Electric Power news briefs, August 18

Deere & Co. ... TXU Energy Services ... PPL EnergyPlus ... Delaware Valley College ... Constellation Power Source ... Holland Energy LLC ... El Paso Energy Corp. ... Enerplus Group ... US General Services Administration ... Pepco Energy Services Inc.. ... Applied Power Corp. ... Edison Mission Energy ... CBK Power Co. Ltd. ... CMS Energy Corp. ... Essential.com Inc. ... Duke Energy International ... Electric Power Research Institute ... DCH Technology Inc. ... Agip SPA

Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. has contracted with TXU Energy Services to provide gas, electric, and risk management services and develop energy-efficiency improvement projects at John Deere's North American operations under a 5-year, $300 million contract, TXU reported. The contract includes more than 80 facilities in the US, Mexico, and Canada. TXU Energy Services, a unit of Dallas-based TXU Corp., began providing natural gas and fuel oil supplies to John Deere on June 1. Electric service will be phased in over time. TXU Energy said it expects to save John Deere $10 million in energy procurement costs over the contract period.

Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, Pa., has signed an energy services agreement with PPL Corp. unit PPL EnergyPlus that is expected to save the school nearly $2 million over the next 10 years, PPL reported. The agreement is intended to help the college reduce energy use and maintain mechanical systems, such as heating and air conditioning, in campus buildings. Through a financing tool known as "energy performance contracting," the cost of the improvements is paid through savings on the college's energy bills. PPL EnergyPlus said savings will continue after the college has fully recovered the cost of the improvements.

Constellation Power Source, Baltimore, said an affiliate, Holland Energy LLC, will build a $250 million natural gas-fired 650 Mw power plant energy in Holland Township, Ill. Constellation Power Source said it will use the output to meet energy needs in the wholesale power market. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in August and to begin producing electricity in June 2002.

El Paso Energy Corp. reported it has formed a strategic affiliation with the Enerplus Group through the purchase of the Enerplus companies responsible for the management of various public and private oil and gas funds. Enerplus is Canada's oldest and largest manager of public and private oil and gas income funds, including the EnerMark Income Fund, the Enerplus Resources Fund, and several private pension resource corporations, with assets under management exceeding $1.0 billion. The acquisition will be made by a newly formed company that is a subsidiary of EnCap Investments LLC., acquired by El Paso Energy in March 1999.

The US General Services Administration (GSA) has selected Pepco Energy Services Inc., in partnership with Applied Power Corp., to construct one of the largest photovoltaic arrays in the country utilizing amorphous silicon technology. Pepco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Potomac Electric Power Co. will serve as the general contractor and project manager of the system, while Applied Power Corp. will design, build, and install the equipment at the Suitland Federal Center, Suitland, Md. The system is expected to begin producing power later this year. The photovoltaic power system will consist of an array of 2,800 modules that will convert sunlight into 100 kw of electric power. The solar-generated electricity will provide power for the central cooling plant at Suitland.

Edison Mission Energy (EME), an Edison International company, reported that, in partnership with IMPSA Energy of Argentina, it has obtained financing for the $460 million CBK rehabilitation and expansion project in Laguna province, the Philippines. EME and IMPSA are 50-50 partners in CBK Power Co. Ltd., which will rehabilitate, build, and operate three hydroelectric plants, including a large pumped storage facility. The financing consists of long-term loans for $340 million and equity contributions from IMPSA and EME totaling $120 million.

CMS Energy Corp. said it successful priced $220 million of 7.25% convertible trust preferred securities, also called Premium Equity Participating Security Units. Each security consists of a preferred security from an affiliated trust maturing in 4 years and a contract requiring the purchase of CMS Energy common stock in 3 years at a conversion premium of 15% which adjusts for the market price at the time of conversion. Proceeds from the offering will be used to redeem CMS' $250 million RHINOS trust preferred securities. This transaction is scheduled to close Aug. 22, 2000.

Essential.com Inc. said it has received licensing approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to supply electricity to small businesses and households. Essential.com provides a one-stop marketplace for services such as energy, phone, and internet access. Essential.com said it hoped to provide the small businesses and households of Maryland with a competitive electricity choice some time in the future.

Duke Energy International, a unit of Duke Energy Corp. said it has the completed the $297 million Eastern Gas pipeline. The 497-mile pipeline will supply Victoria and New South Wales with initial natural gas capacity of 172 MMcfd. Plans are to increase the capacity on the pipeline to 272 MMcfd by 2005, Duke said. Completion of the pipeline The current market for natural gas in Victoria and New South Wales is roughly 720 MMcfd or roughly 44% of the 1,644 MMcfd Australian gas market, the company said.. Natural gas is Australia's the fastest growing fuel source. The power market for Victoria and New South Wales accounts for roughly 60% of the country�s 19,000 Mw of average hourly load.

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) PEAC Corp. has purchased a power quality system from Enable Fuel Cells Corp., a unit of DCH Technology Inc., and maker of hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen-specific safety and measurement equipment, DCH reported. Enable worked with EPRI PEAC to develop the unit, which offers utilities the ability to adjust quickly to varying load conditions, including rapid response to grid drop-on the order of 75 microseconds. It consumes hydrogen, tap water, and air to produce 3 kw of electrical power, delivered to either a 200 VDC load, 400 VDC load, or 208 VAC line or load. Enable said the proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology of the system's fuel cell minimizes parasitic energy consumption. The two organizations will continue to test the system over the next several months. Simultaneously, they will develop a similar power quality system that can use natural gas as the feeder fuel for hydrogen production, Enable reported.

NIGERIA�The Nigerian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Italian oil giant Agip SPA to build and operate a 450 Mw power plant to boost the country's electricity supply. The Agip memorandum clears the way for it to interconnect with state power monopoly National Electric Power Authority's distribution grid. Power and Steel Minister Segun Agagu said the plant, which will cost $240 million, will be built in the Niger delta town of Kwale near an Agip gas plant and will be completed within 30 months. In June, the Nigerian government signed a revised agreement with US energy group Enron to provide emergency power supply to the commercial capital Lagos. Nigeria has also entered into agreement with ExxonMobil to build a 35 Mw thermal power plant.

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