EIA data show changing wholesale electric trade

Issue 8 and Volume 100.

EIA data show changing wholesale electric trade

As U.S. consumption of electric energy continues to increase, many electric utilities are increasing electric purchases to satisfy customer demand in lieu of constructing new power plants. Provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 also continue to stimulate competition in the wholesale electricity market. The changing composition of wholesale electric trade is reflected in 1994 electric trade data released this summer by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA is no longer printing a report on electric trade due to reduced funding, but will continue to disseminate data via its World Wide Web site, http://www.gifia.doe.gov.

Highlights from the 1994 wholesale electric trade data include:

¥Purchases of electricity from nonutilities totaled nearly 209 billion kWh in 1994, equivalent to approximately 9 percent of consumption by electric utility consumers.

¥Government utilities made significant purchases of electricity from other utilities, but virtually none from nonutilities. Utilities are expanding wholesale trade beyond the traditional boundaries of the electric reliability regions where they are operationally aligned. Since 1988, investor-owned electric utilities increased their interregional purchases of electricity by 225 percent, from 21 billion kWh to 72 billion kWh. Interregional cooperative electric utility purchases increased 121 percent over the same period, from 8 billion kWh to 17 billion kWh.

¥Changes in firm power purchases ranged from a 25 percent decrease in the Southwest Power Pool (from 13 billion kWh to 10 billion kWh) to a 480 percent increase in the Mid-America Interconnected Network (4 billion kWh to 23 billion kWh). Nonfirm purchases ranged from virtually no change in the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool, where they accounted for 10 billion kWh, to a 553 percent increase in the Mid-Atlantic Area Council, from 7 billion kWh to 47 billion kWh.