Grid system operators now hold the cards. That means a bidding war for talent and a new wave of mergers.
TBy issuing new rules for a Standard Market Design (SMD) for wholesale power, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in all likelihood will usher in a new wave of utility mergers. But the pattern will differ from what we have seen in recent years.
The deals will center on the transmission sector, and take a horizontal shape, rather than vertical.
Some want to cut costs, others to improve service.
Uncertain economic times have always moved companies to find ways to cut costs. Utilities and energy companies are no different. They have turned to automated meter reading (AMR) during the past years in increasing numbers.
But many technology experts disagree on strategy: should utilities go high-tech or low-tech on AMR?
Uncertainty clouds direction of FERC’s market engineering.
Connecting utility infrastructure and automobiles.
Restructuring Plans. The Ohio PUC denied rehearing of its restructuring order for FirstEnergy issued two months earlier, rejecting arguments by all petitioners-utility, marketers, and consumer watchdog groups.
Sales prices for power generation assets in the United States during the past two years have climbed to unprecedented levels. This trend should continue. More than 20,000 megawatts of generation assets have been sold, with another 20,000 MW announced. During the next five years, it is expected that 70,000 to 140,000 MW will change hands. We have seen only the beginning of a massive redistribution of generation assets - from regulated utilities to unregulated marketers and plant operators.
In fact, the prices we've seen for generation assets may turn out to be bargains.
Hoecker, Trebing see advantages in economies of scale.
Will New York's proposed independent system operator fall victim to the FERC's evolving RTO process?
"It has some conceivable drawbacks," FERC Chairman James J. Hoecker told attendees at the 30th Annual Institute of Public Utilities Conference. "One is that it's a single-state ISO and in the final analysis, regional transmission organizations probably need to cover broader geographical areas."
Hoecker used the forum at the Dec.
Public power is competitive power, and that keeps IOUs on their toes.
There they go again. You know who I mean, the critics who fear us in a competitive electric utility environment, or who oppose, for ideological reasons, government involvement in the power business.
Charles E. Bayless, in his article "Time's Up for Public Power" (Public Utilities Fortnightly, July 1, 1998), offered up just the latest of these below-the-belt blows.
It's tempting to respond in kind to these critics. Why? Because they torture the facts and distort the record.
THE ROAD TO RETAIL COMPETITION IS A LONG ONE. HAVING realized that, utility management has quelled its initial panic and has begun to concentrate on longer-term objectives. For instance, how much market share am I likely to lose during competition's early stages? And what prices can I charge to various customer classes without incurring a loss in market share?
The answer could affect decisions about future load, asset divestiture and competitive strategies.