Fortnightly Magazine - March 15 2003
PUCs could face rate shock if feds push plans for an RTO signup bonus.
State PUCs will surely weigh in on the latest move by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to work its will on the nation's electric transmission grid. In this case, the item in question concerns a policy statement proposed by FERC that would reward electric utilities for investing in new transmission upgrades and-more importantly-for joining up with a regional transmission organization (RTO).
Some big utilities are looking to get bigger.
When Morgan Stanley last October asked 30 of the top 50 utility chiefs whether they expected to merge with another company in the next two years, two-thirds of them said they did. Asked whether they expected to merge within the next five years, the utility chiefs unanimously said yes.
The next big trend is to make network resources more interchangeable and less expensive.
Information technology (IT) infrastructure should be more like the infrastructure that generates electricity, IT consultants say, and at least one Texas utility is listening.
Forrester Research labels its vision for IT infrastructure "Organic IT" and promises that this new kind of infrastructure will save companies big bucks in the long run, without requiring a rip and replace of existing hardware and software.
The Bagel Politic
Can cream cheese bring together California lawmakers, or will the state's power crisis spread?
At Fortnightly, we care about what you care about. And we know you care about solving the problems that bedevil the California power market. So we sent a crack investigative team to discover what the stumbling blocks to creating a vibrant, liquid, manipulation-free California market really are.
Companies that were on a buying spree before 2001 are putting assets worth billions n the block
A casual observer might expect that the industry's economic condition would produce a cornucopia of cheap assets for acquisitive companies . Eventually it might, but so far, it generally has not.
The pros and cons of waiting for the seller to declare bankruptcy.
Sometimes a great opportunity is just too good to be true. Consider, for example, a purchase of distressed assets from one of the many energy companies now mired in well-publicized financial difficulties.
It's a law that only a mother could love.
It's tough to write another word about repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), or the "35 Act," as it is also known, referring to its Depression-era origins. But like the Energizer bunny, this debate keeps on going and going.
It's almost 70 years later, and the issue has outlived several generations of utility executives, regulators, lawyers, bankers, academics, and a few magazine editors. Heck, it may outlive us all.
Martin Crotty and Dr. Soumen Ghosh joined SeaWest WindPower Inc. as senior vice president of operations and maintenance, and senior product manager of data services, respectively. Most recently, Crotty was director of operations for the Western Region of NRG Energy. Ghosh spent more than five years at ABB System Control and more than nine years at CMC.