Federalizing the Grid

Renewable mandates will shift power to FERC but pose problems for RTOs.

A recent survey conducted by the U.S Office of Personnel Management and reported by the Washington Post on March 13 ranked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as eighth best of some 37 federal agencies in terms “talent,” and third in “leadership and knowledge.”

Titans of Transmission

ITC and AEP jockey for the lead in building the grid of tomorrow.

On February 9, a group of the nation’s major grid system operators released a study estimating the nation’s electric industry sector needs to spend some $80 billion—more than 10 times the size of that portion of the Obama stimulus package directed specifically at transmission construction—in order to achieve a 20 percent retail penetration for renewable wind energy in just the Eastern Interconnection.

Redefining PV Capacity

Effective metrics give solar its due credit.

Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is an intermittent, non-dispatchable resource generally considered as energy-only with no capacity credit. However, there is ample evidence that solar energy reliably is available at peak demand time when loads are driven by day-time commercial air conditioning, and can contribute effectively to increasing the capacity available on a regional grid.

Wooing the Western Wind

How a move to bring power markets to the Great Plains has uncovered a crisis in grid planning.

They call the United States the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” That’s due in large part to the huge potential of the Great Plains. But there’s a hole in the metaphor. Wind power development in some parts of the prairie is falling short of expectations.

People (January 2009)

El Paso Electric (EPE) selected David W. Stevens as CEO. DPL Inc. promoted Frederick J. Boyle to senior vice president, CFO and treasurer of DPL and its principal subsidiary, The Dayton Power and Light Co. Great Plains Energy named Todd Kobayashi v.p., strategy and risk management. Consumers Energy promoted Richard J. Ford to vice president of energy delivery. And others...

Green Price Stability

New approaches account for the economic benefits of renewables.

Many green power customers benefit from long-term fixed prices. The most effective programs recognize the value of this price hedge—and fairly exempt customers from fuel cost adders in utility rates.

Dynamic Pricing Solutions

How to account for lack of strong price signals. A hard year puts deregulation to the test.

The greatest benefits of time-of-use pricing come from avoided costs of peaking power and T&D capacity—but only if hourly retail prices accurately model the true costs of delivered energy, including scarcity rents. Restoring the missing price signals will encourage economic investments in AMI, conservation and system capacity.

Back to Gas

Utility turbines bridge the capacity gap.

Utilities are turning to natural gas as a bridge fuel, and to support non-dispatchable renewables.

Riding on The Wind

Plug-in hybrids usher a new era for wind power.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) open a new intersection between wind power and transportation.