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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - January 1 2000

from the study effort into the creation of an actual ISO," said Michael Raezer, project manager for Desert STAR and manager of fuels and resource planning for Tucson Electric Power Co.

Grid Reliability. Five utilities - Basin Electric Power Co-op, British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, Platte River Power Authority, Sierra Pacific Power Co. and TransAlta Utilities Corp. - signed the Western Systems Coordinating Council (WSCC) reliability management system (RMS) agreements on Nov. 3. They join 21 other WSCC members in the first regional electric reliability council in North America to implement a voluntary reliability program with sanctions.

Business Wire

Ballard Power Systems has received an order from Honda for $2.6 million to supply fuel cells and related equipment and support services. Honda will use the fuel cells in its research and development program for evaluation and development of fuel cell vehicles. Meanwhile, Ballard's affiliate company, dbb fuel cell engines inc., unveiled a fuel cell-powered bus at the International Transportation Exposition in Orlando, Fla. Commercial production for the Phase 4 engine, which is almost 2,000 kilograms lighter than the Phase 3, is planned for 2002.

Along with projects submitted by Amergen, Tractebel, Centrica, Williams and K&M Engineering and Consulting Corp., KMR Power Corp.'s TermoCandelaria project was considered for the award of "Boldest Successful Investment Decision of 1999" by the Financial Times Energy Awards committee. Financial Times also honored KMR Power for its 320-MW Cartagena, Colombia-based TermoCandelaria power project, the company's largest wholly owned project to date.

Sears Canada and TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., through its wholly owned subsidiary TransCanada Energy Ltd., will join forces to offer residential consumers in Ottawa reliable, competitively priced natural gas. The new service, which was to begin in December, makes Sears the first national general retailer to offer natural gas. The new agreement first will be piloted in the Ottawa market and then the service will expand nationally.

Peace Software has been awarded the Frost and Sullivan 1998 Market Engineering Entrepreneurial Co. Award. Peace was one of five companies selected for recognition out of 125 software companies. Patrick Hodges of Frost and Sullivan said that the award has been given to Peace Software "for its understanding of deregulating markets and ability to mold a unique CIS solution for competitive utilities."

Utility.com has gained full participant status from NEPOOL, the New England wholesale electric power pool organization. The Internet utility company plans to roll out its services in New England over the next six to eight months. The company, which provides services throughout California and Pennsylvania, will participate in New England's bulk power market as a load aggregator, purchasing electric energy and capacity at wholesale and reselling it to retail customers, and as a broker, arranging the wholesale purchase or sale of electric energy or capacity on behalf of buyer or seller organizations in New England.

Mergers & Acquisitions

ScottishPower + PacifiCorp. With its president dissenting, the Idaho PUC OK'd the merger of ScottishPower PLC and PacifiCorp, saying it would usher in a new "customer-oriented era" of electric utility service. The order calls for the merged utility not to