Exelon and Pepco Holdings signed a definitive agreement to combine the two companies in an all-cash transaction. The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, brings together Exelon’s three electric and gas utilities – BGE, ComEd and PECO – and Pepco Holdings’ electric and gas utilities – Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco – to create the leading Mid-Atlantic electric and gas utility.
Maryland Public Service Commission
A formal methodology for developing ring-fencing arrangements and setting conditions.
How can decision makers determine the appropriate degree of ring-fencing for a utility holding company? The authors propose a systematic and objective method – recognizing business and financial risks specific to the regulated utility and its affiliates.
A pragmatic new approach to assuring reliability.
The latest dispute over PJM’s bidding rules has raised the level of uncertainty in organized electricity markets. Efforts at reform have created a market structure so jumbled that it can’t produce just and reasonable rates -- or assure adequate supply resources. It’s time for FERC to consider alternative approaches to market design.
A survey of state policies on release of customer data.
The advent of smart grid technology has raised new and challenging issues concerning data privacy. Of course, data privacy isn’t a new concern for the energy industry, as utilities have always collected customer data, some of which is common to any business, such as contact and credit information, and some of which is unique to the energy industry, such as usage and demand data.
Second thoughts on transmission’s golden egg.
The electric utility industry offers up a wealth of ideas on how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission might reform its policy, adopted under FERC Order 679 in 2006, of granting financial incentives for investments in transmission line projects that ensure reliability or mitigate line congestion so as to reduce the cost of delivered power. Fortnightly’s Bruce W. Radford reports.
Cap-ex plans raise the stakes for utility mergers.
Investors historically have been skeptical about merger synergies in utility mergers, assuming that regulators will insist that most or all economic benefits flow to customers. However, recent transactions suggest utilities are taking a different approach to valuing synergies that might strengthen the case for mergers — not just for the merging parties, but also for investors and regulators.
FERC seems to say that states remain free to interfere with RTO markets.
Citing what it called “mounting evidence of risk” that PJM’s RPM capacity market could indeed “be gamed,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week OK’d most of the tariff amendments PJM had proposed to correct ﬂaws in its Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR), which allows the grid operator to mitigate or predatory, below-cost bids by suppliers who would sell generating capacity into the region.
Raising the stakes in RTO markets.
Generators and demand-response providers are reaping rewards in forward capacity auctions, causing suppliers to go shopping for the most lucrative markets. Now the Midwest ISO is trying to catch up, by proposing its own auction for years-ahead resource bids. But does RTO shopping serve the interests of customers, who are legally entitled to rates that are just and reasonable? Why are some state policy makers advocating a return to old-school RFPs for long-term contracts?
State case has national implications for grid modernization.
Strict adherence to cost-of-service ratemaking led to what might be considered a Luddite decision in the Maryland PSC’s initial rejection of BGE’s smart-grid filing. More than 60 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ratemaking calls for “pragmatic adjustments” to regulatory policy, toward the goal of sensible and effective rate orders. Delaying modernization doesn’t serve the aims of customer choice, conservation or electric system efficiency.
Funds collected for cost-of-removal liabilities could finance capital spending.
The industry might be overlooking a source of capital for smart-grid and similar investments. Funds collected in depreciation accounts for cost-of-removal liabilities could finance capital spending projects.