PJM Test for Mitigating Scarcity Prices to Be Tested in Hearing

Engaging the nettlesome issue of scarcity, FERC convened an inquiry into whether the PJM Interconnection needs scarcity pricing and, if so, how a generator's potential to exercise market power during periods of scarcity should be mitigated. FERC's attention to these issues in PJM may herald for the MidAtlantic numerically exact mitigation price triggers, similar to what has already been established for other organized RTO and ISO markets. The current inquiry grows out of a proceeding in which FERC explored compensation due generating units needed to run for reliability reasons. In PJM,...

North Carolina's Highest Court Validates Local Regulator's Assertion of Veto Over Proposed Wholesale Power Contracts

The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled July 1 that the North Carolina Utilities Commission ("NCUC") can exercise veto power over certain wholesale power contracts "” contracts that would confer on wholesale customers a higher priority than accorded to a Tar Hill State utility's retail native-load customers. In so ruling, the court rejected the argument that FERC's exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale sales preempted the state commission's assertion of this veto power. The case arose out of a 1998 plan by Carolina Power & Light (since renamed Progress Energy Carolinas) to build two plants...

FERC Denies SoCalEd Full Approval of Utility's Plan to Add Transmission, Use Wind to Reach RPS Goals

In a July 1 order, FERC denied Southern California Edison's (SCE) request that the agency recognize a new "trunkline" category of transmission line the cost of which could be "rolled" into SCE's transmission revenue requirement (rate base) and recovered in transmission charges to all users of the Golden State's transmission grid. FERC's refusal is significant since without "rolled in" cost recovery it is questionable whether this type of "trunkline" project can or will be financed. The transmission line in question, Segment 3 of the SCE's Antelope Project, would connect to the California...

Duke Forfeits Market-Pricing Authority for Wholesales in Home Control Area; FERC Initiates Further Investigation into Entergy's Ability to Exercise Market Power

In its first order revoking a utility's market-pricing under authority of its interim market power screen tests that became effective in April 2004, FERC found that Duke Power ("Duke") has the ability to unfairly influence the price of wholesale power in its home control area. After failing the initial indicative market-power screens, Duke filed a more thorough analysis of its market power in its home control area using FERC's Delivered Price Test ("DPT"). Duke's second filing claimed that it satisfied FERC's standards regarding pivotal suppliers using both the DPT economic capacity measure...

Thumbs up for Three LNG Terminals, Down for Another

In late June FERC approved the construction and operation of three new liquefied natural gas ("LNG") terminals that jointly will be able to import up to four billion cubic feet per day of LNG into the United States. Weaver's Cove Energy and Mill River Pipeline, affiliates of Hess LNG, proposed one of the projects, which will be located in Fall River, Massachusetts. The other project, proposed by Golden Pass LNG Terminal and Golden Pass Pipeline, subsidiaries of ExxonMobil, will be constructed in Texas and Louisiana. These projects, together with the Vista del Sol LNG Terminal LP that FERC...

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