MidAmerican Energy

Technology Corridor

How the wind farm capacity factor and a tax subsidy can beef up a utility's bottom line.

How the wind farm capacity factor and a tax subsidy can beef up a utility's bottom line.

Many interested by a profit motive or an environmental motive wax eloquently about the economy of wind farms to generate electricity, since wind energy is an environmentally friendly source of energy or "green power." Thus, the interest in wind farms attracts the attention of citizens, environmental groups, politicians, and commercial companies.


Beware of a national energy crisis that eclipses California's.

Beware of a national energy crisis that eclipses California's.

It seems rather elementary in an economic downturn to say that generating capacity will easily match demand over the next few years, especially with all the new plants that have been built lately. But what happens to the supply picture when you factor in a possible economic upswing, with continued high natural gas prices, an illiquid wholesale market, and an aging transmission infrastructure?

Return on Equity: Interest Rates Push Down Allowances

Results of the annual survey of energy utility rate proceedings.

(November 15, 2002) With interest rates at record lows, it is not surprising to find downward pressure on allowances for return on equity (ROE) set by state public utility commissions in retail rate cases. (The table presented herein shows the results of our annual survey of authorized rates of return on common equity for state-regulated energy utilities.)

The Empire Strikes Back

Will FERC's market solution wipe out state commissions?

One might say, when it comes to FERC, some state public utilities commissions' lack of faith is disturbing—to paraphrase Lord Vader. It's also necessary, as any journalist would tell you. The FERC NOPR on standard market design (SMD)—which completes the "trilogy" of regulation on wholesale markets, as chairman Pat Wood described it—had some state PUCs blasting the NOPR even before its July 31 release.

Barbarians at the Gates

FERC... SEC... CFTC...Congress ... Ratings Agencies... Stockholders... Bondholders... Private Equity Investors?

No one has yet quantified or qualified the devastation to industry reputation, electric competition, or energy companies' future earnings power caused by the current round of energy trading scandals that is shaking the industry to its core.

People (March 15, 2002)

E2I appointed Richard H. Counihan as vice president of research programs. The MAPP management committee elected its executive committee members. The Energy Distribution Group of NiSource Inc., recently announced a management realignment. And others ...

News Digest


Distributed Generation. In December and January the Illinois commission took comments from utilities, marketers, manufacturers, and trade and advocacy groups on how to develop policy on distributed generation.

* Rulemaking Strategy. Enron has urged the state to proceed in a fashion similar to the California PUC's

two-track investigation. It asked for two separate rulemakings on (1) interconnection standards for DG installations of 50 megawatts or less, and (2) rate design and operational issues.

* Unit Size Limits.