Fortnightly Magazine - December 2005

How to Tango With a Regulator

Utilities and financiers want ratepayers to fund the next wave of power plants. Will higher electric rates spoil the party?

You’ve heard the story. The local utility ought to be investing billions in new power plants, but the company CEO wants a guarantee from regulators for upfront costs and future operating expenses before laying down dollar one on the project. What to do? Utility CEOs attending the Edison Electric Institute’s 40th Financial Conference last month in Hollywood, Fla., were shuffling to the old rate base song-and-dance. But this time, they were working out a few new moves.

People

(December 2005) Mark Mulhern joins Progress Energy’s senior management committee and Bob Adrian is vice president of competitive commercial operations within the Ventures organization. The California Independent System Operator board of governors approved the appointment of Karen Edson to the position of vice president of external affairs. DTE Energy announced a series of organizational changes. The Southern California Edison board of directors elected John R. Fielder president.

What's Happening In the WECC?

High reserve margins and blackout risk are part of the extended forecast.

The Western Electricity Coordinating Council continues to experience a glut of generation and historically high levels of generating reserve margins. Despite these reserve margins, state and federal regulators are asserting that all is not well, and that rolling blackouts may return.

Letters to the Editor

Jay Morrison, Senior Regulatory Counsel, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: I was disappointed to see that two different articles in the October 2005 issue erroneously stated that the Electricity Modernization Act requires net metering.

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