Freeman back in California


In two key areas, renewable energy interests should be in good hands as the California electricity market deregulates. S. David Freeman -- an architect of US energy policy under Jimmy Carter's administration and a former general manager of the pro-renewables Sacramento Municipal Utility District -- has been appointed as interim manager of two key public agencies created by the state's new deregulation law. Freeman, a long-time advocate for renewables, will oversee both the Independent System Operator, which will manage transmission, the Power Exchange, and the wholesale power pool through which most consumers will buy their electricity. The appointment could mean the new market will take into account the unique needs of intermittent renewable resources. Though Freeman's tenure is dependent upon confirmation in January by a board yet to be selected, renewable energy advocates hope Freeman stays on. "He's a tough, no nonsense administrator who also knows that customers and the environment matter immensely," says V. John White, lobbyist for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. "This is the first time in a long time that there's a development in electric restructuring that's not disturbing," adds Mike Florio, an advocate for Toward Utility Rate Normalization, a champion for residential customers.