A spate of newly announced deals, including Allegheny Energy’s proposed $9.27 billion acquisition of FirstEnergy, plus PPL’s takeover of E.ON US for $6.73 billion, has left the utility industry...
- a book value between $200 million and $400 million.
Plant Certification. Saying that it must not micromanage electric companies as the industry moves toward a competitive market, the Ohio Power Siting Board issued a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for construction and operation of the 425-MW West Lorain Combustion Turbine project to Ohio Edison, a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstEnergy. The board said it is up to Ohio Edison to decide whether to curtail load or shut down the project based on operational constraints, especially transmission constraints on the FirstEnergy system.
Studies & Reports
Smart Meters. Any move to integrate communications capability into electronic single-phase meters will tilt the market in favor of utility meter manufacturers, according to the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
Otherwise, the report predicts a new era of growth for the metering industry, propelled by a growing economy and rising electric demand.
"Tremendous openings exist for vendors that can successfully manufacture and market the next generation of meters," says Frost & Sullivan analyst Patrick Hodges. See www.frost.com.
CMS Energy Corp. is participating as an asset investor by contributing access to some of its pipeline rights-of-way in a new nationwide broadband telecommunications network being built by Denver-based Aerie Networks. Aerie is planning to complete its 20,000-plus-mile national network in 2003. CMS Energy initially will hold about a 2.5 percent investment in Aerie in exchange for providing access to rights-of-way held by subsidiaries. Aerie also will use the rights-of-way of BP Amoco, Buckeye Partners L.P., Explorer Pipeline Co., Kinder Morgan, Marathon Ashland Pipe Line, National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., Plantation Pipe Line Co., PG&E Corp., Sempra Communications, Sun Pipe Line Co. , and TEPPCO- all equity owners in Aerie.
Atlas Technologies LLC , a partially owned subsidiary of Resource America Inc. and provider of web-based billing and customer care solutions to the deregulating energy and converged network services industries, has licensed its Readi Systems suite of software applications to Equitable Resources Inc. , an integrated energy exploration, production, transmission, distribution, and marketing company. Other clients of Atlas Technologies include Dominion Retail Services and FirstEnergy Corp .
Avista Corp. has engaged Merrill Lynch as its investment bank and strategic adviser for Avista Labs to assist in evaluating the best ways to maximize the shareholder value inherent in its fuel cell technology. Avista Labs is pioneering the development and commercialization of an integrated, modular proton exchange membrane fuel cell power system targeted for the residential and small commercial markets throughout the world. Merrill Lynch will consider all options, including financial structuring and an initial public offering.
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