Rhode Island, Wisconsin Investigate Benefits of RPS

Joining the growing number of states embracing Renewable Portfolio Standards ("RPS"), both Rhode Island and Wisconsin have begun to assess the potential benefits of and need for renewables to power their states. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission is reviewing a stakeholder group proposal that recommends the state begin enforcing an RPS in 2007 requiring both utilities and retail marketers to obtain 3% of their power supply from renewables. Under this proposal, utilities would be allowed rate recovery of all associated costs other than non-compliance penalties. Renewable power...

TVA Considers Open Access Policy As Customers Defect

Hopkinsville Electric System has become the latest Kentucky distribution system to give the Tennessee Valley Authority ("TVA") the five-year notice required to terminate its long-term agreement with federal power company and begin shopping around for other energy suppliers. In the wake of several recent terminations, TVA has begun to examine the implications of opening up access to its transmission grid. FERC took up the same issue in an August 3 order [East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc., 112 FERC ¶ 61,160 (2005)], directing TVA to allow East Kentucky Power Cooperative to interconnect with...

FERC Scurries to Conclude California Refunds Case

With an order issued August 8, FERC has stepped up its efforts to bring to a close the four-year-old refund proceeding that grew out of the 2000-2001 California energy crisis. The order clarifies how generators and other suppliers should seek to prove the costs they incurred in supplying power to the California ISO ("CAISO") and the California Power Exchange ("CalPX") during the refund period (October 2, 2000 through June 20, 2001) exceeded the mitigated market clearing price established by FERC. These suppliers now have detailed guidelines as to the types of data they need to provide to...

California Merchant Generators, IOUs Put Forth Market Reform Plan

Two of California's investor-owned utilities ("IOUs") along with six merchant generators quietly unveiled on August 17 a plan to reform California's struggling power markets at a closed-door meeting in Sacramento. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co. ("Edison"), AES Corp., Duke, NRG, Mirant, Dynegy, and Reliant secretly developed the plan. Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar also encouraged the proposal, in the hopes that the development of a strong energy policy will amount to the decisive action on energy policy that will placate California voters still smarting from...

Reconsider Exelon-PSEG Merger, NJBPU Urges FERC

Apprehension over the effect of the Exelon-PSEG merger continues, as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities ("NJBPU"), along with several other regional interests, including New Jersey's Ratepayer Advocate and Pennsylvania's Office of the Consumer Advocate, asked FERC to rehear its July 1 order approving the merger and instead set the merger for hearing. The NJBPU argues in its request that FERC violated Section 203 of the Federal Power Act ("FPA") by failing to determine affirmatively that the merger is in the public interest in advance of authorizing the transaction. Instead, complained...

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