MIDWEST POWER PRICES. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman James Hoecker announced July 15 that as soon as the staff presents its findings, the FERC will deal with the complaints filed by Cinergy, Steel Dynamics Inc., and others asking for regulatory relief from the late June run-up in Midwest bulk power prices (as high as $7,500 per megawatt-hour), and for a price cap set at $100/MWh. Nevertheless, Hoecker advised that the FERC was in "no hurry," and that the remedies available to it were not entirely clear. Docket No. EL98-53 (Cinergy), filed June 29, 1998; Docket No. EL98-54 (Steel Dynamics), filed June 29, 1998 (F.E.R.C.).
LINE LOADING RELIEF. Detroit Edison Co. protested a petition filed by the North American Electric Reliability Council that seeks FERC certification for transmission line loading relief procedures which conform with the Commission's pro forma tariffs governing open-access to electric transmission.
NERC's "off-path" TLR rule would permit curtailment to relieve the impact of parallel (loop) flows on grid systems not located directly on the contract path of the curtailed transaction, but Edison contends that the rule will cause problems in systems located around Lake Erie. PECO Energy supports the protest, but NERC opposes any utility-by-utility approach to curtailment, defending its off-path rule as "curtailing those transactions most directly contributing to the overload." Docket No. EL98-52, petition filed June 5, 1998 (F.E.R.C.).