Electric Power news briefs, November 1

CP&L Energy ... Cinergy Global Power ... Shell Gas BV ... Semco Energy ... Conectiv ... Silicon Energy Corp. ... EPS Solutions Inc. ... Alstom ... Washington Gas Light Co. ... Sierra Pacific Resources ... Portland General Electric Co. ... Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. ... Southwestern Energy Co. ... University of Texas Houston Health Science Center ... Applied Power Corp. ... Reliant Services LLC ... Miller Pipeline Corp. ... DukeSolutions ... Waste Management Inc. ... Enron Japan Corp.


CP&L Energy Inc. said it has taken an option to purchase a site in Effingham County, Ga., where the company is considering building a $200 million, 525 Mw gas-fired peaking plant, its second power plant in the state. The company said construction is subject to acquisition of permits and sufficient infrastructure, among other issues. Current plans are for construction to begin during the summer of 2001, with the plant becoming available for commercial operation in June 2002. In a second phase, CP&L said the peaking generators will be converted to combined-cycle operation in June 2003.

The Greek government has awarded a 30-year franchise for the development and operation of the natural gas system in Greece's Attiki region to a consortium formed by Cinergy Global Power Inc., a unit of Cinergy Corp., and Shell Gas BV, a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the companies reported. The consortium will own 49% of the new gas company EPA Attiki, while the Greek government will retain 51%. Cinergy and Shell will have day-to-day management control of the business. The new company will expand the existing gas distribution system in the Athens area. The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2001.

Semco Energy Inc. reported a net loss of $4.7 million or 26�/share on revenue of $70.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to a net loss of $2.2 million or 12�/share on revenue of $40 million for the third quarter of 1999. Semco said losses during the third quarter are typical due to the seasonal nature of its natural gas distribution business. It said higher loss during the third quarter of 2000 was primarily due to higher trust preferred dividends and interest expense related to the financing of the November 1999 acquisition of Enstar, partially offset by an overall increase in operating income.

Conectiv said the company has begun construction of its Hay Road 550 Mw combined cycle power plant near Wilmington, Del., the first in a series of such peaking plants the plans to build in the mid-Atlantic region as part of its "mid-merit" generation strategy. Operation of 330 Mw is expected to begin in 2001 with the balance coming online in 2002, Conectiv said. The company said it plans to add up to 4,000 Mw of the fuel-flexible, plants by 2004 and expects to optimize the value of these generation assets through its energy trading group.

Silicon Energy Corp., Alameda, Calif., said it has acquired EPS Solutions Inc. (EPS), Excelsior, Minn., an energy rate software and information company. Through its rate engine software and rate services, EPS Solutions currently provides energy rate information and analysis capabilities to Silicon Energy's EEM SuiteCost Analyst module. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad has awarded France's Alstom a $115 million (US) contract to extend the Chicoasen hydropower plant near Tuxtla Gutierrez in Mexico, Alstom reported. Alstom will supply three 310 Mw turbines and generators, the complete electrical and mechanical balance of plant, the hydromechanical equipment, and the plant's control and monitoring system. Alstom will also be responsible for secondary civil works, erection, and commissioning. Site work is scheduled to begin in early 2001 and the plant is scheduled to enter commercial operation in April 2004.

Washington Gas Light Co. said it purchased a 5-year weather insurance policy. Beginning Oct. 1, 2000, the policy has the potential to pay annual benefits covering one-half of the company's net revenue exposure for each heating degree day that weather is warmer than its budget for normal. CEO James H. DeGraffenreidt Jr. said extensive simulation analysis indicates that the annual net cost of the insurance policy (premiums paid minus benefits received) should average about $415,000 after income taxes over the 5-year period.

Sierra Pacific Resources said it received approval from the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC). to acquire Portland General Electric Co. (PGE). The commission approved a Sept. 1 settlement agreement, saying that the transaction was in the public interest. The acquisition is still subject to US Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval.

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. reported net earnings of $3.1 million or 10�/share on revenue of $12.2 million for the 9 months ended Sept. 30, 2000, up from net earnings of $600,000 or 2�/share on revenue of $6.1 million in the same period a year ago. Electricity generation increased 60% to 181 million kw-hr compared to 113 million kw-hr for the first nine months of 1999. The company attributed improved results to the startup of the newly constructed 12.7 Mw Taylor hydroelectric plant and the commissioning by subsidiary Canadian Gas & Electric's 6 Mw Drywood plant.

Southwestern Energy Co. reported a net loss of $800,000 or 3�/share on revenue of $75.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30,2000, compared to a net loss of $1.9 million, or 8�/share on revenue of $60.4 million during the same period in 1999. Third quarter 2000 results include an extraordinary charge of $2 million related to litigation against the company. CEO Harold M. Korell said the company is experiencing a record year in reserve replacement and expects continued positive results in the fourth quarter as well.

The University of Texas Houston Health Science Center and Applied Power Corp., a subsidiary of IdaCorp Inc., reported the completion of a building-integrated photovoltaic (PV) awning that will generate 10,000 kw-hr/year of electricity and offset an air conditioning load of about 2,600 kw-hr, they reported. The photovoltaic power system consists of 28 SunSine AC modules, with an overall rating of 7 kw. The SunSine AC module combines a glass lamination of solar cells and power electronics to produce power from sunlight. This PV system installation was supported in part by funding from the US Department of Energy.

Reliant Services LLC, jointly and equally owned by subsidiaries of Cinergy Corp. and Vectren Corp. said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase Miller Pipeline Corp. from NiSource Inc. for about $68.3 million. The acquisition is expected to add to earnings for Vectren in its first year of operation, executives said. The acquisition is subject to approval by the US Department of Justice. Separately, Vectren reported it has completed the acquisition of the natural gas assets from The Dayton Power and Light Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of DPL Inc.

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. (MISO) said it is disappointed to learn of Exelon Corp. unit Commonwealth Edison's intent to withdraw from the organization to become a member of the Alliance Regional Transmission Organization. MISO said it will review the implications of what such a withdrawal would have on the reliability of the electric transmission system in the Midwest, noting the withdrawal cannot take effect without Federal Energy Regulatory Commission review of the merits of this action and a finding of whether or not it is in the public interest.

Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline Inc. (KMTP), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc., and Calpine Corp. reported they have entered into a 10-year natural gas transportation and storage agreement under which KMTP will become the primary natural gas transporter for Calpine in the Texas Gulf Coast and Houston ship channel markets. Calpine will have access to up to 375,000 MMbtu/day of firm natural gas transportation service beginning Jan. 1, 2001.

DukeSolutions, a unit of Duke Energy Corp., reported it has reached an agreement to acquire eight cogeneration and renewable energy facilities in California, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Florida with total electric power generating capacity of 244 Mw from a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. DukeSolutions said it will invest about $100 million in the facilities, including purchase price and planned improvements. Expected revenues over the next 15 years could exceed $1 billion.

Enron Corp. said its new Enron Japan Corp. subsidiary will offer eligible electricity consumers 3-5-year contracts that will reduce electricity bills up to 10% in the first year, with the potential for additional savings in succeeding years. Chairman Ken Lay said the company is pursuing opportunities in Japan's energy, commodity, and financial sectors, with an initial focus on risk management, multicommodity market making, and merchant asset development.

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