The Brink of Ruin?
Sears, Roebuck and Co. selected Enova Energy as a partner in a "regional energy alliance." Enova Energy, an Enova Corp. subsidiary, will design and install a technical learning center at Sears' Tucson, AZ department store. The company also will provide energy services at other Sears stores in several western states. The learning center will be one of a nationwide system of energy-efficient stores used as models and for the testing and training of facility operations equipment. All of the store's services will be aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing costs. Enova Energy is one of eight energy service companies Sears selected from hundreds across the country. Sears has $35 billion in annual revenues and 1,100 stores nationwide.
Cenerprise, Inc., an energy services subsidiary of Northern States Power, will "partner" with Energy Solutions International (ESI), an energy management firm. With ESI at its side, Cenerprise expands into the Southeast and the West Coast, bringing in lighting, HVAC, building automation and monitoring products and services. Through the partnership, Cenerprise companies will employ 400 employees in 25 offices nationwide.
In a move that may signal the start of a trend, Michigan's Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative issued a request for proposals for the sale or sale/lease-back of its Advance and Burnips power plants. The co-op says it hopes to explore the potential for an independent operator or investor to assume ownership and operation of one or more of its plants. The Advance plant's three units generate 44,000 kilowatts (Kw) and are fueled by pulverized coal. The Burnips plant is a 23,000 Kw combined-cycle unit, fueled by natural gas or fuel oil. Two small diesel units generate 4,500 Kw. Wolverine's member co-operatives serve more than 650,000 residents.
Pacific Gas Transmission Co. (PGT) and Teco Pipeline Co. signed a merger agreement worth about $380 million. PGT, a subsidiary of PG&E, expects to maintain Teco as its subsidiary. Teco owns the 500 mile Waha-to-Katy natural gas pipeline in Texas. It also has investments in gas gathering and processing plants and owns a Houston gas marketing company. PGT says the acquisition will expand its midstream gas market presence. Teco is owned primarily by TRT Holdings, Inc., a privately held company. In early 1996, TRT acquired the Omni Hotel chain.
Eskom, producer of more than 95 percent of South Africa's electrical energy, signed a three-year agreement with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for a technology and staff development exchange. Eskom plans to electrify 1.75 million homes by 2000. Only 40 percent of the homes in the country receive electricity.
GE Nuclear Energy entered into commercial service what it claims is the world's first advanced nuclear power plant. The Advanced Boiling Water Reactor was built in about four years for Tokyo Electric Power Co. The power plant generates 1,356 megawatts.
(em Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.
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