Unbundled retail energy markets have failed to fulfill their promise of competitive rates and development of innovative energy services, particularly those that increase energy efficiency, New York regulators said late last week in announcing hearings and meetings on market reforms.
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Moving a large step closer to completion, the merger plan between Niagara Mohawk Holdings Inc. and National Grid Group plc. received approval from the New York Public Service Commission. The union is expected to result in Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.’s electricity customers saving about $1 billion over the next 10 years, compared with rates projected without the merger.
FERC “took a large step” forward Wednesday by approving the much-anticipated market monitoring and mitigation plan for the out-of-control California energy market, but still it didn’t go far enough, according to officials with Williams Companies, the New York Public Service Commission and Dynegy.
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) urged the New York PublicService Commission (PSC) last week to quickly approve thecompromise route for the 442-mile Millennium Pipeline, which hasbeen languishing in a regulatory quagmire since December 1997. TheFederal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a supplemental draftenvironmental impact statement last month approving the new routefor the project, which would bring 715 MMcf/d of gas to New YorkCity from connections with the Canadian pipeline grid under LakeErie.
The New York State Public Service Commission has approved thesale of all electricity generating facilities owned by Orange andRockland Utilities, including a facility owned jointly withConsolidated Edison of New York, to affiliates of Southern Energy,Inc. for $476.3 million. All net proceeds from the sale will beused for the benefit of O&R and Con Edison ratepayers.
The New York Public Service Commission released the text of itspreviously announced gas unbundling policy statement, laying outits plan to force the state’s LDCs out of the merchant functionwithin three to seven years (see NGI Oct. 12, 1998) and endmandatory capacity assignment by next April. But it can expectstrong opposition from a number of New York LDCs who aren’t willingto give up gas sales and who say capacity assignment is areasonable way to recover stranded costs.
Retail gas competition in the state of New York clearly needs ajump start, and the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) gaveit one last week. The PSC announced it will force the state’s localdistribution companies to cease selling gas within three to sevenyears.