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Fortnightly Magazine - October 2012

Project into service on time and within budget. The project, an expansion of gathering facilities that includes 110 miles of new line plus four new compressor stations, will allow some 484,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas produced in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania to reach storage fields and pipelines in Pennsylvania.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power won authority from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place a second underground natural gas storage cavern into service at its Mississippi Hub Storage facility located in Simpson County, Miss. The additional 7.5 Bcf cavern expands the facility’s total working gas storage capacity to 15 Bcf. Mississippi Hub Storage offers operational interconnections to three major interstate gas pipelines: SONAT, Transco, and Southeast Supply Header (SESH). The facility has injection capability of 450 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) and a withdrawal capability of 1,200 MMcfd.

Transactions

Exelon agreed to sell its three Maryland coal-fired power plants to Raven Power Holdings, fulfilling its commitment to divest the plants as part of its merger with Constellation. The three plants, known collectively as Maryland Clean Coal, include: Brandon Shores, Pasadena, Md. (1,273 MW); C.P. Crane, Middle River, Md. (399 MW); and H.A. Wagner, Pasadena, Md. (976 MW). Raven Power will pay approximately $400 million for the plants and related assets, subject to several closing adjustments. Exelon says it will record a pre-tax loss of about $275 million in the third quarter to reflect the difference between the estimated sale price and the carrying value of the plants.

Mitsui invested $15 million in the U.S.-based Viridity Energy, effective upon approval by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and entered a cooperative agreement to work with Viridity to deploy the company’s VPower platform along Asia’s Pacific Rim. In exchange, Mitsui will obtain an equity position and actively participate as a member of the Viridity board of directors. With this investment, Mitsui plans to further internationalize its business model which includes smart grid IT, renewable energy development and management, and CO 2 emissions mitigation strategies.

Exelon sold its stake in five California power plants—70 MW total, acquired via merger with Constellation—to Tokyo-based IHI. The five plants include: Chinese Station (biomass), Rio Bravo Fresno (biomass), Rio Bravo Jasmin (coal), Rio Bravo Poso (coal), and Rio Bravo Rocklin (biomass). All of the plants have power purchase agreements with investor-owned utilities. Terms weren’t disclosed.

EVs & Storage

Duke Energy will partner with Toyota and EnergySystems Network (ESN), the non-profit industry initiative that leads Project Plug-IN, to test and validate the effectiveness of communication standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to provide a simple and affordable smart grid communication protocol to link customer-owned electric vehicles and the charging stations they use. The pilot project will track five Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicles driven by Duke Energy customers living in the Indianapolis area. Customers will drive the cars regularly during the pilot period, which is expected to begin in early 2013 and last for at least 12 months. Toyota will provide a UL-certified home charging station and a home gateway communication