EL&P sprints into 2001 with some new twists

You may have thumbed through this issue and already have discovered one of the new, regular features we’re introducing this year.

We know how difficult it can be to stay informed about deregulation and the resulting state-by-state differences in legislative and regulatory directions. We’re going to make it easier for you to follow.

State of Deregulation, debuting in this issue, will keep you up-to-date on the status of restructuring as it hops and skips across the country. Every other month, associate editor Kathleen Davis will give you a wrap-up of a state selected as a hotbed of activity or controversy. She’ll take an in-depth look at generation and T&D issues, regulatory and business issues, politics, utility responses and consumer reactions.

This month, California was in the limelight (well, maybe that’s misleading; afterall, most of California was asked to turn off its lights). The fallout continues-stage one, two and three emergencies, FERC directives, plummeting utility stocks and credit ratings. Turn to page 4 to see how things stacked up at press time.

Watch for new state profiles in March, May, July, September and November.

The March issue of EL&P will feature Illinois, which tiptoed into its first ripple of customer choice in October 1999. We’ll bring you up to speed on the state’s early experiences as a retail choice rookie.

Utility of the Month was introduced on a trial basis in 2000. We’ve received positive feedback and a steady flow of inquiries about its continuation. Obviously, readers have found value in learning about other utilities.

In exclusive interviews with EL&P, CEOs shared their view from the top. Business models and strategies, capital allocation, new projects in generation and T&D, unregulated vs. regulated revenue sources, etc. were discussed. We covered NSTAR, Memphis Light, Gas & Water, Entergy, Avista, DTE Energy, Public Service Company of New Mexico and Puget Sound Energy.

Beginning in February, this feature will run every other month-February, April, June, August and October.

However, we’re going to take a different approach to Utility of the Month in 2001. We’re going to expand the focus to capture not only the companies that are doing things right most of the time and seem to be on a steady or upward course. We plan to talk with CEOs at companies that are working hard to change direction (e.g., turning around faltering financial performance, improving reliability). We’ll take a look at how business challenges are being faced and managed by these leaders.

Popping out at you on the front page is a reminder of another new venture for EL&P, the American Power Conference. The program committee met in Chicago on December 1 and developed a three-track conference with strong content. The business track includes optimizing generation assets, discussion of power price spikes, e-commerce, knowledge management, and generation market trends. The T&D track includes a discussion of the fallout from FERC Order 2000, SCADA technology and customer involvement, feeder dynamics, power quality and reliability, and merchant plant interconnection issues.

The generation track includes distributed generation, combustion modifications for NOx control, post combustion NOx control, repowering, discussion of mercury issues, planning and development of new generation, and discussion of O&M.

EL&P is the official sponsoring magazine of this comprehensive industry show, presented with an exhibition, and we’re looking forward to its PennWell debut in April.

And if you haven’t visited our Web site since December 1, you may want to check it out at www.elp.com. The site was relaunched and besides having a new look, our associate online editor, Sylvie Dale, delivers even more industry news daily.

As always, we strive to deliver what our readers need and want in industry news. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.

From all of us at EL&P, best wishes to you in 2001.

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