Everybody's talking about electric utilities dabbling in telecommunications. That's fine. But how about vice versa? Maybe what we've really got is telephone companies (and cable television, too) getting into energy. That's different.
After Congress enacted the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the electric utility industry focused considerable attention on what seemed the key provisions of the acid rain program: e.g., emission allowance trading. In contrast, the highly technical, seemingly innocuous continuous emission monitoring (CEM) provision received scant attention (em only a few engineers took notice. We now know that emission trading and other supposed key provisions had only a modest impact on utilities.
During the last decade, the natural gas industry in the United States has been transformed from a heavily regulated business to one facing competitive markets. This transformation grew out of the failure of regulation; regulators, suppliers, pipelines, and customers all played a part. It continues today as the industry restructures and builds new institutions.A series of regulatory crises forced deregulation in stages: First, wellhead prices; second, gas contracts; and finally, pipeline transportation.
The Southern Company named A.W. (Bill) Dahlberg chairman and CEO in addition to his current duties as president. He succeeds Edward L. Addison, 65, who is retiring after 12 years as CEO and more than 40 years with the company. Dahlberg, 54, served as president since January 1, 1994. He began his career with The Southern Company at age 19 when he joined Georgia Power, a subsidiary, as a meter installer.
Ralph Johnson was named v.p., power resources, for the Texas-New Mexico Power Co.
Most electric utilities have invested heavily in building private telecommunications networks. In fact, U.S. utility telecommunication networks combine to form the largest private network, second only to that of the Department of Defense. While these networks improve power system control and operational efficiency, they typically contain excess capacity available for sale to other companies. Given increased competition in their core business, many utilities are currently reviewing opportunities to use this excess network capacity.
Our industry stands at the threshold of significant change. Competitive forces and significant technological advances beckon the nation's electric utilities to step forward. The electric industry has the opportunity to create a future that provides the benefits of competition to all customer groups. If we don't restructure, someone else will do it for us.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a final order requiring Texas Utilities Electric Co. (TU) and its affiliate, Southwestern Electric Service Co., to provide network transmission service to Tex-La Electric Cooperative of Texas Inc. (Docket No. ER94-1385-000). Network service allows multiple points of receipt and delivery at a single system rate. Tex-La, a customer of Texas Utilities and a bulk-power supplier for seven distribution cooperatives in Texas, is seeking to buy power from third parties and transmit the power over TU's transmission system.