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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - April 15 1998

was intended to increase net imports into Edison's service territory rather than to support reliability. Docket Nos. er98-990-000 et al, Feb. 25, 1998.

ELECTRIC DIVESTITURES. The FERC has authorized Long

Island Lighting Co. to transfer non-nuclear generation assets (plus natural gas assets and common plant) to the Long Island Power Authority as part of a plan by New York state to restructure LILCO, which charges electric rates among the highest rates in the nation. The FERC held the transfer would not adversely affect competition, rates or regulation, as required under its electric merger policy. It marked the first occasion after Order No. 888 that a utility has sought approval to dispose of interstate transmission facilities to a municipal utility. FERC was pleased that LIPA voluntarily agreed to file an open access tariff conforming to Order No. 888. Docket No. ec9-45-000, Feb. 11, 1998.

Studies & Reports

NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña

on Feb. 11 said public input was needed to help shape the Clinton Administration's energy policy. DOE is soliciting input on a 15-page draft document, Draft Comprehensive National Energy Strategy, which identifies key energy policy goals, objectives and strategies: improving efficiency; ensuring against energy disruptions; promoting energy production and use in ways that reflect human health and environmental values; expanding energy choices; and cooperating internationally on energy issues. The report is available at www.eren.doe.gov/nes.html.

ELECTRIC/TELECOM CONVERGENCE. Frost & Sullivan released a new report, U.S. Strategies for Utilities in Telecommunications, which examines heavy investment begun by electric utilities in the telecommunications industry. The report advises that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 presented opportunities for utilities to leverage their customer base and valuable rights-of-way by offering telecommunications services. It predicted the telco industry will grow 7 percent per year, compared with the "stagnant" 1.1 percent growth rate for the electric power industry for 1996-2003.

Business Wire

Florida Power Corp. designed a new electric pricing plan to meet the needs of winter customers who connect to its system seasonally. It marks the first investor-owned utility in Florida and the first in the southeast to make such an offering. Seasonal pricing will be available from March through October to customers who use 210 kWh/month or less. A three-month minimum absence is required to be eligible for the rate.

Central Vermont Public Service Co. signed an agreement to use Pegasystems Inc.'s customer service management software. Implementation of the program should be completed within six months.

Tractebel Power Inc., a member of the Brussels-based international energy and industrial services group, Tractebel S.A., in partnership with FPL Group, purchased two 300-megawatt gas-fired combined-cycle facilities in Bellingham, Mass., and Sayreville, N.J. The total consideration of the purchase is more than $500 million. Tractebel Power also acquired Simpson Paper's 40-MW natural gas-fired San Gabriel Cogeneration Facility.

Consolidated Edison Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc., formed a partnership to build a 40-megawatt power plant in Guatemala. Con Edison Development will own about 44 percent of the plant and will have two of the six seats on the board of directors of the company, Generadora