Electric Power news briefs, September 8

Entergy Corp. ... TLG Services Inc. ... Alliance Pipeline LP ... Xcelecom, Inc. ... Sierra Pacific Resources ... UIL Holdings Corp. ... Johnson Electric Co. Inc. ... TenderLand Power Co. ... NRG Energy Inc. ... San Diego Gas & Electric Co. ... California Public Utilities Commission


Entergy Corp. said it has agreed to buy TLG Services Inc., Bridgewater, Conn., for an undisclosed amount in a deal that will make Entergy one of the top companies in decommissioning in the US nuclear industry, the two companies reported. Entergy Nuclear CEO Jerry Yelverton said TLG Services's expertise will reduce the decommissioning risk, a potentially significant liability, at Entergy Nuclear's existing nuclear plants and additional plants it buys as Entergy pursues its strategy of acquiring more nuclear generation. TLG Services has performed decommissioning work for 85% of the commercial nuclear plants in the US, all nuclear plants in Canada, and some facilities overseas.

Alliance Pipeline LP said the first shipments of natural gas moved on its line from northeastern British Colombia to the Chicago market Thursday. Small volumes of 50-100 MMcfd were being shipped as part of the testing and commissioning process for the line, which will have capacity of 1.3 bcf/day of gas. The Alliance line is scheduled to officially open Oct. 2.

Xcelecom, Inc., a unit of UIL Holdings Corp. said it has acquired Johnson Electric Co. Inc., an electrical contracting company based in Stratford, Conn. The acquisition will add approximately $12 million to Xcelecom's annual revenues and will immediately add to earnings, UIL Holdings said. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sierra Pacific Resources reported it will sell its water business serving about 71,000 customers in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area of Nevada as part of its long-term strategy to focus on and develop its core electric and gas businesses in the western US. The company said the water business has a book value of about $260 million and the number of retail customers served has increased by an average of 2.5%/year for the past 5 years. Lehman Brothers has been retained as financial advisors on the transaction.

TenderLand Power Co.,Truckee, Calif., said it is raising the number of San Diego customers eligible for its 8�/kw-hr flat rate electric generation charge plan to 80,000 from 60,000. Once the 80,000 customer limit is reached, TenderLand will place those customers wishing to be enrolled in the flat rate plan on a waiting list pending the securing of additional near-term renewable power, the company said. The 8� flat rate is guaranteed for 1 year, beginning Oct.1, and the plan will remain in place for 5 years with the rate being set in advance for each year of the plan.

NRG Energy Inc. said it priced a $350 million offering of 8.25% senior notes due 2010. The 10-year note offering, lead managed by Banc of America Securities LLC and SalomonSmithBarney, and comanaged by Merrill Lynch & Co., was priced at 99.703 to yield 8.294%. Standard & Poor's Rating Group rated the senior notes BBB- and Moody's Investors Services Inc. assigned them a Baa3 rating. The company said the proceeds will be used to repay short-term indebtedness incurred to fund acquisitions and for investments and other general corporate purposes.

The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered an investigation into the "prudence and reasonableness" of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s wholesale energy purchases, coinciding with legislation signed into law by California Gov. Gray Davis, that caps rates for the Sempra Energy unit's residential and small business customers. The San Diego utility has been criticized for failing to hedge electric power purchases in the forward market and exposing its customers to higher spot market prices.

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