Energy Policy Act of 2005

The New Balance of Power

Do states have any rights in siting LNG terminals?

Natural gas often is called the world’s most perfect fuel. And since it can be transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, as LNG, is projected to meet 20 percent of the country’s natural-gas requirements by 2025, the construction of onshore LNG terminals is crucial for the United States. Siting of LNG terminals is contentious as states and a range of stakeholders challenge and seek to frustrate FERC’s permitting authority.

Where Have All the Mergers Gone?

EPACT and the repeal of PUHCA have not affected the pace of utility acquisitions.

Why do we still have several hundred shareholder-owned electric utilities in the United States, not to mention several thousand municipal and cooperative ones?

Asset Ownership Takes New Shape

The North American electric-power sector remains highly fragmented, with much consolidation potential.

During the last few years, the generating asset-ownership structure in North America has gone through a major change. During one of the most severe bust cycles of the industry, and the gradual recovery of the markets, significant amounts of assets have changed hands.

Penalty Shot

An interpretation of FERC’s first application of EPACT.

At its open meeting on Jan. 18, 2007, FERC unanimously approved settlements with five electric utilities for a total of $22.5 million and other considerations. This action answers some important questions that energy market participants have been asking. In particular, it helps market participants connect some important dots regarding the regulatory landscape in which they must operate, but it also raises important questions that market participants would like answered.

PJM Addresses Local Supply Issues

Electric shortages and the generation overbuild continue to co-exist.

While maintaining its stance as the most sophisticated competitive electricity market in the country, PJM still faces several challenges, all of which are augmented by its expanded footprint. Most prominent is the RTO’s plan to implement a new reliability pricing model. Further, parts of PJM are ailing from transmission congestion issues that limit access to abundant, cheap power sources in the region.

Valuing Demand-Response Benefits In Eastern PJM

When summer heat waves cause electric demand to peak, they also often cause wholesale electricity prices to rise substantially above their average levels. However, since most electricity customers face retail rates that do not reflect this movement in wholesale market prices, they do not modify their consumption patterns, causing a significant drop in economic efficiency. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls upon states and utilities to evaluate and implement DR programs to mitigate this problem.

Demand Response: Breaking Out of the Bubble

Using demand response to mitigate rate shocks.

In the minds of many policy-makers, DR has become associated with rate shocks, rate volatility, unpredictability, and loss of control over energy costs—the very things DR was designed to overcome. What can be done to change this?

Letters to the Editor

John D. Chandley, Principal, LECG LLC: Bruce Radford’s “An Inconvenient Fact” provides a helpful critique of a fundamental element of open-access transmission reform, one of the most important rulemaking cases affecting electricity regulation at FERC.

Cynthia Bogorad, Spiegel & McDiarmid, Washington: From my perspective representing transmission-dependent utilities, I am very sympathetic to the underlying concerns that appear to be driving the TDAs’ proposal. However, the TDAs’ proposal is not the answer.

Smart Grid, Smart Utility

The intelligent-grid vision is becoming clearer as utilities take incremental steps toward a brighter future.

Building the intelligent grid will require less technical innovation than it does strategic innovation—a characteristic not typically ascribed to U.S. regulated utilities. But the utility culture is changing—by necessity, if not by choice.

Reliability Monitoring: The High-Tech Eye In the Sky

How reliability performance monitoring and standards compliance will be achieved in real time.

The North American electric power grid has suffered several significant outages in recent years. These events and other incidents around the world spotlight the need for enforceable grid-reliability standards, wide-area visibility of the health of the power system, and real-time monitoring of grid-reliability performance to prevent blackouts. Effective reliability management requires real-time tools and technologies that can detect standards violations so that timely corrective or preventive actions can be taken.