Electric Power news briefs, October 2

UGI Corp. ... Enporion Inc. ... Constellation Power Source ... Enron North America ... FuelCell Energy Inc. ... Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. ... Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. ... Bay State Gas. ... Itron Inc. ... Peoples Gas ... Oneok Inc. ... SolArc Inc. ... Kinder Morgan Inc. ... HoustonStreet Exchange Inc. ... Equiva Trading Co. ... Dominion Resources Inc. ... Avista Labs ... Houston Advanced Research Center

Oct 2nd, 2000

UGI Corp. said its UGI Enterprises Inc. unit has agreed to join Enporion Inc., a global procurement exchange for the energy industry, as a founding member. Enporion is scheduled to commence commercial operation by the end of 2000. UGI owns 58% of AmeriGas Partners LP, one of the nation's largest retail propane marketers.

Constellation Power Source, a unit of Constellation Energy Group Inc., reported it is building a $340 million, 800 Mw combined cycle power plant in Seguin, Tex. Commercial operation of the Rio Nogales power project is scheduled to begin in June 2002. The site includes existing transmission lines that serve the San Antonio and Austin regional markets, the Dallas market to the north, and Houston and Corpus Christi markets to the east. Rio Nogales is the fourth power plant Constellation Power Source has announced it will build this year as the company continues to seek opportunities to meet customer demand in national wholesale power markets.

Enron North America, a unit of Enron Corp., has invested $5 million in the common stock of FuelCell Energy Inc. and will jointly market its products, FuelCell said. In connection with the alliance, FuelCell Energy will issue warrants enabling Enron to purchase up to 1.3 million shares of FuelCell Energy common stock. Terms of these additional purchases have been negotiated between the companies and are contingent upon the sales of 55 Mw of power generation utilizing FuelCell Energy products, the company said. Using carbonate technology, the DFC power plant produces high efficiency energy through a chemical reaction, rather than combustion.

Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. (Con Edison), a unit of Consolidated Edison Inc., said based on the rate of service interruptions, its performance was the best in the past 8 years. The electrical system's overall performance data for June, July, and August 2000, compared with the previous 5-year average, indicates a 43% reduction in the number of customer interruptions. Even when adjusted for weather, the decrease in service interruptions this summer compared with the previous 5-year average was about 34%, Con Edison said. The company attributed the improvement to additional testing, repairs, and replacements of feeder cables and components throughout the company's service area of New York City and Westchester County, NY.

The Nine Mile Point Unit 1 nuclear plant is in cold shut down and an "Unusual Event" declared Monday was ended at 9:05 a.m., Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. said. Plant operators manually shut the plant down after the unplanned opening of a reactor relief valve, which led to increased water levels in the plant's drywell, a structure surrounding the reactor and designed to collect water discharged from the reactor. The increased water level required operators to declare an Unusual Event at 7:12 a.m., the lowest of four categories of US Nuclear Regulatory Commission events, the company reported. Niagara Mohawk said no release of radiation occurred. The plant was returning to service after a maintenance outage when the event occurred. The cause of the opening of the relief valve is being reviewed.

Bay State Gas., a NiSource Inc. subsidiary, has signed a contract with Itron Inc. to provide Bay State with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system to collect data from natural gas meters in Bay State's Massachusetts service territory, Itron reported. Bay State Gas will purchase from Itron a total of 261,000 radio-based AMR meter modules along with a mobile AMR data collection system and meter reading software to automate about 240,000 residential meters and 21,000 commercial and industrial meters throughout Bay State's service territory.

Peoples Gas, a unit of Peoples Energy Corp., reported customers' October gas charge will increase by about 10�/ therm over the September 2000 rate, primarily due to an increase in the market price of gas. Typical residential customers with gas space heating will experience a $5.11 increase in their October 2000 bill compared with their September 2000 bill. The October 2000 per therm gas charge is about 25� higher than the October 199 gas charge. For typical residential customers with gas space heating, who receive this billing in November, the increased gas charge will result in a $27.12 increase in their October 2000 bill, compared with their October 1999 bill, the company said.

Oneok Inc. has selected SolArc Inc.'s SolArc RightAngle trade management software to manage its newly acquired natural gas liquids trading operations, SolArc said. The system will support NGL marketing operations Oneok acquired earlier this year with the purchase of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s NGL marketing and trading business. In the first six months of NGL trading, an average of 90,000 b/d of product moved through Oneok's system, SolArc said.

HoustonStreet Exchange Inc. said Monday crude oil and refined products surpassed more than $1 billion in trades in just over 4 months. The company said its strategic partnerships with Equiva Trading Co.�the trading element of the US downstream alliance of Shell Oil Co., Texaco Inc. and Saudi Aramco�and Conoco have ignited the site's liquidity and trading volume.

Dominion Resources Inc. said it plans to sell $350 million, comprising 7 million units, of "Premium Income Equity Securities (PIES). Lehman Brothers Inc., which has rights to the term PIES is handling the books for the sale, with Banc of America Securities LLC, Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch & Co., and Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co. also arranging the sale, Dominion said. Each PIES, a form of convertible security, will consist of a stock purchase contract issued by Dominion, and a senior unsecured note with a face value of $50.

Avista Labs, an affiliate of Avista Corp., has been selected to supply the first demonstration unit for a multiyear fuel cell project at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), the company reported. A consortium organized by HARC will be testing fuel cells' performance and reliability. Participating in the HARC consortium are Dana Corp., Salt River Project, Southern Co., Texaco Inc., and Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. Created in 1982, HARC is a nonprofit, university-linked research institution with major research interests in energy, the environment, and policy studies.

More in Companies