Proposed merchant capacity still on the rise

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2002 — The amount of planned capacity additions by merchant plant developers is still moving upward–despite the economic setbacks that the last year has brought–according to numbers released by the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA).

Merchant plants–generating stations financed by investors willing to accept market risks associated with start-up and operation–differ from regulated power facilities in two major aspects: Merchant plants receive no guaranteed rate of return, and they typically do not have long-term sales contracts.

According to EPSA’s announced merchant plant database (most recently updated in mid-March), planned capacity additions from competitive power suppliers now total nearly 355,000 MW, 100,000 MW more than reported in 2001 and significantly more than the 121,733 MW reported in October of 1999. And, in 1998, those numbers were a very low 56,500 MW.

Companies with a number of large projects in the works include Calpine Corp. (over 40,000 MW), Cogentrix Energy (over 13,000 MW), Duke Energy North America (over 18,000 MW), FPL Energy (over 10,000 MW), Mirant (over 13,000 MW), Panda Energy International (over 16,000 MW) and PG&E National Energy Group (over 13,000 MW).

EPSA emphasized that the information contained in this database was gathered through EPSA members and trade press articles; therefore, the listing may not be complete (see table for listings over 500 MW).

Complete copies of EPSA’s merchant plant matrix are available by contacting Samantha Slater, Manager of State & Regional Affairs for EPSA, who can be reached via phone (202-628-8200), fax (202-628-8260) or e-mail ( sslater@epsa.org).

This article is scheduled to appear in Electric Light & Power Magazine, July 2002. To read more, visit http://elp.pennnet.com/Articles/Print_TOC.cfm?Section=Articles&SubSection=CurrentIssue.

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