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News Digest

PUC Oversight: Panacea or New Problem?
Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 2000

to respond to "mismatches" in supply and demand, and the willingness of ISO-NE to curb scheduled maintenance during summer months. However, the department also recommended that the New England Power Pool and ISO-New England should improve backup/emergency generation use, nuclear outage scheduling, and dispatchable and interruptible load capabilities. It said that dispatchable load, direct control of end uses and interruptible load incentives, "which have fallen into disuse," should be encouraged and fully integrated into ISO-NE operations.

The PUC also called on large consumers to join NEPOOL to bolster its end-use membership sector.

"Clearly, [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] intended to facilitate more active representation of consumer interests in NEPOOL by ordering NEPOOL to restructure its voting rights to include an end-use sector." .

Access to Data. After being told once that data was commercially sensitive and private, the Oregon PUC and the Oregon Office of Energy petitioned the Western Systems Coordinating Council to reveal information on electric generation and distribution to help state regulators better understand recent upheavals in wholesale electric markets.

Distribution Systems. Connecticut regulators issued annual reports to the state General Assembly on electric distribution company system reliability for United Illuminating Co. and Connecticut Light & Power Co., using the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI). The indices are calculated both including and excluding major storms. .


Mergers & Acquisitions

PECO + Sithe. PECO Energy signed an agreement to purchase 49.9 percent of Sithe Energies' North American business for $682 million, with an option to purchase 100 percent of the company within two to five years at a price based on prevailing market conditions.

The purchase would include 3,800 MW of existing merchant generation, 2,500 MW under construction, and another 3,700 MW of generation in various stages of development, as well as Sithe's domestic marketing and development businesses.

FirstEnergy + GPU. FirstEnergy Corp. announced a merger agreement to acquire GPU Inc. for about $4.5 billion in cash and FirstEnergy common stock. FirstEnergy would assume some $7.4 billion in GPU's debt and preferred stock.

AGL + Va. Gas. Virginia regulators OK'd the sale of Virginia Natural Gas, a Dominion Resources subsidiary, to Atlanta-based AGL Resources-a sale that was required by the 1999 order approving the merger of Dominion Resources and Consolidated Natural Gas. .

Entergy + FPL. Entergy Corp. and FPL Group Inc. announced plans to merge and create one of the nation's largest electric utilities.

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