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ELP Volume 77 Issue 1

IOUs spend on wires at home and invest in new markets abroad

The focus for most of the U.S. power industry is on divestiture, consolidation and-perhaps most impor- tantly-cost containment. Rethinking capital allocation is integral in the wake of restructuring initiatives and their continued push to competition. The variables factored into a company`s business strategies are now weighted differently, or are new ones not previously considered. The balance of future risk and reward tradeoffs depends on variables such as regulated assets vs. non-regulated ass

North American offers retail auctions, financing

North American Power Brokers, which completed the country`s first retail electricity transaction on the Internet in October, now offers a program to finance natural gas and power purchases.

Solar Turbines wins Baldrige award:

Solar Turbines Inc., San Diego, received the 1998 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in recognition of its achievements in quality and business excellence. Solar Turbines designs and manufactures industrial gas turbines for power generation, natural gas compression and pumping systems.

Siemens Power contracts in Okla., Ga. & overseas:

Siemens Power Generation Group (KWU) received orders for six power plants valued at about $840 million in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, India and Indonesia.

Entries and exits signal strategic shifts

When Entergy Corp. acquired London Electricity in early 1997 for $2.1 billion, the New Orleans utility didn`t expect it would sell the British distributor two years later. But that`s precisely what happened in early December, with Entergy turning a tidy $860 million profit.

Hydro-Quebec enters U.S. market:

HQ Energy Services US Inc. (HQUS), a power marketing subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec, is based in Pittsburgh, and is an active member of the New England Power Pool and the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection. It will initially focus on wholesale marketing, and expects eventually to enter retail markets.

Siemens supplies Pa. and Miss. plants:

Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp. contracted with AES Ironwood Inc., a subsidiary of AES Corp., Arlington, Va., to supply a 700 MW, gas-fired power plant in Lebanon, Pa., on a turnkey basis. The $280 million contract calls for startup in 2001.

FPL wants out of CMP deal

FPL Group Inc. expects to have its day in court Feb. 2. A U.S. federal court will consider whether to grant FPL`s request to release it from an $845 million deal to buy Central Maine Power`s (CMP) enerating assets. The reason-new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rulings on transmission access and other issues that changed the playing field for acquired plants in New England.

Constellation seeks Florida permits:

Constellation Power Inc. (an unregulated subsidiary of Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.), began permitting an 850 MW, gas-fired peaking power plant near Cocoa, Fla. The Oleander facility would be located next to Florida Power & Light`s Brevard County substation, serving central Florida and the state`s east coast. The plant is not subject to the Florida Power Plant Siting Act, and could be fully permitted by mid-1999.

Wisconsin PSC approves Polsky merchant:

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved an application from Polsky Energy Corp. to construct up to a 525 MW, gas-fired combustion turbine peaking facility in Dane County. It is the first to be authorized under legislation directing Wisconsin utilities to contract with merchant plants to ease reliability problems. Startup is planned for June 2000.