PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

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EV Hype and Hope

Solyndra shakeout hits the electric car business
Six months after Solyndra's bankruptcy, the resulting controversy is affecting other companies that were hoping to secure loans from the Department of Energy. Lawmakers want to know whether the DOE loan program has stalled out -- and whether reforms are needed to clarify the mission and the risks for taxpayers.

Frequency Regulation

Not Just for Reliability Anymore
In a recent order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said that by paying the wrong price for the ancillary service known as frequency “regulation,” system operators have encouraged too many gas-fired turbines and other conventional fossil power plants to supply regulation service.

Transmission Rate Incentives

Did FERC Jump the Gun?
In an October order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) trimmed the authorized rate incentive for the RITELine transmission project by one-third. The action prompted Commissioner Moeller to ask whether the commission is retreating from its incentive policy on needed transmission lines.

Gas Demand Response

As more natural gas is used for power generation, more volatility can be expected in gas markets. Demand response might provide a tool for managing that volatility, but is it technically feasible? And will gas customers accept it?

EVs and the Smart Grid

Accelerating Progress
Better batteries, renewables and more intelligent electricity networks are converging to deliver efficiency and environmental improvements. Electric vehicle (EV) batteries are both the stumbling block and the catalyst for transformative change.

Managing Overgrowth

Vegetation Management and FERC Compliance
An integrated approach can trim the cost of keeping utility rights of way clean -- and green.

Killing the Electric Car ... Again!

EV Policy Dilemma
Perverse policy signals are pitting utilities against the EV revolution. Will regulators give utilities the incentives they need to pave the way for electric transportation?

CPUC Targets Privacy Worries

Setting the Standard for Smart Meter Data Privacy
The California Public Utility Commission’s recent proposed rule aims to protect customer privacy while also facilitating third-party access to smart meter data for energy management, demand response and other customer service applications. But does it go far enough?

States' Rights, Gamed Markets

RTO Bidding Rules
FERC OK's PJM's capacity price floor, but questions remain about 'legitimate interests.'

Making Solar Grid-Friendly

Why integrating utility-scale solar will follow the wind model.
If made fully “grid-friendly,” utility-scale solar ought to be able to act like a traditional power plant — aiding voltage stability and supporting grid integrity during transmission system disturbances.