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News Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 2001

the need for a separate reliability organization with mandatory rules may be greatly reduced or eliminated."-B.W.R.

Gas Pipelines

Capacity Into California. With a dissenting opinion from chairman Curt Hébert, the FERC affirmed a prior order requiring El Paso Natural Gas and its marketing subsidiary El Paso Merchant to provide confidential information under a protective order to interveners in the complaint by the California PUC that El Paso monopolized pipeline capacity by selling rights to its own affiliate. Hébert questioned why the FERC should require the pipeline company to pass along market data to interveners not directly involved in the dispute: "The mere pendency of a filed complaint ... should not in itself provide the basis for widespread distribution of information purported to be commercially sensitive." -B.W.R.

Benchmark Gas Price. The National Association of Gas Consumers (municipal gas systems) asked the FERC to set nationwide benchmark price for natural gas and to open an investigation of allegedly excessive gas prices. . -B.W.R.

Business Wire

Two of the world's largest power grids, PJM and RTE, the French transmission system operator, signed an agreement to share technical knowledge and information to help address mutual goals of power systems and energy market operations. "RTE has 50 years of experience in operating the largest control area in the world and PJM is one of the most successful ISOs, operating different kinds of markets in a deregulated environment," said RTE director Andre Merlin. "We will learn from each other; it is a win-win agreement."

WPS Resources Corp. has selected LineSoft Corp.'s LD-Pro line design solution and LD-Track work order tracking and analysis solution. The multi-million dollar contract includes software, training, integration, and implementation services. LD-Pro automates the design of overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines, from the development and application of design criteria, through detailed analysis, generation documentation, drawings, maps, specifications, cost estimates, and material lists.

On Jan. 18, the U.S. Dept. of Energy issued new energy efficiency appliance standards for commercial heating and cooling equipment, residential clothes washers, water heaters, and central air conditioners and heat pumps. "The rule takes a very balanced approach to energy savings, consumer preference, and manufacturer impact," said Joseph M. McGuire, President of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers . .

PECO Energy has signed an agreement with Planalytics Inc. to access Weathernomics Gas Buyer, a financial risk management tool for buyers and sellers of natural gas. The Web-delivered tool suggests specific buying actions designed to reduce risks and take advantage of opportunities presented by weather-driven changes in gas prices for up to one year into the future.

ESRI's software has been selected by Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. as the GIS component in RG&E's implementation of Convergent Group's Digital Utility Business Solution. The three-year project began in September, with completion of the first implementation phase scheduled for the first quarter of this year. Pantellos, an independent online marketplace for the utility and energy services industries, and WorldCrest, a provider of procurement solutions for indirect goods and services, have entered into a partnership that will expand and strengthen the offerings