Moody's Investors Service has released a report, Moody's Outlines Risk Profile for Electric Cooperatives, which finds that the era of deregulation will lead to an average credit quality decline for generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts), just as it will for investor-owned utilities (IOUs) over the next five to 10 years. The report stresses that both G&Ts and distribution cooperatives face increased business and financial risks.
Fortnightly Magazine - July 1 1995
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected allegations that flexibly priced tariffs for electric service are unlawfully discriminatory under state law. The ruling opens the way for Consumers Power Co. to impose a new Special Competitive Services (SACS) tariff. The new SACS rate would allow Consumers to negotiate onpeak billing demand and energy charges within a range of rates for customers with a less expensive alternative energy source.
Niagara Mohawk Power Co. (NiMo) has appealed a New York Public Service Commission (PSC) order upholding its purchased-power contract with Sithe Energies. In a series of decisions, the PSC had allowed Sithe to sell electricity from the 1,040-megawatt Independence plant to two NiMo customers: Alcan Rolled Products and Liberty Paperboard. In April 1994, the PSC ruled that if Sithe were to sell electricity at retail it would be lightly regulated.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) will allow MFS Intelenet of Michigan to compete with Ameritech Michigan in the Detroit and Ann Arbor area exchanges. The PSC said state telecommunications law supports competition and that the applicant was qualified to enter the business. It rejected claims that the certificate should be denied due to concerns over possible cross-subsidization between the applicant and its holding company, MFS Communications Co. According to the PSC, consumers were well protected from such abuses under existing regulations.
Three representatives from Wisconsin's electric industry have asked Wisconsin commissioner Scott A. Neitzel to give highest priority to investigating the proposed $6-billion merger of Wisconsin Energy Corp. and Northern States Power Co. to create the nation's 10th-largest electric utility, Primergy Corp. In a letter, executives from Madison Gas & Electric Co., Wisconsin Public Power Inc.
Central and South West Corp. (CSW) has notified El Paso Electric Co. (EPE) that it has breached the companies' merger agreement by participating in discussions about and spending large sums on a possible stand-alone reorganization plan. CSW said it was not terminating the merger, but merely protecting its rights. On May 22, CSW received a request from EPE to extend the merger agreement for six months, until December 8, 1995.
The nonstop dialogue about retail wheeling, power brokers, PoolCos, and restructuring overlooks customers and their increasing thirst for value-added services. Aside from a few emphatic words by some industrial users, little has been said about customer expectations. This article offers a snapshot of the brave new world of energy service marketing (ESM). ESM will take the place of demand-side management (DSM) and electricity marketing, blending the best of both.
ESM is simple.
On June 6 the Energy Production and Regulation Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK), held a hearing on legislation S. 708, The Electric Utility Ratepayer Act, which would repeal section 210 of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which mandates purchases from qualifying facilities (QFs) at avoided-cost rates.
In talking to electric utility managers from across the country we have found that most believe direct access will have major repercussions on all aspects of their business by the end of the decade. Not surprisingly, there is an emerging consensus that revenues will drop rapidly as supply options grow for retail customers.
For the first time, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has directed a power pool, the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) Power Pool, to provide electric transmission services to an electric utility, Duquesne Light Co. (Docket Nos. TX94-10-000 and TX94-8-000). It gave PJM 70 days to negotiate rates and terms with Duquesne, which had asked for transmission service to market excess capacity and energy. The FERC ordered the 11 members of the pool to negotiate jointly with Duquesne, and to charge comparable rates.