Electric Power news briefs, August 21

American Transmission Co. LLC ... Wisconsin Electric Power Co. ... Wisconsin Public Service Resources Corp. ... Madison Gas & Electric Co. ... Alliant-Wisconsin Power & Light ... Wisconsin Public Power Inc. ... Compagnie Parisienne de Chauffage Urbain ... Cogetherm ... GE Power Systems ... Electricite de France ... Cinergy Corp. ... Capstone Turbine Corp. ... Centrica PLC ... Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. ... Sempra Energy

In a joint application, American Transmission Co. LLC and five utility companies are seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for ATC's certification as an electric transmission company and to transfer the electric transmission systems from the five contributing utility companies to ATC by Jan. 1, 2001. Included in the transfer application are transmission assets currently owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Co., Wisconsin Public Service Resources Corp., Madison Gas & Electric Co., and Alliant-Wisconsin Power & Light. Wisconsin Public Power Inc. is contributing cash to the new company in lieu of transmission assets. The poles, wires, substations, and other transmission facilities transferred have a book value in excess of $545 million.

Calpine Corp. said it has acquired from GATX Capital Corp. the remaining 80% interest in the Agnews cogeneration facility, a 29 Mw natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility in San Jose, Calif. that it does not already own. Calpine first acquired a 20% equity interest in the Agnews facility in 1990. The plant currently sells an average of 28 Mw of electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and 1 Mw to the state of California's Agnews Developmental Center.

A joint venture formed by Compagnie Parisienne de Chauffage Urbain (CPCU), a local utility, and Cogetherm of Paris has signed a $23 million contract with GE Power Systems (GE) to supply a gas turbine generator for a new, 100 Mw cogeneration plant at Vitry sur Seine, France, GE reported. It will produce both electricity for Electricite de France and 400 tons/hour of steam for CPCU's district heating system. The gas turbine will be equipped with a GE Dry Low NOx combustion system to limit NOx emissions to 25 ppm.

Cinergy Corp. has ordered 52 units microturnbine systems for Capstone Turbine Corp. The order is part of Cinergy's new distribution agreement as one of Capstone Turbine's US energy service providers, Capstone said. Cinergy Corp. CEO James Rogers said the company's short-term plans are to deploy the systems for customers that have an immediate need for small capacity additions, high power quality, and high reliability. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Centrica PLC, Slough, UK, said it acquired Canada's Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. marking the first major step in the roll-out of its international development strategy. The transaction, which includes the purchase of Direct Energy's primary marketing agent, Natural Gas Wholesalers, received the approval of unit holders Friday. The total consideration, including assumption of debt, is $912 million (Can.). Direct Energy is the largest unregulated retailer of natural gas in North America, with approximately 820,000 gas customers. In addition, it owns natural gas reserves in Alberta, which provide up to 20% of its customer demand. Direct Energy also has a 27.5% interest in Energy America LLC, a joint venture with Sempra Energy.

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