Pricing

LMP Works!

Locational marginal prices in PJM respond to demand and fuel costs.

The evolution of real-time locational marginal prices (LMP) in PJM Interconnection’s wholesale electricity markets demonstrates the characteristics of a well functioning and competitive market; prices are driven by supply and demand fundamentals. Although critics of wholesale electricity markets frequently have pointed to increases in LMP as proof that the wholesale markets aren’t working, in reality, the markets are working as they should. Increases in LMP are driven by higher demand for electricity or increasing fuel prices.

Green Contracting

Structuring renewable agreements to survive change.

The potential for a federal renewable energy standard (RES) and carbon regulation, considered with the effect of state-imposed renewable energy standards, is fueling a strong, but challenging, market for renewable energy. Utilities are competing to sign up the best new projects, the types of renewable technologies available are increasing, and there are various government stimulus programs for energy; yet, the financial markets still are hesitant. Against this backdrop, how should contracts for power from new renewable resources be shaped so that those deals will look as good five, 10 and 15 years after execution as on the day the ink dries?

Dynamic Pricing Solutions

How to account for lack of strong price signals. A hard year puts deregulation to the test.

The greatest benefits of time-of-use pricing come from avoided costs of peaking power and T&D capacity—but only if hourly retail prices accurately model the true costs of delivered energy, including scarcity rents. Restoring the missing price signals will encourage economic investments in AMI, conservation and system capacity.

Vintage, Voltage or Votes

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

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.

Earning on Conservation

An earnings-equivalence model helps utilities and regulators calculate appropriate returns for conservation investments.

Traditionally, utility shareholders and their utilities have a bias toward supply-side resources as opposed to demand-side reduction programs. Reductions in demand may result in excess supply-side resources that are likely to be excluded from rate base because they do not meet the “used and useful” standard. However, there is a solution: Allow energy utilities to benefit from earnings rewards for demand-side reduction. From an earnings perspective, such a solution would place demand-side alternatives on par with supply-side projects.

Energy Trading & Marketing: The Evolution of the Deal

Energy traders and risk managers reengineered their business dealings to manage against unexpected political and financial risks posed by California and Enron in 2001.

The rules of energy market survival changed forever in 2001. California and Enron were both humbled by gyrating prices and blackouts in the Golden State, and financial misadventure dethroned the once-crowned king of energy trading. These twin events sent shockwaves through the very foundation of the energy trading and risk management establishment.