Electric Power news briefs, December 5

ScottishPower PLC ... PSEG Waterford Energy LLC ... American Transmission System Inc. ... New York Mercantile Exchange ... Detroit Edison Co. ... Intergraph Corp. ... Virginia Natural Gas Co. ... AGL Energy Services ... Progress Energy Inc. ... First Choice Power Inc. ... TNP Enterprises Inc. ... Koch Gateway Pipeline Co. ... Bay Gas Storage Company Ltd. ... PPL Corp. ... Northwest Power Enterprises Inc. ... Pinnacle West Capital Corp. ... Nevada Power Co. ... Edison Mission Energy ...SolArc


Following the failure of a 430 Mw generation unit at its Hunter, Utah, power plant Nov. 24 , ScottishPower PLC, UK, said it expects the generation unit to be out of service for 4 to 6 months while repairs are completed. Given the current exceptional conditions of the Californian and western US power markets, ScottishPower estimates a net cost impact of about $1 million/day at last week's power market prices. ScottishPower said it will seek recovery of these costs through the regulatory process. For the balance of December, Northwest power prices are selling for $650/Mw-hr. January prices are at $575/Mw-hr.

Separately, ScottishPower said its subsidiary, PacifiCorp, has asked state regulators to approve a legal and regulatory realignment of the company. In filings in five of the six western states that form PacifiCorp's service territory, PacifiCorp proposed the creation of individual state electric companies, a generation company, and a service company. They would be owned by a nonoperating US holding company and remain part of the ScottishPower group. Under a separate filing submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PacifiCorp's transmission will be controlled by a regional transmission organization, RTO West, although PacifiCorp will retain ownership of its existing transmission assets.

The Ohio Power Siting Board approved an application by PSEG Waterford Energy LLC, an indirect subsidiary of New Jersey based Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., to build a $331 million 850 Mw combined cycle electric generating plant in Washington County, Ohio. Natural gas will be delivered to the facility through an existing pipeline. In an unrelated action, the board also approved an application by American Transmission System Inc. (ATSI), a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., to construct 12.5 miles of 138 kv single circuit electric transmission line and associated switching equipment in Portage County, Ohio. The transmission line, which will follow existing right-of-way, will provide service from an existing electric substation near Ravenna, Ohio, to a new distribution substation in Streetsboro, Ohio.

For the fourth time in less than a month, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) raised the margin on the Henry Hub natural gas contract. Starting Monday, NYMEX raised the margins to $10,00 from $7,500 for clearing members; to $11,000 from $8,250 for members; and to $13,500 from $10,125 for customers.

Detroit Edison Co., a unit of DTE Energy Co., has purchased Intergraph Corp.'s InService outage management, emergency dispatch, and mobile data solutions to automate trouble analysis and increase service reliability, the software company reported. The initial project includes software and implementation services to support more than 30 dispatchers as well as mobile computing for 200 crews and leaders. InService is intended to help Detroit Edison manage day-to-day network operations more efficiently and reduce restoration time during power outages.

In a state first, the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved an application by Virginia Natural Gas Co. (VNG) and AGL Energy Services (AGLES) for AGLES to provide energy services to VNG for its 230,000 Virginia customers. The agreement will allow AGLES to buy and sell natural gas, manage VNG's interstate pipeline transportation and storage contracted assets, and two propane air plants. AGLES would be contractually accountable to VNG for maintaining service reliability. Under the order, AGLES and VNG would share revenues realized from these services. Customers' benefits would show up as credits through the purchased gas adjustment.

CP&L Energy has renamed itself Progress Energy Inc. While the names of the electric utility subsidiaries CP&L and Florida Power will not change, they will carry the endorsement and the new graphic look of Progress Energy. CP&L completed its acquisition of Florida Progress Corp. Nov. 30.

First Choice Power Inc., a unit of TNP Enterprises Inc., filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to become a retail energy provider. Registration is needed to allow the company to compete when the Texas electric market opens to competition on a partial basis in June 2001 and on a statewide basis in 2002. Signups for the pilot programs are slated to begin in February 2001. After Jan. 1, 2002, TNP utility subsidiary Texas-New Mexico Power Co. will continue to deliver power to the customers it currently serves, but those customers can choose which retail energy provider they want to purchase power from. The delivery of power will be regulated, but power sales and service will be unregulated.

Koch Gateway Pipeline Co. has signed a multiyear agreement with Bay Gas Storage Company Ltd., a subsidiary of EnergySouth Inc., to transport gas through Bay Gas's 18-mile, 24-in. diameter pipeline now under construction, Bay State reported. Under the contract Bay Gas will provide firm transportation of 44,500 MMbtu/day of gas. Bay Gas will transport gas between an interconnect at Koch Gateway Pipeline's 30-in. interstate pipeline west of Mobile, in Whistler, Ala. to Bay Gas' existing pipeline system in Axis, Ala. The Bay Gas and Koch Gateway agreement comes at a time when the Gulf Coast is experiencing a surge in construction of natural gas-powered electric generating plants.

PPL Corp. said its development subsidiary PPL Global has signed an agreement to purchase Starbuck Power Co. LLC, from Northwest Power Enterprises Inc., transferring the ownership and development rights for a 1,200 Mw gas- fired, combined cycle power plant to be built in Starbuck in eastern Washington. The facility is expected to be in service as early as 2004. PPL Global is also developing a 600 Mw gas- fired plant in Pinal County, Ariz., which will operate during times of intermediate and high demand for electricity.

Pinnacle West Energy, a unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., said it bought the 72 Mw Harry Allen power station from Nevada Power Co., a unit of Sierra Pacific Resources. The sale price of the generating plant was $69.81 million, subject to adjustments at closing. In conjunction with the purchase, Nevada Power Co. negotiated the right to buy energy and ancillary services from Pinnacle West Energy for about $4.61 million based on the time of closing. This will result in a net price for the generating plant upon closing of $65.2 million. The sale is expected to close in mid-2001.

Edison Mission Energy Global Management Inc., a special purpose subsidiary of Edison Mission Energy (EME), said a special meeting of its stockholders has been scheduled Dec. 15 to approve a plan of dissolution and liquidation of the company. Global Management sold $120 million of its Flexible Money Market Cumulative Preferred Stock to institutional investors in May, 1999. If the plan is approved by stockholders and the company is liquidated, holders of the 1,200 outstanding shares of preferred stock will receive consideration which will include an additional liquidation premium of $3,875 per share and accrued dividends to and including Dec. 20, 2000.

Reliant Energy Inc. has signed a multimillion contract with CES International to deploy its Centricity operations resource management (ORM) system to help Reliant's Energy Houston Lighting & Power improve service, CES reported. The system includes an outage management solution and modules supporting enhanced network reliability and customer service, including switching management, crew management, customer service reporting, power flow, and storm management.

Guardian Pipeline said it has ordered five engine compressor packages totaling 22,225 hp from Compressor Systems Inc. Under the agreement, CSI will fabricate the engine compressor packages at its Midland, Tex., in support of delivery during construction of Guardian's compressor station in 2002. Combined, the units will be capable of delivering up to 750 MMcfd of gas. Guardian has firm precedent agreements with Wisconsin Gas and others to transport over 660 MMcfd. A final Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision on the Guardian Pipeline is expected by early 2001. Guardian Pipeline is a partnership among CMS Energy Corp., Dearborn, Mich.; WICOR Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.; and Viking Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc., St. Paul, Minn.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) and FuelCell Energy Inc. have negotiated a contract for two additional fuel cell power plants to be installed in the Los Angeles area by DWP for $2.45 million. The first 250 kw Direct FuelCell power plant is to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2001 and the second in the first quarter of 2002. A previously ordered 250 kw fuel cell power plant is to be installed at the DWP headquarters in the second quarter of 2001. DWP will fund the new project under its public benefits program authorized by California's utility deregulation act of 1996.

SolArc Inc. has introduced SolArc i.Link., an information exchange system which allows energy commodity trading partners and independent online exchanges a direct, real-time interface to share transaction data from the trading and movement of crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids, and coal. A single connection to SolArc i.Link creates back-end integration among participating online exchanges and trading companies regardless of legacy and back-end systems, the company said. SolArc i.Link has been beta tested between Texaco Inc., Dynegy Inc., Williams, Altrade and RailTrac, sharing enterprise-to-enterprise data for the sale and movement of natural gas liquids.

More in Companies