Energy regulators increase power price cap in West

The Associated Press
Thursday July 18, 2002

WASHINGTON — Federal energy regulators on Wednesday capped electricity prices in California and other western states at $250 per megawatt hour, beginning on Oct. 1. 

However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also put in place a process that could lower wholesale power prices when they top $92 per megawatt hour — if certain criteria are met. 

Power prices currently are capped at $92 per megawatt hour through September. 

A megawatt is enough to power about 750 homes. 

California power officials and political leaders had asked FERC to leave the lower limits in place. 

FERC said it would maintain a requirement that power generators make all their power available for sale, preventing them from withholding power as a way to force prices to rise. 

The commission also voted to overhaul the board of the California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s electricity grid. 

FERC said the board is not independent.