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Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - December 2013

distribution business will install Itron RF meter-reading technology across the utility’s six-state service territory by the end of 2015. Communication modules to nearly 1.3 million gas meters have already been installed in parts of the company’s service territory in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. Upon project completion, 3.3 million communication modules will be installed in these states as well as Arkansas and Mississippi. The Itron communication modules attach to customers’ existing gas meters, allowing meter readings to be collected once a month by a mobile meter reading device mounted to CenterPoint Energy vehicles. 

Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) selected Elster’s EnergyAxis advanced metering infrastructure and EIServer meter data management systems for the first phase of its smart meter deployment. EnergyAxis enables meter data collection, analysis, reporting, and network management for all three services using a single head-end system. The first phase encompasses approximately 60,000 electric, gas, and water endpoints, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

M&A

TransAlta Renewables , through a wholly owned subsidiary of TransAlta, acquired a 144-MW wind farm in Wyoming for approximately $102 million from an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources . The wind farm is fully operational and provides power under a long-term contract until 2028 with Rocky Mountain Power . Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of December 2013. 

NRG Energy agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Edison Mission Energy (EME) for $2.635 billion (or $1.572 billion net of $1.063 billion retained cash within EME). The purchase price, subject to post-closing adjustments, will consist of approximately 12.7 million shares of NRG common stock.

Google partnered with Silver Ridge Power , formerly known as AES Solar, to invest approximately $103 million in Silver Ridge Power’s 265.7-MW Mount Signal Solar project. The project, also known as Imperial Valley Solar 1, is a utility-scale solar PV generating plant under construction in Imperial County, Calif. Mount Signal Solar is expected to be fully operational in 2014 and will sell its output to the San Diego Gas & Electric under a long-term PPA. Google’s obligation to provide a significant portion of the committed funds is subject to customary conditions precedent, including the commencement of operations at Mount Signal Solar. 

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power acquired and will develop the Broken Bow 2 wind project in Custer County, Neb. Sempra also executed an agreement to purchase 43 1.7-MW General Electric wind turbines to power the 75-MW wind farm. Construction was expected to begin in December 2013 with commercial operation by late 2014. Nebraska Public Power District will purchase the output under a 25-year contract. The terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

People

ABB realigned responsibilities within its group executive committee (EC) to focus on acquisition integration and its expanded North American business portfolio. Under these changes, Greg Scheu, who is currently responsible for marketing and customer solutions on the EC, will lead the group’s acquisition integration efforts and take over responsibility for North America. Scheu joined ABB in 2001, and previously worked for Rockwell Automation and Westinghouse