September 15 , 2002
Fortnightly Magazine - September 15 2002
Some want to cut costs, others to improve service.
Uncertain economic times have always moved companies to find ways to cut costs. Utilities and energy companies are no different. They have turned to automated meter reading (AMR) during the past years in increasing numbers.
But many technology experts disagree on strategy: should utilities go high-tech or low-tech on AMR?
RTO cost/benefit studies are difficult to reconcile.
The premise behind the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) push for regional transmission organizations (RTOs)-that they will provide positive economic benefits to society- increasingly is being challenged.
How rules muted price signals and did not ensure efficient siting.
Of the new rules proposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for interconnecting new power plants to the transmission grid, the most controversial (for transmission providers and generators alike) is FERC's choice of who should pay to construct the various categories of required new facilities.
Why power plants should pay for grid upgrades.
Do we make all generators equal-using affirmative action to give rights to merchants that are "comparable" to utility-owned plants?
Or, do we let the locational price signals shine through-trusting all plant developers, whether regulated or not, to act in self-interest?
Reviewing the FERC chairman's first year, and what he might do next.
This September, Pat Wood III completed his first year as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Some long-time FERC watchers gave Fortnightly some insights into how this chairman has performed so far, and what we might expect from him in the future.
Glenn P. Barba has been elected vice president and controller of Consumers Energy. He joined the utility in 2001 as controller. Previously, he served as controller for CMS Generation. Before joining CMS Generation in 1997, Barba spent nine years in public accounting, with a focus on the energy industry. Consumers Energy also named Kim D. Morris, a 20-year human resources veteran at the company, as human resources director for Consumers Energy's generating plants.