How the filed-rate policy wreaks havoc- and what courts can do about it.
Like many venerable legal rules, the filed-rate doctrine is rarely questioned. Over the last century, it has served many important purposes. However, with deregulated wholesale electric power markets at the federal level and various degrees of deregulation across the states, both the doctrine's continued applicability and usefulness are suspect.
How to allocate the costs.
Efforts to establish and quantify congestion-reduction and loss-reduction projects are progressing in electric markets with locational marginal price (LMP) regimes. The Path 15 upgrade approval by the California ISO two years ago was largely based upon its economic benefits. A draft report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), , states that ERCOT will consider transmission projects that are "economically justified by the reduction of congestion and losses."1
While NAESB and NERC struggle over the issue, North America steadily drifts toward unreliability.
Time is running out. It's been more than two years since the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) Joint Inadvertent Interchange Taskforce (JIITF), on which I served, issued its white paper proposing how to price the unscheduled power (inadvertent interchange)1 flowing between NERC-certified balancing authorities (BAs).
Except for local reinforcements and new generation interconnections, few transmission construction proposals are moving forward.
There's plenty of talk about transmission, says Theo Mullen. "But real action on transmission construction is scant," he adds. "Conferences and reports abound. Projects of all sizes are being proposed. But, except for local reinforcements and new generation interconnections, few transmission construction proposals are moving forward. The vast majority of larger projects are stalled for lack of financial commitment."1
Grid reliability is one giant step in mainstreaming the technology.
Wind power is coming of age in the United States. During the past five years, installations have grown by an average 28 percent yearly. Gleaming, high-tech wind turbines now are interconnected to the bulk power grid in some 30 states.
Like it or not, changes are coming for electric cooperatives. Fewer and bigger might be the inevitable result.
When power planners at Basin Electric Power Cooperative began trying to decide how and where the company's next big power plant would be built, they did what a co-op does best -they reached out and formed a coalition.
What construction cost might prompt orders for new nuclear power plants in Texas?
Electricity generation deregulation has opened U.S. wholesale electricity markets to unregulated power producers. In this uncertain environment, how should a generating company evaluate the risk of investing in new capacity?1
How IT can allow utilities to invest in customers-and even improve returns-without breaking the bank.
A high quality customer information system (CIS) at a utility company can build revenue streams and promote customer loyalty. But while those are admirable goals, it is not that simple to wade through all the various CIS systems and figure out what a company needs in order to achieve those benefits.
A new approach to rate design.
As energy markets have evolved in the late 1990s away from cost-based transactions to competitive market-based transactions, the exposure to market risks for the variable cost of supply has substantially increased.1 Reflected in these market risks are the diminishing reserves for North American gas supply, which has created conditions of extreme volatility in gas supply. The added market risk is compounded by the sensitivity of some retail load customers to weather conditions.
A hypothetical look at moneymakers across regions.