Glossary of Terms

401 Water Quality Certification: a state certification verifying a project will not violate water quality standards; required before obtaining a 404 Permit to discharge dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

404 Permit: a permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and required for anyone wishing to discharge dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, regardless of whether on private or public property.

Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS): a policy that requires certain electric providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power using methods that bridge, adapt and/or spur cleaner energy development, often using traditional technologies as a base. These can include, but are not limited to, new clean-coal technologies, municipal waste-to-energy and other solid waste projects, cogeneration, energy efficiency, hydro, solar, wind, fuel cells and advanced nuclear applications.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI): the communications system that is used to provide customers with their metered usage data, as well as send it to a utility via fiber optic, broadband or radio. This helps customers use energy more efficiently and provides utilities the ability to detect problems on their systems and operate more efficiently.

Aggregator: an entity that puts together groups of customers into a buying group that purchases a commodity service. Many communities are engaged in municipal aggregation programs for electric and natural gas.

Allowable Emissions: maximum emissions for a pollutant that a plant or a source is legally allowed to release into the atmosphere. Established in government regulation and/or issued air permit.

American Public Power Association (APPA): the Washington, D.C.-based service organization for the nation’s more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, including all of AMP’s members, AMP and OMEA.

Ampere: the standard unit of measuring the strength of an electric current.

AMPO Inc.: the wholly owned, taxable subsidiary of AMP that provides consulting services to both electric and natural gas aggregations.

AMP Transmission, LLC (AMPT): a wholly owned, not-for-profit limited liability corporation formed to plan, build, own and operate transmission facilities on behalf of AMP members. AMPT provides AMP members with planning support to identify opportunities to improve system reliability and works with AMP members to ensure eligible transmission facilities are properly recovered from the entire transmission zone.

Ancillary Services: services or tariff provisions related to provision of electricity, other than simple generation, transmission or distribution. Ancillary services related to transmission service include: energy losses, energy imbalances, scheduling and dispatching, load following, system protections and reactive power. Ancillary services related to distribution include meter reading, billing and collections.

Attainment Area: a geographical area determined to have air quality as good as or better than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for a particular pollutant(s). Areas can be in attainment for some criteria pollutants and not others.

Balancing Authority (BA): the responsible entity that integrates resource plans ahead of time, maintains load-interchange-generation balance within a balancing authority area and supports interconnection frequency in real time.

Baseline Transmission Project: a transmission upgrade project(s) determined by PJM as necessary to ensure the security and adequacy of the transmission system to serve all existing and projected long-term firm transmission use including existing and projected native load growth, as well as long-term firm transmission service.

Baseload Generation: facilities designed to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week at near capacity levels, to meet basic demand; usually characterized as having higher capital costs and lower operating costs. (See also Distributed Generation, Intermediate Generation, Peak Generation.)

Behavioral Demand Response: changes to end-use customers’ energy demand as a result of personal adjustments based on signals from utilities using a variety of communications, such as text messages, email and phone calls. These can result in temporal or quantitative changes by the customer.

Behind-the-Meter Generation (BTMG): generation that is located on the distribution side of the meter so that it results in a lowering of the community’s reported load.

Best Available Control Technology (BACT): the maximum degree of emission reduction of pollutants required under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program that the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) determines is achievable, taking into account energy, environmental and economic impacts, and other costs.

Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER): the degree of pollutant emission reduction established by the USEPA for a category of stationary sources that takes into account the cost of achieving such reduction and any non-air quality health and environmental impacts and energy requirements, and has been adequately demonstrated.

Biomass Energy: biomass derived from organic materials, including wood and crops, as well as wastes from consumer, municipal and agricultural processes, used to generate heat and/or electricity.

Build America Bonds (BABs): taxable municipal bonds that feature tax credits and/or federal payments for bondholders, and state and local government bond issuers.

Bulk Electric System (BES): as defined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the electrical generation resources, transmission lines, interconnections with neighboring systems and associated equipment, generally operated at voltages of 100 kV or higher. Radial transmission facilities serving only load with one transmission source are generally not included in this definition. The definition is subject to specific inclusions and exclusions.

Capacity: the maximum electricity output, expressed in megawatts, that a generator can produce under specific conditions.

Capacity Credit: revenue received by selling capacity into a capacity market.

Capacity Factor: the ratio of net electricity generated over a period of time, and the potential energy that could have been generated at continuous full-power operation during the same period.

Capacity Market: administrative resource adequacy that seeks to ensure grid reliability by securing the “economic” amount of resources needed to meet predicted energy demand in the future. (See also RPM.)

Carbon free power: power generation that produces no net carbon emissions.

Clean Air Act, Section 111(b): a federal Clean Air Act (CAA) program that regulates pollutant emissions from new, modified and reconstructed sources in a source category.

Clean Air Act, Section 111(d): a state-based program that regulates existing source categories in accordance with USEPA emission guidelines.

Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR): federal requirements, established pursuant to the Clean Air Act, reducing SO2, NOX and particulate emissions from 28 eastern states contributing to downwind attainment problems. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the rule in July 2008, then issued an order in December 2008 that put the rule back in effect while the USEPA developed new clean air rules that addressed the flaws the court found in the CAIR (see also Cross-State Air Pollution Rule). The CAIR initially remained in effect pursuant to the Court of Appeals’ overturning of CSAPR in August 2012. In 2014, courts lifted the stay on the CSAPR, allowing its implementation, and effectively replacing the CAIR program.

Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR): see also Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Rule proposed in July 2010 to replace the Clean Air Interstate Rule and require additional SO2 and NOX reductions beginning in 2012. The USEPA issued the final rule in July 2011 as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

CO2: carbon dioxide; a colorless gas produced by combustion processes. It also occurs naturally.

CO2-eq: carbon dioxide equivalent; the number of metric tons of CO2 emissions with the same global warming potential as one metric ton of another greenhouse gas (methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases).

Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR): coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, are created when coal is burned by power plants to produce electricity. While often disposed of in surface impoundments or landfills, CCR can also be beneficially reused in a number of different products and materials.

Coincident Peak (CP): the maximum electric power demanded by a subsystem (municipality) that corresponds (in time) with the peak demand for a larger system. This is used by PJM to calculate transmission and capacity charges for electric utilities in its territory. For transmission billing, PJM uses 1CP, which is a municipality’s load at the same time the surrounding investor-owned utility is reaching its highest demand for the year. For capacity billing, PJM uses 5CP, which represents a municipality’s load during PJM’s five highest peak load days within the year.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP): also known as cogeneration, CHP is the use of a heat engine or power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat. It is a common form of energy recycling.

Congestion: charge to move power from point of receipt to point of delivery (can be charge or credit).

Co-op: commonly used term for rural electric cooperative. Rural electric cooperatives generate, purchase and distribute wholesale power, arrange transmission of that power and then distribute the power to serve the demands of rural customers.

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs): may be used by certain entities – primarily in the public sector – to finance renewable energy projects. The bondholder receives federal tax credits in lieu of a portion of the traditional bond interest, resulting in a lower effective interest rate for the borrower. The issuer remains responsible for repaying the principal on the bond.

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP): a framework for the identification and protection of Critical Cyber Assets to support reliable operation of the Bulk Electric System. (Critical Cyber Assets are cyber assets that are essential to the reliable operation of facilities, systems and equipment which, if destroyed, degraded or otherwise rendered unavailable, would affect the reliability or operability of the Bulk Electric System.) Under this framework, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has developed and implemented enforceable standards designed to deter or mitigate threats to such assets. This includes protecting the U.S. power grid from threats – both physical and cyber – that may be caused by people, nature or hazardous materials. (See also Cybersecurity and North American Electric Reliability Corporation.)

Criteria Pollutants: pollutants listed pursuant to Clean Air Act Section 108, for which the USEPA has established a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). There are six criteria pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide and lead.

Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR): a rule that was to have replaced the vacated Clean Air Interstate Rule (see also CAIR); in August 2012, the Court of Appeals overturned CSAPR and sent it back to the USEPA to be rewritten. CAIR remained in place until October 2014 when a District of Columbia court lifted the stay on CSAPR, allowing implementation to proceed in 2015. Established pursuant to the Clean Air Act, CSAPR provides a specific SO2 and NOX emissions budget for each covered state, while allowing limited interstate trading.

Cybersecurity: measures protecting a computer, computer system, electronic data or other electronic communications from unauthorized access or attacks. A primary concern in the utility industry is a cyberattack intended to cripple the electric grid by targeting generation, transmission and distribution assets. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has established mandatory cybersecurity reliability standards that were approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In 2014, FERC directed NERC to develop new, mandatory physical security standards.

Day-Ahead Pricing: future price of electricity determined the day before the electricity is needed. This is the market where the majority of power is bought and sold.

Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments (DEED): an American Public Power Association (APPA) member-based program dedicated to improving the operations and services of public power utilities by supporting and demonstrating its members’ innovative activities through research, funding and education. AMP covers APPA dues for all AMP member communities.

Demand Response: changes in electric usage by end-use customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.

Demand-Side Management: methods used by end users to manage their energy usage. Methods may include energy efficiency efforts, load management, fuel substitution and load building.

Deregulation: the elimination of regulation from a previously regulated industry or sector of an industry. Also referred to as restructuring.

Distributed Generation: smaller generating units distributed throughout a region, where they are closer to the load and can be used for meeting energy needs or to mitigate the effects of transmission and capacity prices. (See also Baseload Generation, Intermediate Generation, Peak Generation.)

Distribution Company: the regulated electric utility that constructs and maintains distribution wires connecting the transmission grid to the final customer. Can also perform services such as aggregating customers, purchasing power supply and transmission service for customers, billing customers and reimbursing suppliers, as well as offering regulated or nonregulated services to retail customers.

Distribution System: facilities that conduct electricity at a medium voltage used to transmit electricity to residential neighborhoods. This is generally voltage lower than 34 kilovolt (kV).

e-Reliability Tracker (eRT): a web-based reliability software that allows members to track their outages, receive annual national reliability reports and earn points toward RP3 designations. This subscription-based software from APPA is provided to each member as part of its AMP dues.

EcoSmart Choice®: a voluntary green-pricing program available to AMP members to offer to their customers.

Efficiency Smart™: AMP’s energy efficiency program offered to subscribing AMP members through a partnership with VEIC. The program offers technical assistance and incentives for residential, commercial and industrial customers seeking to lower their power bills. AMP employs an independent third-party evaluation, measurement and verification (EMV) contractor to validate the energy savings resulting from Efficiency Smart. (See also VEIC.)

Electric Vehicle (EV): a vehicle propelled by one or more electric motors powered by rechargeable battery packs.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE): any equipment or electrical component used in charging electric vehicles at a specific location.

Energy Efficiency: improvements in technology, controls, operations or behavior that result in a similar or improved output using less energy.

Energy Storage: the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is sometimes called an accumulator. Energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms.

Energy Storage Association (ESA): a national trade association dedicated to energy storage.

Equivalent Availability Factor: the amount of time a generator is capable of producing power over a specific time period.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC): a federal agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that regulates the transmission and wholesale transactions of electricity in interstate commerce; licenses and inspects private, municipal and state hydroelectric projects; oversees environmental matters related to natural gas, oil, electricity and hydroelectric projects; and administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of jurisdictional companies.

Federal Implementation Plan (FIP): a federally implemented plan designed to achieve attainment of air quality standards that is used when a state is unable to develop an adequate plan.

Feed-in Tariff: customer is paid for generation at a price that achieves a target rate of return for the customer.

Fiber Optic: thin transparent fibers of glass or plastic that transmit light through their length by internal reflections, used for transmitting data, voice and images. Fiber-optic technology has virtually replaced copper wire in long-distance telephone lines and is used to link computers in local area networks, with digitized light pulses replacing the electric current formerly used for the signal.

Financial Transmission Rights (FTR): financial instruments awarded to bidders in the FTR auctions that entitle the holder to a stream of revenues (or charges) based on the hourly day-ahead congestion price differences across the path. (See also Day-Ahead Pricing, Locational Marginal Pricing.)

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5): an atmospheric pollutant linked to emissions from a variety of sources; once emitted, the material is subject to transport and transformation in the atmosphere. Fine particulate matter is characterized as having an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or less. One micron is one one-millionth of a meter.

Fly Ash: consists of fine particles of ash created as a by-product of the combustion of solid fuels, such as coal. Air pollution control equipment such as electrostatic precipitators and fabric filters are designed to minimize fine particulates from being released into the atmosphere. Once collected by the control equipment, the ash can be reused in materials ranging from roofing and concrete paving to oil well casings.

Fuel Cell: a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.

Generation Company: a regulated or nonregulated entity (depending upon the industry structure) that operates and maintains generating plants. It may own the generation plants or interact with the short-term market on behalf of plant owners.

Geothermal: hot water or steam extracted from geothermal reservoirs in the earth’s crust. Water or steam extracted from geothermal reservoirs can be used for geothermal heat pumps, water heating or electricity generation.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG): any gas that absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include, but are not limited to, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases.

Grid: utility term for the network of transmission and distribution lines that distribute electricity from a variety of sources across a geographic area.

Grid Resiliency: the ability to resist failure and rapidly recover from breakdown. It can apply to individual grid components or to systems.

Grid-tie: a term for renewable energy systems that are connected to the grid so that power can flow in either direction (from the grid to the house or the house to the grid).

Heat Rate: a measurement used to calculate how efficiently a generator uses heat energy. Higher heat rates are less efficient. In the U.S., heat rate is typically expressed using the mixed English and International System of Units (SI) of British thermal units (Btu) per net kilowatt-hour (kWh) generated.

Hedging Contract: a contract to establish the sale of futures against the purchase of electric power or gas to protect against a decline in value; conversely, the purchase of futures against forward sales of, or anticipated need for power or gas to protect against an increase in value.

Hydroelectric Power: electric energy generated by harnessing the power of moving water. Run-of-the-river facilities (which AMP uses) are a type of hydroelectric generation where the natural flow and elevation drop of a river are used to generate electricity. An impoundment facility uses a dam to store water in a reservoir, and the water may be released to meet electricity needs or to maintain water levels.

Independent Power Producer (IPP): an independent company, owned by investors, that generates electricity and is not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Independent System Operator (ISO): a company or organization that independently operates the electric transmission grid for a specified geographic area. Owners retain their assets and the ISO runs the system as a joint operation. The ISO files a single transmission tariff for the region, plans and schedules transmission outages, takes a lead role in transmission system planning, collects transmission charges, and makes payments to facility owners. The organization operates various markets including, but not limited to, energy, capacity and ancillary services.

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC): a power generation system that produces synthesis gas (syngas) converted from fossil fuel, such as coal, which is then burned to generate electricity from the syngas by combined cycle.

Interconnection: the physical plant and equipment, usually at transmission-level voltage, that transfers electric energy between two or more entities. It can consist of a substation and an associated transmission line and communications facilities, or a simple electric power line or switching station.

Interconnection Agreement: an agreement between two interconnected utilities that provides for mutual services across interconnections.

Intermediate Generation: facility designed to provide energy, Monday through Friday during the 16 highest demand hours. (See also Baseload Generation, Distributed Generation, Peak Generation.)

Intermittent Generation: generation in which the source of energy is not continuously available due to uncontrollable factors. Wind generation is irregular and unpredictable because of variations in wind speed, just as solar generation depends on sunlight intensity.

Inverter: a device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC); widely used as part of a solar installation.

Investor-owned Utility (IOU): private, for-profit utility company owned by, and generating dividends for, shareholders; regulated by state utility commissions.

Islanding: the condition in which a distributed generator (DG) continues to power a location even though electrical grid power from the electric utility is no longer present. Islanding can be dangerous to utility workers, who may not realize that a circuit is still powered, and it may prevent automatic reconnection of devices. For that reason, distributed generators must detect islanding and immediately stop producing power unless a microgrid application has been developed to allow for safe island-mode operations.

Joint Ventures: programs through which AMP member communities access arrangements that help them accomplish their long-term goal of providing affordable, reliable electricity to local customers. The jointly owned projects are administered through the Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency (OMEGA).

Kilovolt (kV): one thousand volts.

Kilowatt (kW): one thousand watts.

Kilowatt Hour (kWh): one thousand watts used for one hour. For example, it is the amount of electricity needed to light ten 100-watt incandescent light bulbs for a one-hour period.

Landfill Gas Generation: process that uses methane gas, produced by decaying waste in landfills, to generate electricity.

Large Public Power Council (LPPC): a not-for-profit organization comprised of 26 of the nation’s largest public power systems operating in 12 states and the territory of Puerto Rico. LPPC member utilities own and operate more than 71,000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity and over 30,000 circuit miles of high-voltage transmission lines. AMP is an active member of LPPC.

Load Factor: ratio of average energy demand (load) and the maximum demand (peak load) over a period of time.

Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP): the market clearing price for electrical energy at the location the energy is delivered or received from the transmission system. The price is the cost of supplying the next increment of load, taking into account the physical limitations of the transmission system.

Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI): a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to reducing the impact of hydropower generation through the certification of hydropower projects that have committed to environmental, cultural and recreational stewardship, pursuant to LIHI criteria.

Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT): the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments established a program for the control of hazardous air pollutants through the application of this control technology standard. In setting standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) looks at the level of emission controls currently being achieved by the best-performing similar sources. MACT standards are established in National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutant (NESHAP) rules and apply to major sources of hazardous air pollutant emissions. Some NESHAPS apply to minor sources as well.

Megawatt (MW): the practical unit of electric measure equal to one million watts. Generally, one MW is enough power to supply between 750 and 1,000 homes, based on electric usage patterns and weather, for one hour.

Megawatt Hour (MWh): one million watts, or one thousand kW, used for one hour.

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulations for coal- and oil-fired power plants, establishing maximum achievable control technology (MACT) requirements for mercury and air toxics.

Microgrid: a discrete energy system consisting of distributed energy sources (including demand management, storage and generation) and loads capable of operating in parallel with, or independently from, the main power grid.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO): one of two regional transmission organizations operating in the AMP service area, the other being the PJM Interconnection. MISO territory in the AMP service area is primarily in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, although none of AMP’s Kentucky members fall within MISO territory. (See also PJM Interconnection, Regional Transmission Organization.)

Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR): a rule to address generation owner claims that load interests might exercise buyer market power and market behavior that is anti-competitive and, thus, endanger adequate power supplies and risk higher-than-necessary costs for consumers. In theory, the rule prohibits offers below cost from otherwise uneconomic new natural gas-fired generation that could distort the market price signals by artificially lowering the price of capacity.

MMBtu: one million British thermal units (Btu); a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. (See also Heat Rate.)

Municipal Bond: a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures. Municipal bonds are exempt from federal taxes and most state and local taxes. Also called a tax-exempt bond.

Multiple Delivery Points: more than one connection into a utility that provides electric transmission service to a wholesale or retail customer. These connections allow service to be fed to a customer from more than one point and can serve as backups in case of a problem with other delivery points.

Municipal Electric Systems: not-for-profit electric utilities owned by municipalities. This type of utility is operated and governed by the municipality’s legislative authority (i.e., the council/board of public affairs elected by municipal residents).

Municipalization: the process through which a municipality assumes responsibility for supplying the electric utility service to its constituents using city-owned facilities. To supply electricity, the municipality may generate and distribute the power or purchase wholesale power from others and distribute it.

Mutual Aid: a network of municipal electric systems that stands ready to assist fellow municipal systems when local utility emergencies occur that are too widespread to be handled by one system alone.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): federal requirements, established pursuant to the Clean Air Act, that establish emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) produced by such stationary sources as factories, refineries and power plants.

National Hydropower Association (NHA): a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit national association that promotes the growth of clean and affordable hydropower. AMP is an active member of NHA.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit: a permit required for any discharge of a pollutant from a point source into waters of the United States.

Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC): power plants that generate electricity using two methods, the steam cycle and the gas cycle. In the steam cycle, fuel is burned to boil water and create steam, which turns a steam turbine driving a generator. In the gas cycle, gas is burned in a gas turbine that directly turns a generator.

Net Billing Rate: when a customer’s generation avoids retail purchase and any excess is settled at the difference between the retail sales price and the excess energy purchase price. Under this rate design, distributed generators are essentially treated the same as wholesale power producers.

Net Metering: crediting a customer for electricity generated by the customer’s system and sent to the grid rather than used on site. When a customer installs a renewable energy system on a building, the electricity can flow into the utility grid, spinning the existing electrical meter backwards. Net metering allows renewable energy system owners to receive full value for the electricity they produce over a billing cycle without installing costly battery storage.

Network Integration Transmission Service: transmission service that allows a customer to vary its scheduled power and generation source without paying an additional charge for each schedule change. It allows the network customer to integrate, economically dispatch and regulate its current and planned network resources to serve its network load in a manner comparable to that in which each transmission owner uses the system to serve its native load customers.

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS): under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, NSPS refer to the level of emissions (for various pollutants) that a new stationary source may produce. NSPS are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for listed source categories (e.g., type of industry) and type of technology used to control emissions.

New Source Review (NSR): a preconstruction permitting program established to ensure that air quality is not significantly degraded from large increases in air emissions from new and modified factories, industrial boilers and power plants.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOX): pollutants produced from burning fossil fuels and various industrial processes. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is one of the criteria pollutants. NOX reacts with volatile organic compounds to form ground-level ozone.

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC): a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. NERC is subject to oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and governmental authorities in Canada. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards, annually assesses seasonal and long-term reliability, monitors the bulk power system through system awareness, and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): part of the U.S. Department of Labor, this organization is responsible for ensuring safe and healthful working conditions in the workplace by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Off-Peak: period of relatively low system demand. These periods often occur in daily, weekly and seasonal patterns; these off-peak periods differ for each individual electric utility.

Ohio Municipal Electric Association (OMEA): formed in 1962, the association serves as the legislative liaison to AMP and is dedicated to protecting the independence and constitutional rights of Ohio’s municipal electric systems by monitoring legislative processes at state and federal levels and advocating with policy makers.

Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB): the board responsible for reviewing and approving plans for the construction of new energy facilities in Ohio.

On-Bill Financing: refers to a loan made to a utility customer, such as a homeowner or a commercial building owner, the proceeds of which would pay for energy efficiency improvements. Regular monthly loan payments are collected by the utility on the utility bill until the loan is repaid.

On-Peak: periods of relatively high system demand. These periods often occur in daily, weekly and seasonal patterns; these on-peak periods differ for each individual electric utility.

Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT): a tariff approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that states the rules for purchasing and using transmission service as well as the price of the service.

Parallel Flows: refers to the flow of electricity over all paths of least resistance when one utility sends energy to another.

Peak Generation: the maximum/most active period of generation. (See also Baseload Generation, Distributed Generation, Intermediate Generation.)

Peak Shaving: to minimize their electricity bills, customers may elect to lower their load at times of high demand and high costs by lowering their usage or running behind-the-meter generation.

Phantom Loads: an energy draw that continues to use electricity even after an appliance is turned off (e.g., televisions, computers, garage door openers, cell phone chargers, microwaves and stoves with clocks).

Photovoltaic (PV): PV cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV cells are made of semi-conducting materials similar to those used in computer chips. When these materials absorb sunlight, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, enabling the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process of converting light (photons) into electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic effect.

PJM Interconnection: one of two regional transmission organizations operating in the AMP membership area; the other is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). The PJM territory covers all Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia AMP member communities, as well as those communities belonging to AMP member Delaware Municipal Electric Corp., a joint action agency. (See also Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Regional Transmission Organization.)

Planning Authority (PA): the responsible entity that coordinates and integrates transmission facility and service plans, resource plans and protection systems.

“Postage Stamp” Rate: rate for electric transmission that doesn’t vary according to distance from the source of the power supply. The rate’s name is equated with postage stamps because they are also typically sold at a fixed price, regardless of destination.

Power Marketer: an agent or facilitator who acts as an intermediary on behalf of energy producers by finding and selling energy to energy distributors. Marketers may also sell to any entity in the supply chain that is downstream from the producer.

Power Pool: a collection of municipalities that serves the balance of energy needs as a group instead of individually with power that typically comes from short-term purchases or the hourly power markets.

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): a legal contract between two parties on the purchase and sale of power. PPAs are typically tied to output of specific generators and sometimes include renewable energy credits and capacity in addition to energy.

Prairie State Generating Company (PSGC): the operating company overseeing the Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC), which includes a 1,600 megawatt (MW), advanced coal generating station and adjacent Lively Grove coal mine. PSGC’s stated fundamental purpose is “to supply its nine owners with a reliable, low-cost and stable source of electric power produced in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.” Its owners are AMP, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Missouri Public Utility Alliance, Kentucky Municipal Power Agency, Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency, Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, Prairie Power Inc. and Wabash Valley Power Association.

Public Utilities Commission or Public Service Commission: an agency that regulates investor-owned providers of various utility and transportation services. These include for-profit electric and natural gas companies, local and long-distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, and rail and trucking companies. It typically does not regulate municipal systems. Various commissions include the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Michigan Public Service Commission, Kentucky Public Service Commission, Public Service Commission of West Virginia, Virginia State Corporation Commission, Maryland Public Service Commission, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Delaware Public Service Commission.

Pulverized Coal Technology: generation process where the coal is ground (pulverized) to a fine powder. The pulverized coal is blown with part of the combustion air into the boiler plant through a series of burner nozzles. Combustion takes place at temperatures from 2,300 to 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit, depending largely on coal rank. Steam is created, driving a steam turbine and generator, resulting in the production of electricity.

Pumped Storage: a type of hydroelectric power generation that stores and produces electricity by moving water between reservoirs at different elevations. Stored water is released through turbines to produce hydroelectricity during periods of high demand. At times of low demand, excess electrical capacity is used to pump water into the higher reservoir.

Rating Agency: a firm that provides its opinion on the creditworthiness of an entity and the financial obligations (such as bonds, preferred stock and commercial paper) issued by an entity. The three major rating agencies are Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Real-time Pricing: the instantaneous pricing of electricity based on the cost of the electricity available for use at the time the electricity is demanded by the customer.

Regional Transmission Organization (RTO): an organization that is established to control and manage the transmission at high voltage and flows of electricity over an area that is generally larger than the typical investor-owned utility’s transmission system. The organization operates various markets including, but not limited to, energy, capacity and ancillary services.

Reliability: the degree to which the performance of elements of the electric system results in electricity being delivered to customers within accepted standards, and in the amount desired. Reliability may be measured by the frequency, duration and size of adverse effects on the electric supply (or service to customers).

Reliability Coordinator (RC): the entity that is the highest level of authority and is responsible for the reliable operation of the bulk electric system, has the wide area view of the bulk electric system and has the operating tools, processes and procedures, including the authority, to prevent or mitigate emergency operating situations in both next-day analysis and real-time operations. The reliability coordinator has the purview that is broad enough to enable the calculation of interconnection reliability operating limits, which may be based on the operating parameters of transmission systems beyond any transmission operator’s vision.

ReliabilityFirst Corporation (RF): one of eight regional electric reliability councils under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) authority. It is responsible for assessing compliance and enforcing the NERC standards for most of the area in which AMP and its members are located and/or have assets. Not included are southern Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia. (See also North American Electric Reliability Corporation.)

Reliability Pricing Model (RPM): an administrative resource adequacy construct under which PJM procures generation capacity on behalf of the load in the PJM footprint. This is done on a three-year-ahead basis for one-year commitment periods to ensure there is sufficient generation to serve the load in the PJM footprint. (See also PJM Interconnection.)

Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3): an American Public Power Association (APPA) program that recognizes utilities that demonstrate high proficiency in four important disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each of the four RP3 disciplines are based on industry-recognized leading practices.

Renewable Electricity Standard: typically federally established requirements that set minimum levels (by percentage) of renewable generation that must be provided by certain electricity providers.

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC): a financial instrument that represents the value and environmental benefits of producing electricity with hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources. Renewable facilities generate RECs – measured in increments of 1 megawatt hour – as they produce electricity. RECs are purchased to reduce an organization’s environmental footprint or, as in the case of some utilities, to meet state-mandated renewable portfolio standards. Also known as a “renewable energy credit” or “green tag.”

Renewable Generation: generation using any form of energy that is replaced by nature, with or without human assistance. Renewable generation is also typically defined by various states for applicability toward their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements. Common forms include wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, landfill gas and tidal energy.

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): typically state-established requirements that set minimum levels (by percentage) of renewable generation that must be provided by certain electricity providers. Also referred to as Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS).

Resource Efficiency: using fewer physical resources to produce the same product or service. Resource efficiency involves a concern for the use of all physical resources and materials used in the production and use cycle.

Resource Planner (RP): the entity that develops the long-term plan (generally one year and beyond) for the resource adequacy of specific loads (customer demand and energy requirements) within a planning authority area.

Retail Electric Market: the sale of electric power to the end-use customer.

RICE NESHAP: acronym for the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines. The standards limit emissions of hazardous air pollutants from stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.

Run-of-the-River Hydroelectric Generation: uses the power of the river water as it passes through the plant without causing an appreciable change in the river flow. These systems are typically built on dams that impound little water. AMP’s hydroelectric plants are run-of-the-river projects.

Scrubber: an air pollution control device that applies a spray of water or reactant (wet or dry) to remove pollutants from an air stream before they leave the stack. It is known as flue gas desulfurization when used to control sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Self-Generation: a generation facility dedicated to serving a particular retail customer, usually located on the customer’s premises. The facility is owned by the retail customer to provide electricity to meet some, or all, of the customer’s load.

Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA): a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with electric power stakeholders on issues affecting the growth and utilization of smart energy.

Sequestration: a procedure by which across-the-board spending cuts go into effect if Congress fails to agree on a deficit-reducing budget before a specified date.

SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC): one of eight regional electric reliability councils under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) authority. It is responsible for assessing compliance and enforcing the NERC standards for AMP members and assets located in southern Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia (except those located on the Duke Kentucky and AEP transmission system).

Service Area: the geographical area that an electric distribution utility serves. In Ohio, investor-owned electric distribution utilities and rural electric cooperatives generally have certified service territories with boundaries established by statute. However, in Ohio, municipal electric utilities do not have statutory certified service territories.

Smart Grid: the addition of digital technology and communication to utility infrastructure, allowing the utility to remotely monitor and control the electric grid. Throughout the entire electricity infrastructure (generation, transmission and distribution), the use of controls, automation and new technologies enable a digital and immediate response to quickly changing demand. Among the benefits touted are more efficient transmission of electricity, quicker restoration after outages, reduced operations costs, reduced peak demand and improved security.

Smart Meter: in general, a digital electric meter that keeps detailed data on a customer’s electricity usage. Smart meters have remote, two-way communication abilities, enabling the meter to both send and receive information to a utility collection point.

Solar Thermal: a technology that uses thermal energy absorbed by the sun’s radiation (heat) to heat water or another medium, such as oil or special molten salts. This thermal energy contained in the material at high temperature can be used for a range of applications such as heating water in buildings, heating/cooling of buildings and spaces (solar heating systems), or for the generation of electric power.

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule: the SPCC rule provides requirements for oil spill prevention, preparedness and response to prevent oil discharges to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. The rule requires specific facilities with oil storage greater than 1,320 gallons to prepare, amend and implement SPCC Plans. The SPCC rule is part of the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation.

State Implementation Plan (SIP): a document that describes the plans a state has proposed to effect compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). A SIP is required by the federal Clean Air Act.

Substation: facility equipment that switches, changes or regulates electric voltage. Contains any combination of transformers and other equipment needed to ensure the smooth, safe flow of current. Substations are most commonly seen in residential and industrial areas, where one or more high-voltage transmission lines can feed into the station and multiple lower-voltage distribution lines branch out to serve customers in the surrounding area.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2): a criteria pollutant produced by burning fossil fuels, which combines with water vapor to form acid rain.

Supplemental Transmission: a transmission upgrade project(s) originated by the transmission owner that is not required for compliance with any applicable PJM, NERC or individual transmission owner criteria (such as system reliability, operational performance or economic criteria) and is also not a state public policy project.

The Energy Authority (TEA): a public power energy trading and risk management organization that is wholly owned and directed by its public power members. TEA performs short-term trading services, regional transmission organization (RTO) market participation functions, gas hedging, physical gas management and risk management services. AMP is an active member of TEA.

Thermal Energy Storage (TES): a technology that stocks thermal energy by heating or cooling a storage medium so that the stored energy can be used at a later time for heating and cooling applications and power generation. TES systems are used particularly in buildings and industrial processes.

Time-of-use Rates: the pricing of electricity based on its estimated cost during a particular time block. Time-of-use rates are usually divided into three or four time blocks per 24-hour period (on-peak, mid-peak, off-peak and sometimes super off-peak), and by seasons of the year (summer and winter). Real-time pricing differs from time-of-use rates in that it is based on actual (as opposed to forecast) prices that may fluctuate many times a day and are weather sensitive, rather than varying with a fixed schedule.

Transformer: a piece of equipment mounted on a pole or pad that converts electricity from one voltage to another. This conversion may be to a higher voltage for more economical transmission of power over long distances or to a lower voltage for use by the customer.

Transmission Access: refers to the right to use facilities and infrastructure for transporting energy across a high-voltage transmission grid. More specifically, it refers to rights granted to non-owners and non-operators of transmission to deliver energy along transmission lines to wholesale customers.

Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS): an association of transmission-dependent utilities and other supporters of equal, nondiscriminatory access to the nation’s transmission grids. TAPS members are located in 35 states. AMP is an active member of TAPS.

Transmission Loading Relief (TLR): a procedure used by transmission control area security coordinators to curtail energy schedules in an attempt to limit power flow across a transmission system element to avoid exceeding the equipment’s peak operating limits.

Transmission Owner (TO): the entity that owns and maintains transmission facilities.

Transmission Operator (TOP): the entity responsible for the reliability of its “local” transmission system, that operates or directs the operations of the transmission facilities.

Transmission Planner (TP): the entity that develops a long-term plan (generally one year and beyond) for the reliability (adequacy) of the interconnected bulk electric transmission systems within its portion of the planning authority area.

Transmission System: facilities that conduct electricity at higher voltages; used to transmit electricity over long distances. Generally, voltages are 138 kilovolt (kV) or greater. Typically, voltages 38 kV to 138 kV are considered sub-transmission.

Value of Solar Tariff: a measure of electric system attributes such as transmission costs, generation costs, environmental externalities and other inputs, and of how distributed generation affects each, both positively and negatively.

VEIC: A nonprofit organization that designs and implements energy efficiency and clean energy solutions. VEIC manages and implements AMP’s Efficiency Smart program, which promotes the adoption of energy efficiency services by residential, commercial and industrial customers in participating member communities.

Virtual Net Metering: virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering (also called shared renewables) allows utility customers to share the electricity output from a single power project, typically in proportion to their ownership of the shared system.

Volt-ampere: the unit of apparent power in an alternating-current circuit equal to the product of the voltage in volts and the current in amperes with regard to phase.

Wholesale Power Purchases: energy sales made between producers, marketers, brokers, utility companies and select high-volume, end-use customers. The most common form of a wholesale energy transaction made between energy producers or marketers and utility companies that serves the general public.

Wind Farm: a facility that harvests wind energy through a number of wind turbines. Most wind turbines have appearances similar to airplane propellers or windmills. The four-turbine, 7.2-megawatt AMP Wind Farm, owned by OMEGA JV6 near Bowling Green, Ohio, is the first such utility-scale facility in the state.

Wind Turbine: a generator that uses the wind’s energy to generate electricity.