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Industry News

Pennsylvania State Attorney Finds No Manipulation by PPL

LCG, June 20, 2003--Following an investigation into the cause for price spikes in wholesale power prices in PJM Interconnection territory during 2001, Pennsylvania's attorney general, Mike Fisher, has concluded that PPL Corp.'s PPL EnergyPlus subsidiary did not engage in market manipulation.

James Donahue, chief deputy attorney general, said that a requirement by PJM that companies in the wholesale market have certain capacity available in addition to the amount of power they were selling was a reason for price increases. Many such companies that did not have as much in the way of their own generating resources as PPL were trying desperately to acquire available capacity. PPL EnergyPlus already had capacity available, and was able to sell to the smaller competitors.

A spokesman for PPL, Dan McCarthy, said company managers were "very pleased" to learn of the attorney general's findings.

The investigation was begun after the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued its own conclusions that PPL might have violated antitrust statutes. Although these conclusions were forwarded to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Justice Department, FERC said last year that it would not launch its own investigation, while the Justice Department has made no statement regarding the PUC's findings.

Wholesale power prices rose dramatically during the first three months of 2001 in the part of Pennsylvania under PJM, the grid operator.
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