Electric Power news briefs, December 18

Emera ... Bangor Hydro-Electric ... Wisconsin Electric Power ... Questar Pipeline ... Calpine ... Energy Management Inc. ... PG&E Corp. ... Dominion ... Chesapeake Utilities Corp. ... Southern Energy ... Pegasus Technologies Inc. ... KFx Inc. ... ABB Centrum Automatyki Ltd. ... Conoco ... and Sonatrach ... Tennessee Gas Pipeline ... PECO Energy ... OGE Energy Corp. ... DTE Energy ... Reliant Energy Solutions ... Consumers Energy ... BayCorp Holdings ... Invensys Building Systems ... Capstone

The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved Emera Inc.'s proposed $205 million acquisition of Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. Regulatory approvals still pending include the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The processes for all necessary regulatory approvals are expected to be complete in the first half of 2001.

Wisconsin Electric Power Co., a unit of Wisconsin Energy Corp., issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 400 Mw of electric generation to be available in May, 2003 for up to 10 years . This competitive bid process will help provide the 1,000 Mw Wisconsin Energy projects it will need from outside suppliers by 2010. Notice of intent to propose is due Jan. 16, 2001, with proposals due Feb. 8, 2001. Wisconsin Electric plans to award the contract or contracts in the summer of 2001.

Questar Pipeline Co., a unit of Questar Corp., said it received preliminary approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct a $80 million, 24-in., 75-mile natural gas pipeline from the Price area in eastern Utah to a proposed interconnect with Kern River Gas Transmission Co. near Elberta, Utah. It will have maximum operating pressure of 1,400 psi. The new pipeline is anticipated to be in service prior to the 2001-2002 winter heating season and will provide a minimum of 272,000 dekatherms/day of incremental firm gas transportation for delivery to Wasatch Front markets and the proposed interconnect.

Calpine Corp. reported it purchased power assets from Dartmouth, Mass.-based Energy Management Inc. (EMI) for $100 million and about 1.1 million shares of Calpine common stock. Calpine acquired the 50% interest in three combined cycle power plants, representing 700 Mw, it didn't already own in Dighton, Mass.; Tiverton, RI; and Rumford, Maine, as well as Calpine-EMI Marketing LLC, a joint marketing venture between Calpine and EMI. The company said it plans to enter into a $457.5 million long-term operating lease of the Tiverton and Rumford power plants with Phillip Morris. Separately, Calpine said it acquired from PG&E Corp. rights to the Otay Mesa generating project in San Diego County. Under the terms of the agreement, Calpine will build, own, and operate the 500 Mw facility, and PG&E Corp.'s National Energy Group will contract for up to 250 Mw of the project's output.

Dominion Resources Inc. said it formed Dominion Energy Clearinghouse, a one-stop shop for wholesale energy customers. The Dominion Energy Clearinghouse buys and sells electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, coal, and emission allowances, and provides a full range of asset management services. The new unit will also provide customer service support, capacity, storage, and balancing services along interstate pipelines throughout the Northeast.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. signed a contract under which Southern Energy Inc. will act as Chesapeake's exclusive agent for the company's primary Delaware and Maryland natural gas supply assets, Southern reported. The agreement calls for Southern Energy to manage all natural gas transportation and storage capacity for Chesapeake's primary Delaware and Maryland divisions. Terms were not disclosed.

Pegasus Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of KFx Inc. said its Neusight technology to optimize fuel combustion in coal-fired power plants has exceeded its guaranty of improved heat rate levels by 25% in its first installation at the Jaworzno power plant, Poland. ABB Centrum Automatyki Ltd., Wroclaw, Poland, reseller and installer of Pegasus products in Poland, will proceed with installations at five more units. Pegasus and ABB Centrum Automatyki also are negotiating further arrangements for the approximately 15 Polish coal-fired power stations that do business with ABB Centrum Automatyki, Pegasus reported.

Conoco Inc. and Sonatrach, the national oil and gas company of Algeria, signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the potential use of Algerian natural gas reserves to fuel power generation projects in Algeria, Spain, and Turkey. Sonatrach CEO Abdelhak Bouhafs said the feasibility study would take 1 year to complete.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a unit of El Paso Energy Corp., said it began service on its new 2.7-mile connection from its 200 Line near Cedar Hill, NY, to the gas distribution system of Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. near Albany, NY. The new lateral will have the capacity to supply the gas requirements for the proposed Bethlehem Energy Center, a power plant being developed near the connection site.

PECO Energy Co. has contracted with OGE Energy Corp. to transport natural gas to fuel an 800 Mw power plant under construction in Jenks, Okla., OGE reported. The new facility will be connected to the Transok pipeline system, operated by Enogex Inc., a subsidiary of OGE Energy. The Transok pipeline will provide 100% of the firm gas transportation requirements for the Jenks station designed to burn up to 150 MMcfd. Testing is scheduled to begin in May 2001 and commercial operation is set to begin in January 2002. PECO will market the electrical output of the new plant and will be responsible for purchasing natural gas.

In filings with the Michigan Public Service Commission, Detroit Edison and International Transmission Co., subsidiaries of DTE Energy Co., said they are prepared to meet customers summer 2001 demand for electricity. Michael Champley, senior vice-president, said the utility has forecast a peak demand of 12,375 Mw in southeastern Michigan, a 10% increase from the actual peak last summer, which was cooler than normal. Detroit Edison's plan calls for a total of 13,071 Mw of supply to be available this summer, including a 15% reserve margin to cover unexpected shortfalls.

The city of Beverly Hills, Calif., has selected Reliant Energy Solutions, a unit of Reliant Energy Inc., to provide energy efficiency and retrofit services that will reduce the city's energy consumption 20% and its peak demand 17% over a 2-year period. Work on the upgrades is expected to be complete by May 2001, prior to the peak summer electric usage. Financial terms were not reported.

Consumers Energy, a unit of CMS Energy Corp., reported the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted its request to extend the 789 Mw Palisades nuclear plant's operating license for 4 years. The operating license had been set to expire in March 2007. The modification will permit the plant to run until March 24, 2011.

BayCorp Holdings Ltd. said it received an extension of the current refueling outage at the Seabrook Nuclear power plant. The plant began the refueling outage Oct. 21, 2000. A return to full power operation was planned for Nov. 21, 2000, but Nov. 8, 2000, BayCorp reported an unplanned extension resulting from problems with a back up diesel generator. The plant's return to service was projected for mid-December. During recent testing of one of the diesel generators, additional damage occurred which will delay the plant's return to service, the company said. The company is now estimating the plant will be back in service in January.

Invensys Building Systems Inc. contracted to purchase 100 Capstone Capstone MicroTurbine from Capstone Turbine Corp. during the next 12 months under a distribution agreement. Invensys Building Systems, formerly Siebe Environmental Controls, is an international provider of building control and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment.

The cabinet of the Western Australian government will defer a decision to endorse a $500 million (Aus.) power generating station in the west Kimberley region pending further investigation, sources said. The contract between Western Power and the Woodside Energy/Energy Equity Corp. consortium using North West Shelf gas as a generating fuel was mooted earlier this year when the group was selected as the preferred tenderer for the project. It is believed deferment was prompted by some government members who feel the merits of an alternative tender involving a tidal power project at Derby should be looked at more closely. There is no indication of when a final announcement will be made.

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