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Headlines

Fortnightly Magazine - December 1997

the announcement of the windfall tax.

NOx CONTROL PROGRAM EASILY FUNDED

Public Service Electric and Gas Co. has released a report finding that competitively neutral nitrogen-oxide caps and emissions trading programs to reduce regional ozone pollution would be cost-effective.

The report also said such programs would cost a fraction of the savings from electric restructuring and prevent need for additional more costly controls on other sectors.

PSE&G commissioned a study, An Environmental and Economic Assessment of NOx Controls for Eastern U.S. Electric Generating Facilities Concurrent with Electricity Deregulation, to assess the impact of a power plant NOx control program under U.S. electric restructuring.

The study points out that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission projects annual savings of $3.76 billion to $5.37 billion from wholesale competition. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects savings of $32 billion to $57 billion per year through 2005 from marginal-cost pricing under wholesale and retail electric competition. Those predictions indicate that the $1.5-billion cost for NOx emission controls estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would eat up 3 percent to 5 percent of the savings from retail competition.

SIX DOWN, THREE TO GO IN CONECTIVE MERGER

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved the proposed merger of Atlantic Energy and Delmarva Power to form Conectiv, a new holding company with more than $2 billion in annual revenues and nearly $6 billion in assets.

The approval was necessary because the companies hold partial ownership in several generating units in Pennsylvania.

State regulators in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have approved the merger. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have not identified any antitrust issues that would hold up approval. Merger approval still is needed by regulators in New Jersey, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies anticipate having all approvals by the year's end.

GPU NEGOTIATION TWO SALES

General Public Utilities Corp.'s subsidiary, GPU Nuclear Corp., has been negotiating with an unidentified company for the sale of its Three Mile Island and Oyster Creek nuclear plants.

Although in September PECO Energy and British Energy announced that they were forming a joint venture, AmerGen Energy Co., to buy and operate nuclear plants in the U.S., PECO would neither confirm nor deny that it is the possible purchaser.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have pointed out that the Atomic Energy Act prevents foreign companies from owning U.S. nuclear plants.

JOULES....

AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER plans to build a 765-kilovolt transmission line from its Wyoming Station near Oceana, W.V., to its Cloverdale Station near Roanoke, Va. Applications were filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the West Virginia Public Service Commission. An application originally was filed in 1991, but AEP was directed to explore alternatives to the route to avoid certain areas. The proposed route is about 132 miles. It crosses nine counties in the two states and will cost $263 million.

Chase Global Power and Environmental Group financed a 130-megawatt, combined- cycle, gas-fired power plant to be built on South Sumatra, Indonesia. Project sponsors include Astratel, a