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ELP Volume 77 Issue 12

EIA sees cheap power

Electricity prices in the United States will probably drop by about 1¢/kWh by the year 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration`s annual long-term energy outlook. Driven down by competitive forces in power markets, falling coal prices and increased mining productivity, electricity rates are expected to bottom out at an average of 5.8 cents/kWh. Meanwhile, carbon emissions will rise by 1.3 percent a year, even as 40 percent of the country`s nuclear generating capacity is reti

FTC & FERC approve Dominion Resources, CNG merger:

The Federal Trade Commission approved the merger of Dominion Resources Inc. and Consolidated Natural Gas Co. FERC conditionally approved the merger, and the companies intend to file a response accepting the conditions. Regulators in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia have approved the merger. Still pending is approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected by year-end. The merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2000.

ABB to rebuild ComEds T&D system:

ComEd awarded ABB Power T&D Co. a $100 million contract to supply and install cables, distribution transformers, high-voltage switchgear, power transformers, power lines and medium-voltage equipment to increase capacity levels at five Chicago substations-Northwest, Ohio, Kingsbury, Lakeview and Diversey. ABB`s work is an extension of ongoing work begun after this summer`s electrical equipment failures at some Chicago substations.

NRC and GAO argue nuclear Y2K readiness

Two federal agencies are at odds over how ready U.S. nuclear power plants are to handle the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug.

EPA lassos old coal plants, challenges maintenance practices

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in early November wrangled with some older coal-fired power plants, and the resulting cloud of dust has not yet settled. In fact, electric utilities went so far as to attempt to garner an act of Congress for provision of a temporary reprieve from enforcement actions.

TAKING THE CUP

EL&P`s 1999 Utility of the Year Award goes to PECO Energy, which has established leadership on the race track and in the power industry with an aggressive approach to competition. The PECO Power Team sponsors the No. 60 NASCAR Chevrolet Monte Carlo of Geoffrey Bodine. In the similarly hazardous electricity arena, PECO`s Exelon subsidiary has established the company as a competitive leader, while its AmerGen joint venture with British Energy set a contrarian course in the nuclear business. Story

Infrastructure merges with geographic information

CES and ESRI have begun a non-exclusive relationship for program development of increased integration between CES International`s Centricity operations resource management suite and ESRI`s ArcInfo product through CES International`s InterSys EAI solution.

Ruggedized Ethernet extends SCADA/DCS into harsh settings

Solartron Inc. launched the Ethernet version of its isolated measurement pod (IMP), E-IMP. This new remote data acquisition module provides an Ethernet TCP/IP connection to 20 multifunction analog/digital measurement channels in a ruggedized housing, suitable for wide-area monitoring of process and equipment under hostile environmental conditions.

The changing role of the CFO: a focus on decision support

Within the office of the chief financial officer (CFO), executives are realizing the need to shift their focus from that of regulatory accounting and traditional scorekeeping to becoming a trusted advisor and business partner within their organization.