May 05, 2014
The article I read is about how New York State is proposing to turn its electric utilities into a new kind of entity that would buy electricity from hundreds of small generators and set prices for that electricity and for the costs of running the power grid. Instead of distributing electricity themselves, the utilities would direct traffic, coordinating distribution of electricity produced by smaller entities. The underlying idea is that the existing system of regulation does not encourage the utilities or independent parties to produce a cleaner, more efficient energy grid. They would be using solar/wind energy (better for the environment). The Public Service Commission will hold a public session on the proposal next Monday. One group that could be hurt is the companies that build and own central power stations. But Gavin J. Donohue, the president and chief executive of their trade association, said his members could prosper building smaller, “distributed” generators as well, depending on how the rules are written. But as solar installations reduce the amount of energy that some customers buy, others are faced with paying a higher and higher share of the fixed costs. Some experts predict that this will end in catastrophe.