The Eastside Power Authority (em composed of four California irrigation districts, one municipal utility, and two water districts (em plans to leave Southern California Edison's (SCE's) electric distribution system and serve its own members' water-pumping load. Eastside says it will build its own electric distribution system adjacent to SCE's, and interconnect with the system owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Two StrategiesThe question is whether to own or lease,
but each route offers its own advantages.
With deregulation nipping at their heels, utilities are looking for ways to gain and maintain
customers. Aggressive utilities are seeking new customers outside of their service territories and offering competitive prices, new products, and new services.
Thermal Energy Storage: Putting
on SiteBy John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory,
Donald L. Geistert, and James PattersonA recent study coordinated by the California Energy Commission shows how stored-cooling applications provide both environmental and competitive benefits in a summer-peaking market.As California prepares for a more competitive electric future, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is taking another look at some key customer technologies.
Shrinking budgets force staff cuts, but some projects
find friends in high places.
"They're putting the best face on the inevitable."
Funding for renewable energy for government/ industry research partnerships took another beating early this summer (em and that's on top of a $113-million cut suffered this fiscal year.
Coopers & Lybrand has released its 1996 Electric Municipalization Review, which examines the two municipalizations completed since the Energy Policy Act of 1992: Broken Bow, OK, and Bozrah, CT.
Broken Bow, which began operating in 1995, serves the new six-megawatt (Mw) load of one industrial customer and owns no electric facilities; Public Service Co. of Oklahoma serves town residents. The Town of Bozrah had been served by a privately held corporation, Bozrah Light & Power (BL&P), whose owner was retiring and wanted to sell.
The search for cheaper electricity is in full swing, from the East Coast to the West.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. of Pearl River, NY, proposes that 1,500 residential customers, along with industrial and commercial businesses, be allowed to pick their electric power supplier. The proposal, called "PowerPick," has been endorsed by New York Public Service Commission staff, the Industrial Energy Users Association, and the state Consumer Protection Board.
The three largest California investor-owned utilities (IOUs) (em Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDGE), and Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) have circulated for comment working drafts of future Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filings concerning a deregulated electricity industry.
One 150-page proposal asks that operational dispatch control of transmission facilities be conveyed to an ISO, beginning January 1, 1998.
The U.S. Department of Energy will make $15 million in grants available to those willing to buy early versions of market-ready fuel cells. DOE will provide $1,000 per kilowatt, or up to a third of costs. Assistance will target buyers that want to purchase between 100 and 3,000 kilowatts. The first round of awards will be made by September 30. The application package is available on the Internet at http:/www.metc.doe.gov/business/ solicita.html. A diskette version (WordPerfect 5.2) may be requested by fax: (304) 285-4683, attn: R. Diane Manilla, M.S.
The movement to introduce competition in the electricity industry comes at a time when many utilities are already ailing or underperforming. In fact, since 1990, half of U.S. investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have failed to consistently grow their dividends, or have cut or eliminated them altogether. According to a new study by Resource Data International, U.S. Electric Utility Industry Merger and Acquisitions, 1996, the current trend toward mergers and acquisitions is fueled by a desire to improve shareholder returns.
The City of Palm Springs, CA, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a plan allowing it to enter the electric business by installing a second electric meter at customer locations.