Utility CEOs face disruptive trends.
Whether you’re a CEO at one of the country’s largest investor-owned utilities or one of its smallest, you face many of the same market pressures. The same is true for executives at independent power companies, transcos, and system operators. But in each case those pressures carry different implications—and they call for different responses.
To better understand how today’s driving forces are affecting companies in different situations, Fortnightly spoke with CEOs at American Electric Power, the California ISO, and El Paso Electric. AEP is one of the country’s largest utilities, with a heavy reliance on coal, and differing market structures, regulatory requirements, and resource considerations among the many states it serves. El Paso Electric serves a sizeable patch of non-ERCOT Texas and southeastern New Mexico, and depends on nuclear and natural gas, with a fast growing component of solar energy. And in California, the ISO is tasked with managing the transition to a green future, with the country’s most aggressive renewable portfolio standard—33 percent by 2020. Their comments suggest the industry’s future is bright, despite a shifting and uncertain landscape.
AEP: A Century Ahead
Fortnightly What do you see as the most important issues affecting your company’s future, and how are those issues evolving?