbon control were a fait accompli, gen developers skew the queue toward renewable projects, driving new policy on transmission pricing.

Bruce W. Radford

Now at last, in a region other than California, we can see clearly that renewable mandates and fears of carbon taxes have influenced the power-plant development cycle. Moreover, this effect is helping to drive policy proposals for the pricing of transmission service and the recovery of costs for grid upgrades deemed necessary to bring the new plants on line.

Transmission Line-Siting Under EPACT: Shortcut or Short Circuit?

The 2005 Act, designed to streamline projects, may fall short of that goal.

David B. MacGregor and Matthew J. Agen

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was supposed to streamline the siting process and provide a federal “trump card” for projects delayed at the local level, but it is far from clear whether these goals have been, or will be, achieved.

California vs. Oregon

An expiring 40-year-old contract rocks the Pacific AC Intertie.

Bruce W. Radford

PacifiCorp informed FERC, PG&E, and the state of California that it would not renew the contract upon its long-anticipated expiration date of July 31, 2007. Instead, it would take back full ownership of its transmission-line rights and sell the available capacity into the open market under its own tariff at today’s going rate.

The Case That Mattered

What’s the story with AES Ocean Express?

James E. Goddard

In January 2004, FERC authorized AES Ocean Express LLC (AES) to construct and operate natural-gas pipeline facilities to transport revaporized LNG from an offshore receipt point at the boundary between the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to onshore delivery points on the east coast of Florida. AES proposed to connect its planned pipeline to the pipeline system of Florida Gas Transmission (FGT). AES and FGT were unable to agree upon the terms and conditions to be included in FGT’s tariff regarding the LNG delivered through AES’ proposed pipeline, leading to AES filing a formal complaint with FERC, wherein it alleged that FGT sought to impose unreasonably restrictive gas quality and interchangeability standards on LNG delivered into the FGT system.

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