Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 1997

Utilities Clash in Chicago

Wisconsin Electric Power Co., outbid about 60 companies to supply electricity to Chicago's Public Housing Authority, now served by Commonwealth Edison Co., which says it will refuse wheeling services. The housing authority says the deal with WEP would allow it to shave about $5 million off its $10-million, annual CE electric bill. The authority currently pays CE roughly 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, but would pay less than 3 cents per kWh to WEP, excluding wheeling charges. The dispute may well end up before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

IPPs Lose Bid To Supply N.J. Utility

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a proposal by Jersey Central Power and Light Co., an electric utility, to meet its short-to-medium-term power needs by purchasing power from utility-owned generating facilities located in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Under the agreement, the utility will purchase a total of 700 megawatts of power over an eight-year period from Pennsylvania Power and Light Co., Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.

Co-op Would Offer Green Power

The Dakota Electric Association, which buys its power from Cooperative Power of Eden Prairie, Minn., has asked the Minnesota Public Utility Commission to allow it to provide its members the option to purchase energy generated from renewable resources. Energy produced by wind generators would be made available to consumers in 100-kilowatt-hour blocks of energy. Customers would be allowed to purchase blocks equal to their normal monthly usage. A 12-month commitment would be required. The cost of each 100-kWh block would be slightly higher to reflect the higher cost of wind energy. Lori A.

Marketing Affiliate Questioned as Utility Shifts Rates

While approving a

three-year settlement on electric rates for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., the New York Public Service Commission has accepted a highly controversial increase in minimum charges for low-use residential customers.

It also approved a plan to establish an

$11-million, ratepayer-supported fund to promote additional sales to large, alternate-fuel customers, but warned the company that the court would closely monitor relations between the utility and its energy marketing affiliate, Plum Street Energy Marketing.

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