April 11, 2008
|Annual Spring Membership Meeting|
NEM booked the new Embassy Suites Hotel Washington D.C. Convention Center for the Annual Spring Membership Meeting and Restructuring Conference on April 29 and 30, 2008. This year's theme is "Strategic Energy, Security & Advanced Technology Policies - Think Globally, Save Locally." Please register at this hotlink. A final agenda can be viewed at this hotlink.
Hotel accommodations have also been arranged at this facility located at 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. NEM has secured preferred hotel rates of $259.00 per night. Please call (202) 739-2001 to make your reservations.
New meeting participants confirmed this week include: C.H. "Bud Albright, Jr., Undersecretary of Energy for DOE, U.S. Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), U.S. Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ), Stan Wise, Commissioner Georgia PSC, and Calvin Timmerman, Asst. Executive Director, Maryland PSC.
We have also confirmed the following featured speakers for the event: Gary Lunn, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Foreign officials from Russia, Israel, Mexico, Romania, Slovenia, and Moldovia, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Member, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, US House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer, FERC Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff, CFTC Commissioner Michael Dunn, Natural Resources Canada Minister Gary Lunn, David Wales, Deputy Director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, Massachusetts DPU Chairman, Paul Hibbard, New York PSC Chairman, Garry Brown, Texas PUC Chairman, Barry Smitherman and Pennsylvania PUC Energy Advisor, Eric Matheson.
|FERC Form 552 Technical Conference|
FERC's Order 704 and corresponding Form 552 require annual reporting of wholesale natural gas transactions. Form 552 is due on an annual basis beginning May 1, 2009, for the 2008 reporting year. As had been requested by NEM, Commission Staff will convene a technical conference for the purpose of discussing issues related to preparation and submission of Form 552. The conference will be held April 22, 2008 from 9:30AM to 12:30PM.
The conference will be organized to address questions from natural gas buyers and sellers. Topics listed for discussion at the meeting are:
1. Entities required to file the form;
2. Filing exclusions or exemptions;
3. Detail in reporting sales and purchases of natural gas;
4. Definitions of data elements; and
5. Publisher index point definitions and differences in reportable locations between publishers.
The full text of the Notice and Agenda for Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.
|NERC Proposal on Retail Marketer Registration as LSE|
FERC has reviewed NERC's compliance filing to address a potential reliability gap if retail marketers were not registered as LSEs. NERC compliance filing discussed a two step process. In the short-term, NERC proposed to initiate a comment process for the purpose of defining "Non-Asset Owning LSEs," and the reliability standards applicable to these entities. It was proposed that the NERC Board consider this change to the registration criteria at its May 2008 meeting and that it subsequently be filed for FERC approval.
In the long-term, NERC suggested that definitions, requirements and applicability sections of reliability standards may need to be changed. As part of its three-year Reliability Standards Development Plan, the issue of registration of retail power marketers/suppliers as LSEs would be addressed. This would begin with an April 2008 LSE and Compliance Workshop to gather stakeholder input.
FERC reviewed NERC's compliance filing. From a procedural perspective, FERC approved NERC's proposed approach to addressing a potential reliability gap. On a substantive basis, FERC determined that it will address NERC's short and long-term substantive proposals as to whether a reliability gap in fact exists when explained in future filings as contemplated by NERC's plan. The full text of the Order on Compliance Filing is available on the NEM Website.
|Columbia Gas Transmission Proposed Revision to Storage in Transit Rate|
Columbia Gas Transmission is proposing a revision to its Rate Schedule SIT (Storage in Transit). Noting that shippers do not currently have an express right to submit nominations to reduce their Imbalance Quantity, Columbia is proposing a a modification to Section 4 of Rate Schedule SIT as follows:
"Shipper will be permitted to nominate service under this Rate Schedule if the nomination would have the effect of reducing Shipper's Imbalance Quantity. Nominations that would result in converting (i) an OBQ to a UBQ; or (ii) a UBQ to a OBQ will be permitted if the total resulting Imbalance Quantity does not exceed 15,000 Dth."
Columbia asserts this change will ensure that Rate SIT is properly used as a balancing service and also protect Columbia's system reliability. The modification is proposed to take effect September 1, 2008. The full text of Columbia's Filing is available on the NEM Website.
|AF&PA Filing on Financial Performance Obligation|
In preparation for the upcoming FERC technical conference on organized electric markets on May 7, 2008, AF&PA filed material in support of its its Financial Performance Obligation (FPO) proposal. AF&PA describe the FPO as follows: "Financial Performance Obligations would require every unit which receives a capacity payment to financially guarantee the delivery of energy to the real time market at or below a specified strike price in any hour in which it is dispatched by the RTO to provide service. The obligation is financial in nature, and is not a requirement that physical delivery of energy from the unit must be made in any hour. The unit may fulfill its obligation either by operating to provide an amount of energy up to the capacity it is receiving capacity payments for in any hour, or it may purchase energy from the real time market at its nodal price and effectively re-sell it through the settlement system at or below the strike price. Under the FPO, load pays the lesser of the clearing price or strike price in any hour. Amounts collected from load are paid to all generators based upon their load ratio share obligation in each hour. In addition, every generator is charged or paid the clearing price for any deviation from its load ratio share in any hour. In any hour a unit is not dispatched, and the price is below the strike price, this is a wash. However, if a unit fails to supply in any hour where the price is above the strike price, it effectively pays the difference between the strike price and clearing price for each MWhr deviation from its load ratio share for that hour." The full text of the AF&PA Filing is available on the NEM Website.
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|Second Technical Conference on Proposed Marketing Standards|
The Commission proposed revisions to the UBP, including a new Section 10 on Marketing Standards, to address perceived problems with ESCO marketing practices. The proposed changes to the UBP are intended to strengthen residential consumer protections and Commission oversight. A second technical conference will be convened on April 28, 2008, at 10:30AM in the Commission's Manhattan offices, following the submission of initial comments in the case. Those wishing to attend the conference should contact Ellen Jeffers at Ellen_Jeffers@dps.state.ny.us or 518-474-4223 by April 16, 2008. The full text of the Notice of Technical Conference is available on the NEM Website.
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