EEI’s David K. Owens seeks incremental improvements to competitive markets.
Michael T. Burr is Public Utilities Fortnightly’s editor-at-large. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) calls a meeting, it usually has a specific objective in mind—to discuss a proposed pipeline expansion project, for example, or to examine the finer points of Federal Power Act section 203. So when FERC announced plans for the “Competition in Wholesale Power Markets Conference,” industry observers scratched their heads and wondered exactly what the commission had in mind.
The stated purpose of the event, convened at the end of February, was to gather ideas on solutions to market challenges—an open-ended agenda. And the wide-ranging conference did little to clarify FERC’s objective. But in his introductory comments, Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher seemed to suggest FERC might be considering substantial changes in power-market regulation. “We are not complacent, not resistant to change, not defenders of the status quo,” he said.
Some changes already are underway as FERC implements the recent Order 890, released just a week before the competition conference. 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.