Electric Power news briefs, November 14

TECO Energy Inc. �Panda Energy�San Diego Gas & Electric Co. �Utility.com � American Electric Power Co.


TECO Power Services, a unit of TECO Energy Inc., and Panda Energy International said it formed a joint venture to build, own, and operate two merchant power plants at a capital cost of $2.3 billion. The plants, which have a combined capacity of nearly 4,600 megawatts, will be located in El Dorado, Ark., and in Gila Bend, Ariz. The El Dorado facility is in an early construction phase. The Gila River project is in an advanced stage of development, with siting, permitting and other agreements in place. Both projects will be natural gas-fueled and similar in design, using efficient GE 7F combined-cycle technology.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co.said California will need tougher remedies than those proposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Citing a ruling that electricity prices charged to San Diegans this summer were not just and reasonable, a company representative testified before FERC today in San Diego that refunds be ordered and that regulators move quickly to overhaul the electricity marketplace in California. Residential and small-business customers are paying a legislatively capped rate of 6.5�/kw-hr. In the most recent SDG&E billing cycle, wholesale energy prices in the state market still are more than 12�/kw-hr. The difference is being recorded in a regulatory balancing account for later payment. SDG&E's latest estimate is that the undercollection could grow to $750 million to $950 million when the retail cap expires in 2002 or 2003. At that time, under state law, the balance will be collected from customers.

Utility.com, an internet utility company, said it completed its third round of venture financing, raising over $22 million. Gaz de France, a European gas company, led the deal. Joining Gaz de France as a new investor is Sumitomo Corp. of Japan. All investors in Utility.com's earlier rounds of financing contributed to this round as well, including Southern Company Energy Marketing, Sempra Energy Trading and others. Utility.com will use funds raised in this third round to support operations as it implements its eUtilities Program partnerships.

American Electric Power will finance the first commercial scale demonstration of Thermal Energy International Inc.�s emission reduction technology. AEP will install Thermal Energy�s system on one unit of its Conesville coal-fired generating station located in Conesville, Ohio. The system will be designed to remove at least 75% of the existing nitrogen oxide emissions from the 375 Mw unit. The project is expected to cost $15 million.

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