The Northwest Power Planning Council is accepting comments on a revision of its Fourth Northwest Power Plan through Oct. 31. The plan is the latest created by the council since 1983. It reviews industry developments in generation, conservation, gas and electric. It also examines institutions created in response to increasing competition and policy evolution. The draft reflects recommendations of the Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System and suggests ways to carry out many of those recommendations. For a copy (Document 97-11), call (800) 222-3355.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has unveiled a 10-year business plan that includes a 50-percent debt reduction and a 15-percent reduction in the total cost of power by 2007.
"Our goals for 2007 are to reduce the wholesale cost of power from the current 4.11 cents per kilowatt-hour to 3.46 cents, slash TVA's debt in half to $13.8 billion and respond to changing customer needs," said TVA CFO David Smith.
The Ten Year Business Outlook recommends a price increase in 1998 (em its first in 10 years (em which should boost TVA's revenues 5.5 percent.
A report from the Northeast-Midwest Institute has found that the Tennessee Valley Authority, Bonneville Power Administration, and the three other power marketing administrations must relinquish their preferential treatment and subsidies if consumers are to enjoy the rewards of electric competition.
Federal Power Dinosaurs - Reforming TVA and PMAs in a Competitive Electricity Environment said that as electric industry competition is introduced, lawmakers cannot ignore public or government-owned power companies.
An Editorial Response:
Some critics wants PMAs out of the electric business. But that could leave market power to a few, large monopolies.
Department of Energy Secretary Federico Peña observed in an address at the recent annual meeting of the Edison Electric Institute: "The [electric utility] industry is incredibly diverse, with investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, the federal power system, independent power producers, marketers and others.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 11 approved the request of CSW Power Marketing Inc. to sell energy at market-based rates due to lack of market dominance.
The FERC in May 1996 had denied an application by CSW, an affiliate of Central and South West Corp., to sell power at market-based rates (Docket Nos. ER97-1238-000 and ER96-1348-001). The approval was based on lack of a comparable, open-access transmission tariff on the systems of CSW's public utility affiliates.
Pocketbook issues, like all others, tend to split along political lines.
Meeting on June 12, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) and members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee focused for the first time on what customers really think about choosing their own energy vendor.
Nevertheless, despite the shift toward pocketbook issues, and away from so-called "inside-the-Beltway" concerns, the testimony came largely from organized consumer groups, and it appeared split down political lines: urban vs. rural, private vs. public, business vs. residential.
The overwhelming impression is one of growth (em in volume and in the number of participants.
The early 1990s was an anxious period for advocates of emissions trading. Concerns about whether the sulfur dioxide allowance market would ever develop tempered the heady success of the first national emissions trading program implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Title IV. These concerns were heightened when in May 1992, Wisconsin Power & Light traded 10,000 allowances to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
How one Va. city squeezed through the cracks
Tennessee Valley Authority Chair Craven Crowell told the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association annual meeting in May: "We need to make sure our customers get the best prices and best service available in the electric power industry." But one customer's attempt to get lower prices has been 10 years in the making (em and TVA won't be selling to them for much longer.
Earlier this year, the Bristol, Va., Utility Board voted to end a tradition of 45 years of wholesale power purchases.
Subsidies? Maybe. But how about reciprocity? Should Congress let PMAs, munis and co-ops decline open access?
Until recently, most congressional debate on utility deregulation has focused on the future of investor-owned utilities and independent power producers and marketers. Lobbyists for government-owned or cooperative-owned power companies have tried to downplay their clients or to seek exemptions.
Five utility companies have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Birmingham against the Tennessee Valley Authority to bar it from making sales to unauthorized third parties for resale outside TVA's service territory, claiming such sales violate the TVA Act.
"TVA is under more intense attack from private utilities than at any time in its history," said TVA Chair Craven Crowell at an April 15 at a meeting of the TVA Caucus in Washington, D.C.