Sound bites from state and federal regulators.
Gas Supply Affiliates. Arkansas oks plan by Arkla to continue to rely on NorAm Gas Transmission Co. (an affiliate) for the bulk of its supply requirements, but directs the utility to evaluate its supply options and to "be prepared" to shift to an independent supplier for gas inventory and capacity. NorAm agreed to "rachet-down" its price to meet third-party offers. Docket No. 95-401-U, Order No. 34, Jan. 9, 1997 (Ark.P.S.C.).
Electronic Billing. Michigan regulators approve program by Consumers Power Co.
Lori A. Burkhart, and Elizabeth Striano
Oglethorpe Power Corp. recently completed an extensive restructuring that transformed the generation and transmission power cooperative into three specialized companies better able to compete in a restructured electric market.
In addition, the company's board of directors has approved a deal that would allow Morgan Stanley Capital Group to supply Oglethorpe Power Co. one-half of its power needs for up to eight years. The deal has been presented to the 39 Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) for final approval.
Lori A. Burkhart
Tightens postings rules for transmission discounts; expands jurisdiction on stranded costs in municipal annexations.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 26 revisited its Order 888 open-access transmission decision, reaffirming its core framework but making changes by granting rehearing on two key issues.
Stranded-cost recovery associated with municipal annexation was revisited. In addition, the FERC updated the discounting of transmission services (See, Order 888-A, Docket Nos. RM95-8-001, RM94-7-001, and RM95-9-001).
Sidney L. Spencer
As I leave the electric utility business after 28 years as an engineer and analyst I would like to relate some thoughts on what makes this business special, even as it gives way to competition. Let me offer some advice to "local" electric utilities on how to keep at bay the "Mega Marketers" and "PanElectrics" of the world, who will soon appear to romance away their customers. Keep your "home-field advantage." Capitalize on your traditional strengths and enduring relationships. These bonds represent a wealth of goodwill earned over years of working with customer communities.
Bruce W. Radford
Two months ago in this space, I interviewed a power marketer and an independent power producer who sit on the operating and engineering committees of the North American Electric Reliability Council. What did they think of NERC, a group formed to prevent large-scale power outages and made up largely of volunteers from investor-owned electric utilities? Were they treated fairly? Did they have a chance to influence policy?
In general, my two "outsiders" felt satisfied with their status on the committees, though some skepticism emerged about NERC's internal decision-making process.
Introduced in the 105th Congress
• H.R. 296, sponsored by John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). Would privatize the federal Power Marketing Administrations, splitting them into regional corporations to market and maintain generation and transmission services. Stock would be sold to recover outstanding federal debt; holding companies could invest in the corporations.
• H.R. 338, sponsored by Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.). Would repeal Section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978, but would force utilities to honor QF contracts entered prior to Jan.
Alexander J. Black
Prospects look good for cheaper, independent electrical power in Ontario. The market is forcing an end to the current impasse on energy policy. Reforms are apt to include "wholesale access," which should arrive in the province before the year is out. Otherwise, Ontario may lose jobs to neighboring provinces and states.
Lori A. Burkhart
New York Power Authority trustees have approved agreements to help it establish an independent system operator for the statewide electric transmission system, which could be partially implemented in 1997, and fully implemented by mid-1998, if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Members of the New York Power Pool, the authority and the state's seven investor-owned utilities have worked for nearly two years to develop a proposal for an independent system operator, or ISO. The proposal and associated tariffs were submitted to the FERC.
Mark J. Vople
Flow-based pricing ends
subsidies inherent in grid-wide,
n Order 888, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission suggested 11 principles for forming an independent system operator, or ISO. In its third principle, the FERC offered this guidance on transmission pricing:
An ISO should provide open access to the transmission system and all services under its control at non-pancaked rates pursuant to a single, unbundled, grid-wide tariff that applies to all eligible users in a non-discriminatory manner.
Gordon L. Weil
With its membership opened, NEPOOL sets a transmission tariff, but still must develop competitive markets. In 1993, after a series of attempts going back as far as 1971, the New England Power Pool failed to reach agreement among its members for a regional transmission arrangement. But destiny then took over (em with help from the newly enacted Energy Policy Act (em to lead pool members back to the bargaining table. Finally, on Sept. 30, 1996, NEPOOL announced that its executive committee had agreed in principle on restructuring the pool.