March 28, 2003
On March 26, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced an investigation of 30 California electricity market participants to determine which ones employed Enron-type market manipulation tactics during the state's energy crisis. Southern California Edison (SCE) was named among those that routinely schedule its power supplies or needs through the California Independent System Operator. FERC intends to examine certain scheduling activities to determine if they were legitimate or represent gaming tactics. In response, SCE issued the following statement.
ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 28, 2003-Southern California Edison does not trade power for shareholder profit, as do many market participants, and has not engaged in the gaming tactics FERC is investigating. SCE's only economic interest was to minimize costs to its customers. Unlike the generators, we had no profit motive at all.
We welcome the commission's investigation of concerns raised by several market monitors and participants, including SCE, believing it will help identify those who have manipulated the state's power scheduling rules for profit. For years, the concerns of market observers have been ignored.
- SCE is among 30 companies listed in the FERC investigation order that received payments for relieving transmission congestion, a power scheduling practice that can be either legitimate or bogus.
- The FERC order is based on a report generated by the California Independent System Operator showing all market participants that scheduled and then cancelled power, receiving a congestion relief payment for the cancellation. The report shows that SCE received approximately $7,000 in congestion relief payments for scheduling activities during 2000. These events occurred in eight hours, and in no case were schedules changed with the intent of collecting congestion revenues.
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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. For more information on the California electricity market, see www.sce.com.