Brits buy Niagara: National Grid Group PLC, headquartered in Coventry, has clinched a $3 billion merger with Niagara Mohawk, the second-largest electric and gas utility in New York state. The merger, if approved, would mean that more than half of the operating profits of British-based National Grid would come from the U.S. Niagara Mohawk serves more than 1.5 million electricity customers and reported a pretax earning of $1.3 billion in 1999.
PROJECTS AND CONTRACTS
Entergy sells Texas: Entergy Wholesale Operations has signed a definitive agreement with Calpine Corp. for sale of 100 percent of its Freestone, Texas, power project, a 1,000 MW, natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant located about 80 miles southeast of Dallas. The project is in late stage development and is fully permitted, with construction plans slated to begin soon. Sale price is estimated at $61 million and includes all development expenditures and previous progress payments on the four combustion turbines and two steam turbines that Entergy had ordered from General Electric.
Alliant to shell out big bucks: Alliant Energy Resources Inc., a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., has invested $10 million in Nth Power Technologies Fund II LP Nth Power’s Fund II is a venture capital fund which invests in rapid growth businesses addressing large market opportunities emerging from a restructuring of the global energy industry. Nth Power’s earlier Fund I has holdings in Capstone Turbine Corp., which had a successful IPO in June. While Alliant did not participate in Nth’s Fund I, it does have an independent $10 million investment in Capstone.
Entergy, Framatome to team: Entergy Nuclear and Framatome Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding to offer operating license-renewal services to nuclear power plants in the U.S. Their major collective focus will be pressurized water reactor technology.
Panda, Entergy tied together: Panda Energy International’s project affiliate, Union Power Partners LP and Entergy Arkansas Inc. have signed an interconnection agreement that will allow 2,720 MW of new electric power to enter the wholesale marketplace beginning in 2002. Panda called the agreement a “major milestone” in the development of a new power plant being built by Union Power Partners in El Dorado, Ark. When completed, the facility will be the largest 100 percent merchant power plant ever built in the U.S.
EnergyGateway.com expands: EnergyGateway.com has opened a regional office in Houston. The Houston office is the first regional office for the company and
will serve customers in the Gulf Coast region-primarily targeting medium and large producers in Houston, Dallas and New Orleans.
Consumers can choose green: UtilityGuide.com, a Web site devoted to helping consumers and businesses research, compare and buy energy, has signed an agreement with Go-Green Inc. The agreement adds Go-Green to the list of electricity suppliers that participate in
UtilityGuide’s online retail electricity mar-ketplace.
FirstEnergy given thumbs up: FirstEnergy Corp. has received all regulatory approvals to transfer its transmission assets into the wholly owned subsidiary American Transmission Systems Inc.
LEGAL AND REGULATORY
FERC sets date with Big Apple: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given the New York Independent System Operator (ISO) a Nov. 1 deadline to straighten out problems with its non-spinning reserves market. FERC approved a temporary price cap of $2.52 per MW for the 10-minute market.
NRG IPO A-OK: Northern States Power Co. trumpeted a successful initial public offering (IPO) by its wholly-owned subsidiary NRG Energy. The IPO of 28,170,000 shares of common stock was priced at $15 per share and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in late May.