Task Force on Structure and TransitionMay 26, 1998, Richmond
The task force convened to discuss the overall structure of a Virginia retail competition plan. When the task force met briefly on May 7, stakeholders and all interested parties were asked to identify key structure and transition issues and to provide them to the task force. Written comments were subsequently received from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), and from Virginia's investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, municipal power supply systems, natural gas companies, a coalition of commercial and industrial customers and others in advance of the meeting. The submissions were then posted to the SJR 91 joint subcommittee's web site (http://dls.state.va.us/sjr91.htm).
Stakeholders and interested parties attending the May 26 meeting were asked to identify (i) structure and transition issues most critical to a Virginia restructuring plan and (ii) any issue that should be taken up for immediate consideration by the task force at its next meeting.
Determining Competitive Services
SCC staff noted that the task force must consider the extent of proposed retail competition, identifying those services--in addition to generation--that could become competitive under a restructuring plan. In several other states, for example, metering, meter reading, and customer billing are considered potentially competitive services.
Market Power, Default Suppliers and Suppliers of Last Resort
Several parties, including the SCC, the Alliance for Lower Electricity Rates Today (ALERT), and the electric cooperatives, recommended that the task force take up the issue of market power related to transmission import constraints. Additionally, Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG) and other parties urged the task force to closely examine the "default provider" and "provider of last resort" issues.
Other issues flagged for consideration revolved around independent system operator/regional power exchange (ISO/RPX) formation. ALERT and CNG, for example, asked the task force to consider the question of bilateral contract availability. AEP Virginia thought the task force should also consider whether Virginia should adopt retail customer choice, independent of the effective dates of restructuring legislation adopted by other states served by ISOs serving Virginia.
Narrative Restructuring Plan Submissions
Virginia Power and ALERT representatives proposed that stakeholders and others advance the work of the task force by submitting brief narratives, describing the structure of retail competition in Virginia. They suggested that the narratives could help narrow the many issues raised by staff and all parties involved in this study. The task force agreed to accept these submissions, requiring them to conform to the general outline of SB 688 (a restructuring bill carried over to the 1999 General Assembly Session and referred to the SJR 91 joint subcommittee).
During its next meeting, the task force will focus on three interrelated issues identified by stakeholders as critical:
Other issues identified as significant by stakeholders (and summarized in their written submissions to the task force) will be taken up at subsequent task force meetings.
- Determining which electricity services will be competitive services following restructuring,
- Market power (particularly that related to transmission constraints), and
- Suppliers of last resort and default providers.
The Honorable Clifton A. Woodrum, Chairman
The Honorable Thomas K. Norment, Jr., Co-Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Arlen K. Bolstad