Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 1997

Stranded Cost Recovery: A Practical Argument for Utilities

A recent conversation:

"When was the demise of the regulatory bargain? What you say is true, but at some point you had to know the bargain was over."

(em A state utility commissioner

"Beats me, it doesn't seem to be over yet. The electric industry still has a duty to serve all customers, and it must charge below-market rate confiscatory for many of our services because of the regulatory bargain.

Lawsuit Against TVA Alleges Sham Transactions

Five utility companies have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham against the Tennessee Valley Authority to bar it from making sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside TVA's service territory, claiming such sales violate the TVA Act.

"TVA is under more intense attack from private utilities than at any time in its history," said TVA Chair Craven Crowell at an April 15 at a meeting of the TVA Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Electric Industry Issues Forum: Reliability, Transmission and COmpetition

Can NERC Juggle All Three En Route to Open Access?

At the year's start, the North American Electric Reliability Council decided to leave its "peer pressure" policy behind and require mandatory compliance with its reliability standards. As NERC grapples with its new policy, Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight industry representatives how they might ensure reliability in a restructured electric industry.

It had taken time for NERC to arrive at this point, but itÆs official: Mandatory sanctions and business incentives will soon be used to enforce compliance.

In Brief...

Sound bites from state and federal regulators.

Green Pricing. Michigan allows Detroit Edison Co. to expand its existing experimental photovoltaic "green pricing" program, finding current solar capacity fully subscribed, with a waiting list for new participants. Case No. U-10893, March 27 1997 (Mi.P.S.C.).

NUG Contracts. Virginia permits Delmarva Power & Light Co. to amend purchased power contract with Star Enterprises, its principal nonutility supplier, by suspending capacity supply and payment obligations through May 31, 2000. Case No.

Frontlines

More than a decade ago, working at the energy laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the late Fred Schweppe devised a novel scheme for pricing electric transmission. His solution? Do nothing. Simply ignore transmission.

CIPSCO Merger Approved With Conditions

The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved the merger of Union Electric Co. and CIPSCO Inc., if Union Electric meets certain requirements, such as helping to form an independent system operator for the region's transmission system.

The formation of the ISO must be consistent with guidelines established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The proposed merger will include the formation of a new entity, Ameren Corp., as a federally regulated public utility holding company.

Acquisition Premium.

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