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Public Power preview: DEMEC was ready for big time when industry revolution began


From the March 29, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 29, 2013

When municipal electric utilities in Delaware formed a joint action agency in 1979, they did so without any pressing need for power supply or other joint action services. The agency was formed so it would be ready when needed. During its earliest years, members of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corp. worked together on advocacy before the state Legislature and joined forces to challenge wholesale transmission rate filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In the early 1990s, members needed to bolster their power supply. It was then that the foresight of the agency’s founders paid off — DEMEC was in place and could scale up its activity on behalf of its members.

As the '90s progressed, revolution rocked the electric utility industry and DEMEC was at the head of the parade, confronting challenges when FERC conferred official status on the PJM Interconnection as a regional transmission organization. DEMEC represented its nine municipal utility members in hundreds of hours of stakeholder meetings as the new RTO grew into its new role. Some of it was good. Some of it was bad. Some of it was ugly.

The ugly part, said DEMEC President & CEO Patrick McCullar, relates to the capacity markets run by the RTO. McCullar shared the agency’s experiences in the nation’s first federally chartered RTO during an interview with Public Power magazine. The story, "Coming of Age," is posted on publicpower.org. 

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