Blackouts and Oversupply or Regulatory Planning and Cooperation

By Kincaid, Jess B. | Environmental Law, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Blackouts and Oversupply or Regulatory Planning and Cooperation


Kincaid, Jess B., Environmental Law


I.   INTRODUCTION II.  JURISDICTION OVERVIEW      A. The US Electric Production and Distribution System      B. Development of Electricity Regulation         1. Regulated Versus Unregulated Utilities         2. Division of Regulatory Authority Between FERC and State         Commissions      C. Major Modern Developments in the Regulation of Transmission         1. Congressional Actions         2. FERC Orders            a. FERC Order No. 888, Non-Discrimination in Transmission            b. FERC Order No. 2003, Interconnection Jurisdiction            c. FERC Order No. 1000, Requirements for Regional               Transmission Planning      D. Summary of Regulation III. UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES FROM PIECEMEAL REFORMS      A. Poor Regulatory Planning Led to Too Little Power in California         1. Restructuring of the California Electricity Market.         2. Meltdown of the Restructured Market         3. Picking Up the Pieces            a. Bonneville Power Administration v. F.E.R.C., an Effort to               Prevent FERC Regulation of Nonjurisdictional Power               Producers            b. Post Bonneville, FERC Refund Calculations            c. Attempting to Prevent Contract Remedies Based on FERC               Refund Calculations         4. Remedies Require Rate Increases Across the Region      B. Poor Regulatory Planning Led to Too Much Power in the Northwest         1. Regional Wind Development.         2. Electricity Oversupply      C. Lessons Learned from These Case Studies IV.  A SMART GRID WITHOUT SMART PLANNING V.   COMPATIBLE REGULATORY SOLUTIONS 

I. INTRODUCTION

Blackout and oversupply events in the West have proven that market after-the-fact regulation of electricity fails consumers. Lack of planning on state and federal levels has resulted in increased costs for consumers and short-term failure in the distribution of electricity. Without up-front regulatory planning, physical upgrades to the nation's transmission system will likely fall short of state and federal policy goals, and cost increases are likely to result.

Poor regulatory planning resulted in blackouts following the restructuring of the California electricity market. The State of California restructured its electricity market in the late 1990s in an attempt to reduce electric costs that were higher than the regional average. (1) The deregulated system relied on electricity markets to determine the fair market price at any given time. (2) Under this system, regulators believed that the invisible hand of the market would control prices and adequately incentivize production. (3) Instead, the market proved ripe for manipulation. (4) Power plants were deliberately taken off line to reduce supply, prices skyrocketed, and rolling blackouts spread across the state. (5) Utilities are still litigating settlements from the failure of the market thirteen years later.

Poor regulatory planning also resulted in periods of excess power in the Northwest. The majority of states in the Northwest have adopted renewable portfolio standards that aim to increase the percentage of power produced from renewable sources. (6) While regulators adopted a series of Orders to ensure fair access to transmission lines, (7) they failed to adequately address the comprehensive effect that additional renewable power would have on the electric grid. Periods when production of renewable power exceeded total regional consumption resulted, and regulators disconnected generating sources to ensure grid safety. (8) These actions, which violated transmission contracts, are currently in litigation, and the cost of violating transmission contracts will be passed on to consumers. (9)

The complexity of the existing piecemeal U.S. system of jurisdiction over electricity production and transmission makes it difficult to perform comprehensive regulatory planning. While the United States is currently implementing technological upgrades to the electric grid that can mitigate blackout and oversupply events, our current regulatory system prevents hill utilization of these upgrades. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Blackouts and Oversupply or Regulatory Planning and Cooperation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.