David Cook

Too Much Reliability

NERC confronts a case backlog now numbering in the thousands.

The case backlog of unprocessed electric reliability violations is growing out of control, threatening to “swamp” the industry — a sign, perhaps, that when Congress and FERC modernized the electric reliability regime to serve a more market-based industry structure, and for the first time gave enforcement authority to North American Reliability Corp. (NERC) as the nation’s official electric reliability czar, no one gave much thought, apparently, as to whether NERC’s very idea of what constitutes reliability might have needed modernizing as well.


New Hires:

New Hires:

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) promoted Dave Nevius to senior vice president; David Cook to vice president and general counsel; and Don Benjamin to vice president. Nevius has been a vice president at NERC since 1986; Cook has been NERC's general counsel since 1999; and Benjamin has been director of operations since 1985.

Ameren Corp. named Martin J. Lyons vice president. Lyons has been the company's controller since joining Ameren in October 2001.


Regulators will have to decide who pays to upgrade the transmission system.


Regulators will have to decide who pays to upgrade the transmission system.

Izzbee, Izz it?

The Energy Industry Standards Board doesn't exist yet, but it's got regulators talking.

More than two years ago, I suggested in this column that regional independent system operators would likely supplant the regional reliability councils as the caretakers of electric system reliability. And that's still possible—if the ISOs move quickly to RTO status, and if the RTOs get cracking right away on adopting uniform business rules. But the FERC may get tired waiting for that to happen.



Scare Tactics

The Wall Street Journal is goading Congress to act. And it might just work, if the warnings come to pass.

On May 8 ISO New England predicted it would have enough electricity to meet peak demand this summer. But how much demand are you gonna see at $6,000 per megawatt-hour, which was the ISO's prevailing price that day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m?

Metering Relationships in the Era of Deregulation

Deregulation is a battle over metering relationships with commercial customers, not a struggle between competing suppliers of energy.

As long as the local electric utility emerges from the process with exclusive control over its metering, credit, and billing relationships, then deregulation will only cement its position as the customer's primary energy service provider (em and further enhance the "pool" concept by which the local utility acts as agent for the retail customer to purchase energy from independent power pr