Electric Industry Tutorials

Posts on this Blog have been organized into the following three Modules:

  • Module 1: The history of the electric industry
  • Module 2: The current status of the electric industry
  • Module 3: The potential future of the electric industry

Each Module is followed by a series of Study Questions.

Module 1: The History of the Electric Industry

Relevant Posts:

Study Questions:

  • Explain the difference between direct and alternating current.
  • Why was the Westinghouse’ system more efficient that Edison’s?
  • How did electric consumers benefit from the Regulatory Compact?
  • How did investor owned utilities benefit from the Regulatory Compact?
  • What is meant by the utility’s Revenue Requirement and what are its three component parts?
  • When the generation component of service was deregulated what portion of the service remained subject to traditional cost based regulation?
  • When the generation component of service was deregulated how did the regulator agencies fulfill their obligation to ensure that the rates for generation service remained just and reasonable?
  • Why did George Norris oppose Henry Ford’s proposal to operated the Mussel Shoals facility?
  • What Act was passed to bring the Federal Government into the business of generating electricity?
  • What event led to Congress deciding to make compliance with reliability standards mandatory?
  • What is the maximum penalty for failure to comply with one of the reliability rules?

Module 2: The Current Status of the Electric Industry

Relevant Posts:

Study Questions:

  • Why is the Electric Transmission Grid analogous to the interstate highway system?
  • Why did the FERC not trust the utilities to provide non-discriminatory access to their transmission systems?
  • Who are the members of the Independent System Operator?
  • Where there is an Independent System Operator what entity is deemed to be providing transmission service?
  • How are revenues received for transmission service by the Independent System Operator allocated?
  • How are current distributed generation systems similar to Edison’s original system?
  • Explain how efficiencies could be gained from the combination of distributed generation and a smart grid.
  • Why can’t large central station nuclear plants compete in a competitive generation market?
  • Why does NuScale believe that its model will be able to compete in a competitive generation market?
  • What entity manages the competitive power market?
  • What is the difference between capacity and energy in the competitive power market?
  • In a competitive power market at what time of day is energy most likely to be most expensive?
  • Why is wind powered electricity considered to be a premium product?
  • What are the three products that can be sold by a wind power project?
  • What are the three reasons that siting is so important for wind power projects?

Module 3: The Future of the Electric Industry

Relevant Posts:

Study Questions:

  • How are current distributed generation systems similar to Edison’s original system?
  • Explain how efficiencies could be gained from the combination of distributed generation and a smart grid.
  • How does loss of sales to distributed generation lead to higher utility rates?
  • What two tactics are utilities using to try to prevent the death spiral?
  • Why could micro grids that allow customers to disconnect from the system defeat the use of the utility tactics?
  • Where would a carbon tax be assessed?
  • Explain how a carbon tax could result in fewer hours of operation for fossil fueled generating plants.
  • Why would using electric vehicles result in reduced carbon emissions?
  • What would using electric space heating result in reduced carbon emissions?
  • If the current grid operators has control of utility owned transmission and distribution facilities and generator owned generating plants what would the smart grid operator control?
  • Could a microgrid operate independently from the electric transmission grid? Why?