Old Dominion Electric Co-op. (ODEC) has entered into a leaseback financing transaction with First Union National Bank that could save its 12 member systems about $4 million per year. First Union leased Unit One of the Clover Power Station from ODEC for 22 years with an upfront cash payment of $47.5 million, then leased it back to ODEC.
Ann R. Chamberlain will manage rates and regulations, and plan and procure gas supplies in her new v.p. position with Virginia Natural Gas, Inc. She steps up from assistant v.p.
Boston Pacific Co., Inc. has added John T. Chang to the company's international power project development practice. He comes from Iroquois Gas Transmission System. Jonathan d'E. Coony was promoted to consultant and will continue work on financial evaluation of power projects in Indonesia, Pakistan, and other countries.
In thinking about transmission pricing for a competitive electric industry, we should remember that the fundamental objective of competition is to increase economic efficiency. Improved economic efficiency, after all, leads to better use of resources, lower costs, and long-term benefits for consumers.
The Virginia Corporation Commission has approved an $8.3-million repayment by Virginia Power (VP) for excessive fuel costs resulting from a 1991 coal-hauling contract with CSX Transportation Inc. The contract became the focus of attention during a dispute last year between the utility and its corporate parent, Dominion Resources, Inc. (DRI).
Commission staff found in a January report that DRI chairman and CEO Thomas E. Capps had pressured VP into the contract, which was expected to benefit the company.
On a purely intellectual level, it is difficult to justify the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA). Sixty years after passage, PUHCA has become an anachronism (em a fact well articulated in comments filed in response to the Concept Release on the modernization of the Act issued last November by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).1 More recently, the SEC's Division of Investment Management actually recommended a conditional repeal (see sidebar).
The bad news for qualifying facilities (QFs) continues. A high-profile project in the District of Columbia appears dead, but developers won a small victory when a federal court refused to stop a suit by the developers against municipal officials for damages connected with the regulatory barriers erected by the city at the behest of concerned citizens. More damaging was the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court requiring reluctant regulators to review the ceiling price set for QF purchases in a recent bid conducted by Boston Edison Co.
Virginia Corporation Commission staff have discovered that Virginia Power Co. (VP) customers overpaid $11 million for fuel under a renegotiated coal-hauling contract with CSX Transportation. Without corrective action, VP would continue to bill ratepayers for excessive fuel payments through 2000, when the contract expires.
The interim consultant's report on the Dominion Resources/Virginia Power (DRI/VP) merger identifies problems with the holding company structure.
DRI/VP claim that the report's corporate structure recommendations conflict substantially with their settlement agreement, and appear to impose unique and extraordinary constraints on corporate governance.
Competition in electricity is part of a general trend toward deregulation (em from airlines to stock markets (em that characterized economic evolution in much of the western world during the 1980s. The move to liberalize electricity in some countries has been spurred on by the disenchantment of politicians and large customers with the traditional monopolistic arrangements. Monopoly not only prevented customer choice, but was increasingly seen as inefficient and paternalistic.