A review of power plant deals in 2004 shows that utilities are buying.
Business & Money
Can economies of scale make the industry more stable?
The recent Northeast Blackout framed for regulators and public policy-makers one of the central issues confronting the utility industry: infrastructure reliability and the significant capital investment requirements necessary for improvement. While estimates vary widely, some industry experts currently project that the investment necessary to revitalize and secure the transmission infrastructure in the United States may run in excess of $100 billion.
William O. Ball moved to the role of senior vice president of transmission planning and operations for Southern Co. He had been Southern's vice president of transmission planning, policy, and support services since March of 2002.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) board of directors chose Nicholas A. Brown as the organization's president and CEO. Brown has been with SPP for 18 years, most recently as senior vice president and corporate secretary.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) appointed Thomas A. Leach to a two-year term on its Consumers Advisory Council. Leach is the business manager and financial secretary of Local Union 126, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Business & Money
Sizable gains return to the market.
With an average appreciation of 18.9 percent since we last ran SNL Financial's dividend data , SNL's safe dividend picks appeared to do well for any market. However, like the fine golden years of the late '90s for all things technology, recent months have returned sizable gains to investors of energy stocks-not what one would expect from slow growth, dividend-paying electric and gas utilities that make up the majority of the SNL Energy universe.
Will dividends become the sole focus for investor valuations of utilities?
With last month's favorable Senate vote to repeal the tax on dividends from 2004-2006 and reduce it 50 percent this year, and the high-profile conference committee meetings between the House and the Senate at press time, many are asking if investors are, or should be, beginning to evaluate utility companies solely on the basis of the dividend.
Dynegy Inc. named Holli C. Nichols its senior vice president and corporate controller. Nichols joined Dynegy in 2000 after working for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Southern Co. Executive Vice President Leonard J. Haynes was installed as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the North American Energy Standards Board, succeeding Bill Boswell.
DPL Inc. named James V. Mahoney president of DPL Energy LLC. Mahoney has been with EarthFirst Technologies since 2001.
The board of directors of Piedmont Natural Gas elected Kim R. Cocklin senior vice president and general counsel. Cocklin's previous experience includes time as senior vice president at Williams Gas Pipeline and senior vice president and general counsel at Texas Gas Transmission Corp.
Executive and academic views on what to fix and what's not broke.
The sound and fury over trading scandals, credit defaults, and market manipulation so far has drowned out much of the mind-numbing debate over a standard market design (SMD), and rightly so. Utilities understand (as does the press) that Enron, "Deathstar," and "Get Shorty" will always sell more newspapers than locational pricing or congestion management.