Fortnightly Magazine - August 1996

Santa Outlines FERC's Future Focus

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Donald F. Santa, Jr. looked beyond Order 888 electric restructuring when he addressed the second annual DOE/EPRI Executive Conference in Washington, DC, on May 21. According to Santa, the post-Order 888 electric agenda will be marked by three cross-cutting issues.

First, the FERC will grapple with market power in an open-access environment. While open access will mitigate the market power of transmission-owning utilities, the FERC needs to consider market power stemming from generation concentration.

Off Peak

An advance peek at the Edison Electric Institute's 1995 Statistical Yearbook of the Electric Utility Industry reveals a general trend toward increase over last year's figures (see Table 1).

s Installed capacity totaled 749,723 megawatts (Mw), up 0.5 percent. Investor-owned utility (IOU) capacity alone rose 0.4 percent. And the South Atlantic division showed the largest increase: 1.6 percent.

s Generation totaled 2,994,529 gigawatt-hours (Gwh), up 2.9 percent. IOUs contributed 2,340,482 Gwh to this total, increasing its output 1.4 percent.

Research and Renewables: Funding at the National Energy Labs

Shrinking budgets force staff cuts, but some projects

find friends in high places.

"They're putting the best face on the inevitable."

Funding for renewable energy for government/ industry research partnerships took another beating early this summer (em and that's on top of a $113-million cut suffered this fiscal year.

Lakehead Pipe Line Appeals FERC Ruling

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has refused to rehear or modify a June 15, 1995, rate order (Opinion 397) that denied Lakehead Pipe Line Partners, L.P. any income-tax allowance related to "curative allocations" under section 704(c) of the Internal Revenue Code that increase the general partner's taxable income beyond his or her proportion of company ownership.

The ruling (Opinion 397-A) affirms Lakehead's entitlement to a tax allowance based on the income attributable to corporate partners, but imposes a limit.

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting Green Solutions on Site

Thermal Energy Storage: Putting

Green Solutions

on SiteBy John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory,

Donald L. Geistert, and James PattersonA recent study coordinated by the California Energy Commission shows how stored-cooling applications provide both environmental and competitive benefits in a summer-peaking market.As California prepares for a more competitive electric future, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is taking another look at some key customer technologies.

Reps. Ask FERC for PURPA Reforms

Eleven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to Chair Elizabeth A. Moler asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address competitive issues arising from the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).

In Brief...

Sound bites from state and federal regulators.

Contel Merger. California removes stay on Contel/GTE merger. Orders equal sharing of short- and long-term economic benefits between ratepayers and shareholders. Fessler dissents, finding that the utility "had not established an entitlement to 50 percent of these savings." A.90-09-043, Decision 96-04-053, Apr. 10, 1996 (Cal.P.S.C.).

Local Telephone Resale. California requires two of the state's major LECs to offer a broad range of services for resale at wholesale rates.

Frontlines

It's August again. In Washington. Anyone with any sense is looking to get out of town and hole up at the beach. Anyone, that is, except a magazine editor.

When I wrote this column on July 11, Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-CO) had just concluded a news conference to announce his "Electric Consumers' Power to Choose Act of 1996." Reams of testimony were pouring in, demanding to be read. Faxes arrived nonstop all afternoon with offers from experts to provide comments, quotes, or some unique spin on the day's events.

Gas Transport Order Looks at Balancing Services

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has issued final regulations to guide the restructuring of intrastate transportation services offered by natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs) in the state. The PUC issued the new rules as a "tentative order" to allow additional comments from interested parties because of ongoing changes in the gas industry, and because over two years had passed since it issued proposed rules.

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