As regulators continue to investigate industrywide restructuring as an answer to regional electric rate disparities and calls from large consumers for price reductions, the trend of dealing with the problem through rate discounting also remains strong. Regulators have taken steps to ensure that shareholders bear at least some of the risk for revenue shortfalls that might result under the new contracts.
Consumers Power Co. has entered into long-term sales contracts with General Motors Corp. (GM) to supply all electricity for at least 10 years to 6 of GM's largest plants, and for at least 5 years for 13 of GM's other large facilities (total service of 450 megawatts).The facilities, which account for 65 percent of the utility's "at-risk" industrial electric load and 22 percent of its industrial load, will receive rate discounts in exchange for the long-term commitments.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has denied requests to modify its newly instituted retail wheeling experiment (see 161 PUR4th 441). However, the PSC did clarify its ruling to permit a form of "self-service" wheeling by the Dow Chemical Co. (em a limited partner, along with Consumers Power Co., in the Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV). Dow had asked the PSC for an exemption from restrictions on participation by utility affiliates as third-party providers in their own service territory.
either through the legislature, the utility commission, informal working groups, or some combination of these (em to consider issues such as retail wheeling, unbundled utility structures, and alternative rate regulation.1 California's "Blue Book" hearings have drawn the most attention, but significant efforts are also underway elsewhere. Although each state is approaching the issue in its own way, successful industry restructuring will ultimately require coordination across state lines.
Erroll B. Davis, Jr.
President & CEO
Wisconsin Power & Light Co.
WP&L advocates that the following steps be taken to create a level playing field for merchants entering the retail market:
s Distribution rates should be fully unbundled from retail sales tariff rates.
Stephen P. ReynoldsPresident & CEO
Pacific Gas Transmission Co.
Two or three years ago, gas-fired generation was hailed as a cure-all for everything that ailed the natural gas industry.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has set rates and charges for delivery service for a five-year experimental retail wheeling program involving Detroit Edison Co. (DE) and Consumers Power Co. (CP). The program will be implemented the next time the utilities solicit new capacity (Case No. U-10143/10176). The ruling follows an April 11, 1994, PSC order approving the framework for the retail wheeling experiment. The rates pertain to industrial customers with 5 megawatts of retail delivery capacity that use about 3 million kilowatt-hours (Kwh) of electricity per month.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has rejected allegations that flexibly priced tariffs for electric service are unlawfully discriminatory under state law. The ruling opens the way for Consumers Power Co. to impose a new Special Competitive Services (SACS) tariff. The new SACS rate would allow Consumers to negotiate onpeak billing demand and energy charges within a range of rates for customers with a less expensive alternative energy source.
The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) has warned Consumers Power Co., an electric utility, that the utility may only take more power from its affiliated Midland Cogeneration Venture (a qualifying cogeneration facility) through a competitively bid capacity solicitation.