The governors of Maine and Montana (em two states with very different electricity markets (em have signed three bills into law to allow competition in the electric and natural gas industries in their respective jurisdictions.
Maine. Gov. Angus King signed an electric restructuring bill that mandates competition in the state starting March 1, 2000.
The Maine law, An Act to Restructure the State's Electric Industry, L.D. 1804, was signed on May 29. It allows for recovery of stranded costs as determined by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The allowance tracks dimunition of market value and introduction of competition: 1) for generating plants, the difference between net plant investment and market value; and 2) for purchased power contracts, the difference between future contract payments and the contract's market value. The law bars any recovery for regulatory assets created after April 1, 1995, with some exceptions.
The bill also mandates divestiture of electric generation facilities by Central Maine Power Co., Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., and Maine Public Service Co. by March 1, 2000. Some exceptions include ownership in nuclear plants and contracts with QFs. Requirements differ somewhat for Maine Public Service because the company owns facilities that fall under Canadian jurisdiction. The Maine PUC may require divestiture of the Maine Yankee nuclear plant interest on or after Jan. 1, 2009.