Fortnightly Magazine - April 2007

Strong CROs: More Important Than Ever

How important is the risk function at your company?

Wither the chief risk officer (CRO)? Some utilities have moved risk staff under the CFO or controller, while other utilities have pushed CROs down the management hierarchy. But risk remains, and a rudimentary risk function will not do.

Basic Instinct

If private equity makes a killing, Congress should require full disclosure.

There’s just no stopping it. The capital amassed by private takeover firms is simply overwhelming. Any reasonable person could conclude that public utilities face wholesale changes in terms of corporate ownership. Investor-owed? You bet. But the “public” part may well give way to “private.”

People

(April 2007) FPL Group Inc. announced that Toni Jennings was elected to the company’s board of directors. Sierra Pacific Resources announced that Michael W. Yackira was elected president and COO and a member of the company’s board of directors, and Brian J. Kennedy was elected to the company’s board of directors. The board of directors of PG&E Corp. elected Thomas B. King as the corporation’s president. Energy East Corp. announced that its board of directors promoted Richard R. Benson, Robert D. Kump and F. Michael McClain. And others...

One Nation, Two Markets

EEI’s David K. Owens seeks incremental improvements to competitive markets.

For a front-line perspective on FERC’s policy direction, we asked one of the industry’s most prominent policy representatives, David K. Owens at the Edison Electric Institute, to provide his take on FERC’s competition conference and Order 890.

PJM Addresses Local Supply Issues

Electric shortages and the generation overbuild continue to co-exist.

While maintaining its stance as the most sophisticated competitive electricity market in the country, PJM still faces several challenges, all of which are augmented by its expanded footprint. Most prominent is the RTO’s plan to implement a new reliability pricing model. Further, parts of PJM are ailing from transmission congestion issues that limit access to abundant, cheap power sources in the region.

Merger Frenzy

KKR’s leveraged buyout of TXU might be the first of many private-equity M&A deals, but traditional utility mergers also will increase.

Utility mergers and acquisitions took a turn when private-equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group bid for TXU. Experts from Morgan Stanley, Lazard, and JP Morgan describe the M&A universe.

Three-Dimensional Price Forecasting

Using the past, present, and future to optimize our understanding of today’s energy markets.

Price forecasting is a significant business process within any energy merchant that trades electricity and natural gas. Business planning, trading, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), even rate-case activities rely upon some type of a price forecast as the foundation to analysis.

The problem with a single forecast is that it never is correct. As soon as the forecast is complete, the world changes and the information becomes dated and often even irrelevant.

Greening the Grid

Can markets co-exist with renewable mandates?

Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.

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