Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 2002

FERC's California Caps: Just Smoke and Mirrors?

Industry experts debate whether so-called “price mitigation measures” miraculously solved the California crisis.

Wholesale electricity prices are lower in California than they were last May, before FERC implemented price caps. But there is widespread disagreement over whether the caps were the cause of the lower prices, or merely coincidental with other downward pressures.

Electricity: It's a Scream

Hollywood animators take a jab at the energy crisis.

Their lights don’t run on electricity or natural gas—that would be too easy. In Monstropolis, the lights are powered by the screams of little children.

The Rift Over Affiliate Conduct

Does FERC have the backbone for another jurisdictional turf war?

FERC's notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on uniform standards of conduct for transmission providers seemed rather innocuous at the time of its release. However, FERC's prediction about the controversial nature of the bundled sales portion of the NOPR proved accurate.

Resource Planning: The Need for a New Approach

New market risks have called on utilities to evaluate an expanding array of new resource options—with antiquated tools to evaluate them.

The choices faced by utilities in meeting still-present demand obligations have exploded, while the capability needed to evaluate those choices has shrunk.

The Perils of Greenfield Gas Development

Sempra promised regulators they’d build a new utility, but Nova Scotia is still waiting.

A major gas discovery offshore Nova Scotia-3.5 trillion cf, based on conservative estimates-is generating healthy financial earnings for participating producers and pipelines. But residents and small businesses in Nova Scotia aren't seeing a molecule of gas flowing their way.

Pat Packs a Punch

FERC's new chairman runs roughshod over a reeling industry.

By a vote of 3-1, FERC had crowned the Midwest Independent System Operator—MISO—as belle of the ball. In so doing, it scorned the proposed Alliance Regional Transmission Organization.

People (Jan. 15, 2002)

Richard L. Rudman has been named to the new position of executive vice president at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Rudman joined EPRI in 1973, and was named COO in 1996. And others ...

2002 Will Be a Pivotal Year

While 2001 can be characterized by uncertainty, by the end of 2002, we should know a lot more about what power markets are likely to look like over the next five to 10 years.