When Two Worlds Collide

Energy guru Joseph A. Stanislaw explains how the battle between government and the marketplace is changing.

It is a debate that rages to this day: whether rate-based regulation (government) or electric competition (marketplace) is a more effective model for the utilities industry and world economies. Joseph Stanislaw gives us a uniquely authoritative view on this perennial question.

A New World of Risks

A new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to deal with the risks created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.

Experts say a new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to manage the risk created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.

Greening the Grid

Can markets co-exist with renewable mandates?

Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.

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.

Unintended Consequences

Does anyone care about rising redispatch costs?

Regional transmission organizations (RTOs) or independent system operators (ISOs) dominate the major power grids of North America, with the notable exceptions of the Southeast and Pacific Northwest. The purpose of this article is not to criticize system reliability but to highlight the more pervasive challenge today and for the future: Controlling the cost impact of decisions by grid operators on energy market participants.

Letters to the Editor

Jay Kumar, President, Economic & Technical Consultants Inc.: Could Hind Farag and Gary L. Hunt point out any winner whose power costs have decreased after the implementation of LMP? I can bet they won’t find even one single (real) entity. ... I am glad that MISO is sticking to the original basis of a supposedly competitive market.

Diane Moody, Director, Statistical Analysis, American Public Power Association: “The Fallacy of High Prices” purports to show that restructuring of wholesale power markets has resulted in significant benefits. However, the analysis it offers in support of this proposition is not credible.

States of Denial

Three challenges to federal authority from those unhappy with the status quo.

A look at how regulators, grid operators, and consumer advocates in Arkansas, California and Connecticut have posed challenges to established law and policy at FERC.

The Nation's Grid Chiefs: On The Future of Markets

Exclusive interviews with the CEOs of five regional transmission systems.

Exclusive interviews with CEOs at five regional independent transmission system operators: Phil Harris, at PJM; Gordon van Welie, at ISO New England; Yakout Monsour, at the California ISO; Graham Edwards, at MISO; and Mark Lynch, at the New York ISO.

Bad Day at Black Oak

Beware even the best of attempts at apportioning grid rights and costs.

Several recent complaints involving PJM and now at FERC pose fundamental questions on how regulators and grid operators should attempt to price and allocate grid rights and costs. Is the transmission network a public asset, with costs that must be apportioned on principles of equity? Or, rather, is transmission an instrument of commerce, to be priced so as to maximize trade?

Don't Mess With Texas

America’s energy competition laboratory prepares to build.

The ERCOT region remains a living example of how to make a successful transition to restructured wholesale and retail markets for electricity. At the same time, the market continues to witness some significant developments. Sights are turning from recovery to the next stage of the power business cycle: The Buildup.