Electric Power news briefs, October 19

San Diego Gas & Electric ... Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Co. ... Consolidated Edison ... TECO Energy ... Reliant Energy Power Generation .... Allete ... AEP Energy Services ... FSD International... Equitable Resources ... Orion Power MidWest ... Arch Coal ... Martin County Coal ... Composite Power ... Pinnacle West Capital Corp. ... Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. ... Cargill ... St. Joseph Light & Power ... Public Service Co. of New Mexico ... Calpine ... Allegheny Energy


San Diego Gas & Electric Co.(SDG&E), a Sempra Energy unit, said it is projecting that the average monthly natural gas bill this winter for a typical residential customer could increase about $17, to $56 from $39. The company said the projection is based on the national increase in wholesale natural gas prices, which have doubled this year. In addition, it said, the unusually high demand this summer, due in part to increased demand for electricity, has resulted in lower-than-expected gas storage levels nationwide.

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. said it approved Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Co., Grantsburg, Wis., as a member, bringing to 17 the number of transmission-owning members in the independent system operator. Northwestern Wisconsin Electric serves about 11,500 retail customers in Burnett and Polk counties.

Consolidated Edison Inc. reported net income of $279.9 million or $1.32/share for the quarter Sept. 30, 2000, down from net income of $336.0 million or $1.50/share for the third quarter of 1999. Earnings for the third quarter of 2000 include a charge of about 8�/share, representing the impact of replacement power costs for the Indian Point 2 nuclear generating station that were not recovered from customers, the company said. A final determination as to the company's ability to recover replacement power costs will be made by the New York Public Service Commission as part of a review it is conducting of the current outage at the plant.

TECO Energy Inc. reported earnings of 65�/share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, up 20% from 54�/share from continuing operations in the comparable 1999 quarter. Net income for the Sept. 30, 2000, quarter was $82.0 million, 14% higher than the $72 million recorded before charges in the 1999 period. The company attributed the increase to strong customer growth and increased usage in Florida, new domestic power generation projects, and good results at TECO Transport.

Reliant Energy Power Generation Inc., a unit of Reliant Energy's Wholesale Group, said it plans to build a combined cycle natural gas-fired 500 Mw plant outside Las Vegas, Reliant's second merchant power generation plant in Nevada. Reliant Energy Inc. and a partner jointly own and operate El Dorado energy, a 480 Mw facility, southeast of Las Vegas. The newest plant�Reliant Energy Arrow Canyon�will be located on land owned by Republic Services of Southern Nevada Inc.

Allete reported net income of $35 million or 50�/share on revenues of $323.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $34.5 million or 50�/share on revenue of $308 million a year ago. In energy services, sales to industrial, commercial and residential customers were up 13% and exceeded record levels that were achieved in 1999. Net income, however, declined by $7.2 million due in large part to a lack of demand in the region's power market as a result of more moderate summer weather. Transmission constraints were also a factor.

AEP Energy Services Ltd., a unit of American Electric Power Co. Inc, has licensed FSD International Ltd's Contango Suite for energy trading and risk management needs. AEP Energy Services Ltd, will use Contango for power and gas trading in the European market.

The state of Rhode Island has awarded Noresco, a subsidiary of Equitable Resources Inc., Pittsburgh, a $27.5 million energy infrastructure contract. Under the Rhode Island contract, Noresco will build a new power and steam facility to serve the Howard Center in Cranston, RI. In a second transaction, the University of Massachusetts-Boston awarded Noresco a $13 million contract to install a variety of energy efficiency measures, including upgraded lighting and energy efficient motors, and conversion of the existing electric heating system to a natural gas system.

Equitable Resources Inc. and Orion Power MidWest LP, a unit Orion Power Holdings Inc., reported an agreement to upgrade and expand Orion's natural gas distribution system to its MidWest's Brunot Island power plant. Orion Power is reactivating its combined cycle capability and is converting simple cycle oil-fired units to natural gas. Orion Power expects the conversion to natural gas to be completed by May 2001 and the reactivation to be completed by mid-2002. An Equitable unit will install 24,600 ft of 16-in. steel distribution pipe and upgrade four district regulator stations. Upon project completion, Orion Power will enter into a 10-year transportation agreement with Equitable to transport up to 100,000 dekatherms/day of natural gas to the site.

Arch Coal Inc. said it had a net loss of $5.2 million, or 14�/share for its third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a net loss of $1.8 million, or 5�/share in the same quarter of last year. Revenues for the 2000 third quarter totaled $359.3 million and coal sales totaled 26.8 million tonnes, compared to $382.2 million and 28.million tonnes in the third quarter of 1999. Arch CEO Steven F. Leer said the third quarter did not reflect improved prices since nearly all its 2000 production was already committed for the year.

Martin County Coal Corp., a unit of Richmond, Virginia-based A. T. Massey Coal Co. Inc. said it has been working continuously to contain sediment released into Wolf Creek and Coldwater Ford, near Inez, Ky., after an underground mine collapsed adjacent to Martin County Coal's refuse impoundment. Released material flowed from the affected watersheds into the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, and some local communities have closed intakes to public water supplies. The company said it and its insurance carriers have retained clean up specialists to coordinate containment and remediation efforts. The company has pollution insurance policies in effect. Massey Coal Co is a subsidiary of Fluor Corp.

Composite Power Corp. said it has acquired an ownership interest in leases of over 30,000 acres of coal reserves located in Utah and an ownership interest in leases of over 25,000 acres of gas and oil reserves in the same geographic location. The acquisition of these energy reserves accelerates the company's plans to develop and license a merchant power park for electrical power generation, it said.

Pinnacle West Capital Corp. reported consolidated income from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30 of $116.0 million or $1.37/share, down from $125.6 million or $1.48/share for the same period in 1999. Arizona Public Service, its wholly owned subsidiary, reported earnings for the third quarter of $124.2 million, down from $129.5 million before an extraordinary charge in the comparable 1999 period. CEO Bill Post said the volatile market, including record bulk power prices, resulted in a sharp increase in the company's fuel and purchased power costs, which the company mitigated with ongoing risk management activities.

Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. said repowering of the East River Waterside generating station will reduce by three-fourths emissions from the old power plant. The company said it is proposed further improvements at the East River complex that will reduce total emissions by 8%.

Cargill Inc. said it has begun using EnergyGateway.com's customizable e-commerce energy transaction platform for online purchases of natural gas for a variety of Cargill facilities. EnergyGateway.com involves purchasing approximately $55 million in natural gas supplies, and could extend to electricity needs in the future, the company said. Cargill's total annual consumption of natural gas and electricity exceeds $500 million.

Calpine Corp. reported has completed the previously announced acquisition of Northbrook, Ill.-based SkyGen Energy from Michael Polsky and from Wisvest Corp., a Wisconsin Energy Corp. affiliate, for $450 million, plus the assumption of certain obligations of SkyGen Energy. As a result of the acquisition, Calpine said it has added to its portfolio 3 operating facilities, 5 projects under construction, 10 late-stage development facilities, and 16 project development opportunities.

St. Joseph Light & Power Co. (SJLP) reported net income of $6.3 million or 76�/share on revenues of $33.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from net income of $5.4 million or 65�/share on revenue of $32.4 million in the third quarter of 1999. During the quarter, SJLP Inc. sold its interests in two companies�ExOp of Missouri and Percy Kent Bag Co. The net gain from these transactions added 38�/share share to net income. Retail sales from electric operations increased 6% for the quarter due to warmer than normal weather.

PNM, Public Service Co. of New Mexico reported net earnings of $46.9 million on operating revenues of $499.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, up from $21.4 million, on revenues of $340.6 million in the third quarter 1999. Per share earnings were 97�(diluted) for the three months ended Sept.30, compared to 1999's third quarter earnings of 52�/share. One-time gains and charges recorded during the third quarter added a net of 21�/share to earnings for the latest quarter, for a total of $1.18/share (diluted). There were no one-time items recorded during the comparable quarter of 1999.

Allegheny Energy Inc. said its unregulated generation subsidiary, Allegheny Energy Supply Co. LLC, plans to construct a $540 million combined cycle 1,080 Mw natural gas-fired merchant generating facility in La Paz County, Ariz. Construction is expected to begin in 2002 and be completed 2005. Allegheny said the facility will allow it to sell power into Arizona and other states served by the Western System Power Pool.

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