Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1997

Relicensing Settlement Moves to FERC

New England Power Co. has agreed with 17 parties, including government agencies and conservation groups, on the relicensing of the Fifteen Mile Falls hydroelectric project on the Connecticut River.

New England Electric System President and CEO John W. Rowe, Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vermont) and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) signed the agreement.

The agreement governs requirements for a new, 40-year license for Fifteen Mile Falls, the largest conventional hydroelectric project in New England.

Gas Producers Must Refund Ad Valorem Tax

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered natural gas producers in Kansas to refund to customers approximately $500 million for erroneously adding the state's ad valorem tax onto interstate rates.

In its Sept. 10 ruling, the FERC said such taxes are not eligible for rate recovery under the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and, following court directive, ordered the customer refund. (See, Docket Nos. rp97-369-000 et al.).

The refund covers gas produced from October 1983, when the petition challenging the add-on tax originally was filed at the FERC, until June 1988.

Electric Utility Must Offer Stand-by Service at Market Rates

The Missouri Public Service Commission has directed Kansas City Power & Light Co. to offer stand-by electric services to self-generation customers at market-based prices.

The rate design approved by the commission allows the utility to recover stranded costs that might otherwise be shifted to customers who continue to take bundled electric service on the utility's regulated distribution system.

The PSC approved a plan proposed by its staff that would require the utility to employ "real-time pricing" for the energy component.

Idaho Reviews Surcharge for Conversation Research

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has rejected a request by Idaho Power Co. to include a "public purpose charge" in ratepayer bills to fund its participation in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

The utility said that the goal of the new organization is to transform existing energy markets to permit improvements in energy use efficiency without the need for long-term utility incentives.

The commission permitted the utility to capitalize and defer the costs of its investment in the organization until additional information is available.

Electric Pilot Uses Tariff Rate, Energy Credit

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a pilot program for Jersey Central Power and Light Co. that will allow some of the utility's electric customers to choose a private energy supplier and then compare bills with and without retail competition.

JCP&L, an electric utility doing business as GPU Energy, serves more than 11,900 mostly residential customers in Monroe, N.J., the targeted town.

Frontlines

THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS," SO THE ADS SAY.

But what about a hostile bailout? I wouldn't have believed it myself until the news arrived, forcing me to rewrite this column at press time.

Imagine: Enron offering to reimburse PECO Energy for $5.4 billion in stranded costs, while taking on the role as the electricity provider of last resort for southeast Pennsylvania.

No doubt you have already read a half-dozen news stories about Enron's play for PECO. The details should sound familiar; the Philly papers were filled with lively quotes. On Oct.

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