Electric Power news briefs, July 20

DPL Energy ... PacifiCorp .. Westinghouse Process Control Inc. ... Northeast Ohio Natural Gas ... FirstEnergy Corp. .. Calpine Corp. ... Tennessee Valley Authority .. Columbia Electric Corp. ... PG&E Corp. ... Endesa SA ... Cia Energetica do Ceara ... TC PipeLines GP Inc. ... TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. ... Chartwell Inc.


DPL Energy, a subsidiary of DPL Inc., received approval from the Ohio Siting Board to construct 320 Mw of additional electric peaking capacity at the Tait generating station in Montgomery County. The completed addition will consist of four natural gas-fired 80 Mw turbine generators, with fuel oil as backup. The company estimates the new electric peaking plant and related facilities will cost $116.5 million to construct.

PacifiCorp, a unit of ScottishPower PLC, has selected Westinghouse Process Control Inc., a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co., to design and implement a new generation of process control and information systems for its power plants in the western US. The companies have entered a long-term alliance, with a potential value of $25 million over a 5-year period, under which Westinghouse will engineer and install computer systems at multiple PacifiCorp plants. The alliance also includes comprehensive plant instrumentation and performance studies by Emerson's performance solutions division as well as control instrumentation and related products from a number of Emerson's Fisher-Rosemount companies. Work is set to begin this fall. The new system will allow operators to effectively handle load swings because they will have the capability to simultaneously manage equipment trips and stabilize load to prevent costly outages.

Northeast Ohio Natural Gas, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., was given approval by the Ohio Power Siting Board to construct an 11-mi, 30-in. diameter, natural gas pipeline. The pipeline will connect existing pipelines west of the City of Oberlin, Ohio, with a 425 Mw combustion turbine facility at the West Lorain generation plant, Lorain, Ohio. Estimated cost of the new pipeline is $14.3 million.

Calpine Corp. said it will develop, own, and construct a $430 million, 770 Mw natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power generation facility in Haywood County, Tenn., its fourth to interconnect with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Commercial operation is scheduled to begin in mid-2004. Calpine Senior Vice-Pres. Bob Alff said the Haywood facility is ideally located relative to high-capacity natural gas and electric transmission interconnections and has excellent access to multiple load centers throughout the southeastern power market. It will utilize Siemens-Westinghouse 510F combustion turbines.

Columbia Electric Corp., a unit of Columbia Energy Group, has begun construction on the $300 million, 568 Mw natural gas-fired Liberty Electric power project, Eddystone, Pa. The plant is expected to consume about 80 MMcfd of natural gas. PG&E Corp. has entered into a 14�-year merchant tolling agreement with Liberty Electric Power LLC, a Columbia unit, to supply natural gas to the plant and sell the output. Power will be sold into the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) pool. The plant is being built on the former site of the Baldwin Steam Locomotive Foundry, returning a brown field site to productive use.

Spain's biggest power firm Endesa SA said it purchasing a further 2.27% of Brazil's electricity distributor Cia Energetica do Ceara (Coelce) for 11.16 million euros, bringing Endesa's voting rights to 91% and total shareholdings to about 59%. Endesa also said it was speeding up the construction of a second power line between Brazil and Argentina, part of a $650 million investment.

TC PipeLines GP Inc., the general partner of TC PipeLines, LP said it has approved acquisition of a 49% general partner interest in Tuscarora Gas Transmission Co. The partnership will acquire this asset from TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. for $28 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2000, subject to closing conditions. TransCanada, the parent company of TC PipeLines GP Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, will retain a 1% general partner interest in Tuscarora. The remaining 50% interest is held by Sierra Pacific Resources, Reno, Nev. Tuscarora is a Nevada general partnership which owns a 229-mi. interstate pipeline system with throughput capacity of 111 MMcfd. Tuscarora has filed an application to construct, own, and operate a new 16-mi. pipeline connection to serve Sierra Pacific's growing gas requirements in Reno.

Nearly three-quarters of large utility companies, or utilities serving 500,000 or more customers, will transfer at least a portion of their purchasing activity on line over the next year, new research by Chartwell Inc., an Atlanta information services firm shows. In addition, internet monitoring and reporting of field devices is set to double from about 10% of all utilities now, to about 20% by 2002, Chartwell says. Budgets for these projects vary widely. Of large utilities, 63% spend more than $1 million on bringing their internal operational functions to the internet

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