As a former independent power producer, George Lagassa is sympathetic to the woes of the merchant power industry. Until just a few years ago, he held the license to a micro-hydro qualifying facility (QF) in New Hampshire, so he understands what it takes to compete in a regulated-franchise industry. Yet, as the principal of Mainstream Appraisals in North Hampton, N.H., Lagassa is also a dedicated pragmatist. He sees the industry's consolidation trend as a sort of correction in the U.S. power market.
FERC's AEP ruling begs the question: Can the feds bypass states that block transmission reform?
In its search for the perfect power market, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at last has joined the battle that lately has brought state and federal regulators nearly to blows. A recent ruling puts the question squarely on the table:
Utilities search for ways to combat viruses and spam.
If you had to pick a couple of technologies that modern utilities can't function without, e-mail would have to top the list. Yet it usually doesn't grab the attention of executives these days nearly so much as outage management or SCADA systems.
The coming year may change that, as problems from spam and viruses reach near-epidemic proportions.
E-mail, and viruses, and spam-oh my!
Duke Energy Corp. appointed Paul Anderson as its chairman and CEO, succeeding Rick Priory, who will retire early next year. Anderson briefly worked for Duke after it merged with PanEnergy in 1997. He retired last year as managing director and CEO of BHP Billiton Ltd. in Australia.
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham named Rosita O. Parkes chief information officer (CIO) at the Department of Energy. Parkes has served as CIO and deputy CIO at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Irregular seams affect ratemaking policies.
In a case that marks the first time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission eliminated inter-RTO rate pancaking, the commission in late July issued an order terminating regional through-and-out rates (RTORs) charged by two regional transmission owners (RTOs)-Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection. The decision removes an estimated $250 million in yearly fees collected by those two entities.
Utilities that are short on capacity and operate in a stable regulatory environment may be able to extract value from interruptible rates.
Mirant's board of directors elected Robert N. Dangremond as its chief restructuring officer, following the company's Chapter 11 filing in mid-July. Dangremond is a principal with AlixPartners LLC.
Beth W. Cooper was appointed corporate treasurer of Chesapeake Utilities Corp., headquartered in Dover, Del. Cooper moves from the role of assistant treasurer for the utility.
Vegetation that helps break down toxins debuts at manufactured gas plant site.
Planting swaths of rye grass and mulberry trees and sowing the soil with bacteria are hardly standard operating procedure when it comes to cleaning up manufactured gas plant sites. But if Bill Bogan has his way, it just might be.
Microsoft's licensing practices push three utilities to re-evaluate their software needs.
The foundation of the Microsoft monopoly over operating systems and productivity applications may be developing hairline cracks, if the experiences of three utilities are any indicator.
Ironically, Microsoft's overly zealous attempts to sign up customers for a yearly licensing subscription program may have pushed these companies, and others, to look at options like Linux and IBM's Lotus SmartSuite.