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News Digest (July 15, 2001)

Fortnightly Magazine - July 15 2001

LNG supply and shipping, and rising demand from gas-fired power plants. See http://www.emerging-markets.com/LNGtrade.- C.J.L.

Merchant Power Profits. The Consumer Federation of America released a statistical case for a windfall profits tax for merchant power producers, describing the increase in California's electricity bill (October 2000 thru April 2001) as higher in nominal dollars ($25 billion in a $1.3 trillion state economy) than the nation's total oil import bill for the 12 months after the fall of the Shah of Iran in the late 1970s ($23 billion in a $2.8 trillion national economy).

The CFA praised California as one of the nation's most efficient in electricity consumption (using less than 50 percent as much power per dollar of economic output), and said if the rest of the country were as efficient, "we would only need the equivalent of 500 new power plants, instead of the 1300 that Vice President Cheney has talked about."- B.W.R.

Business Wire

Anticipating summertime supply shortages , Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the City of Roseville will implement load curtailment programs using ABB Energy Interactive Inc.'s Energy Profiler Online as a communications gateway and administration tool. Taking advantage of California Energy Commission funding, the two utilities settled on ABB's EPO to manage the programs.

Duke Energy has petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the operating licenses for the McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations. License renewals would enable the two power plants to produce electricity for North Carolina and South Carolina into the 2040s. Nuclear plants provided half of all the electricity used by Duke Energy's two million customers in the Piedmont section of North Carolina and South Carolina last year.

Element Reinsurance Ltd. , a provider of weather risk management products, has completed its first international transaction with German utility Elektrizitätswerk Dahlenburg AG . The deal is one of the first to help to protect business revenues against rainfall instead of temperature. Herr Bannehr, chief executive officer of the utility, said, "Many of our customers are farmers who use electric power to pump water during periods of insufficient precipitation.

The power we supply to them is an important part of our total revenue projection."

PaciCorp and SeaWest WindPower Inc. have entered into a 20-year agreement for PacifiCorp to purchase the entire output of SeaWest's new 50-megawatt Rock River I wind project located near Arlington, Wyoming. Construction has begun and the facility is anticipated to be online in fall 2001.

Nicor Gas , which has nearly 2 million gas customers in its Northern Illinois service territory, has chosen NexusData Inc. as its vendor to provide a phase one deployment of an automated meter reading data collection system. After an extensive review of alternate AMR proposals, Nicor selected NexusData as its vendor of choice for the deployment of 10,000 units in the Village of Oak Park service area scheduled for installation in August 2001.

Live beta testing of E-lecTrade's online transaction marketplace for highly complex structured electricity products has begun, and five additional energy companies are now taking part in the pre-commercial testing that started in April. Participants now total 17