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Digest

Fortnightly Magazine - February 2014

wind generation to major load centers in ERCOT. 

Xcel Energy began work on a new substation in the town of Brunswick, Wisc. The substation will tie into an existing transmission line. Xcel Energy received all state regulatory approvals in early November, and construction work began in late November. The substation is scheduled to be in service by April 2014 and is estimated to cost $4 million.

PJM approved a $1.2 billion 345-kV double-circuit transmission investment designed to resolve short-circuit concerns in northern New Jersey. The project, to be developed by PSE&G, will enhance the reliability of the transmission infrastructure and allow for handling of increased load over the next several decades. The upgrades will span from the Linden to Bergen power plants and include upgrading ties to Newark Airport, the Hudson Power Station, and New York City connections. Construction is expected to be completed within 48 months.

M&A

UNS Energy approved a definitive merger agreement with Fortis, Canada’s largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility. Fortis expects to acquire all outstanding common stock of UNS Energy for $60.25 per share in cash. The $4.3 billion transaction includes the assumption of approximately $1.8 billion in debt, and would provide capital for UNS Energy’s subsidiaries, including Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services (UES). The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

We Energies and Wolverine Power Cooperative ended their joint venture at the Presque Isle coal-fired power plant in Marquette, Mich. The venture would have resulted in joint ownership of the plant, along with the installation of state-of-the-art emission controls. We Energies intends to enter a one-year contract with MISO for the output of the Presque Isle plant, while it evaluates long-term options for the plant, including the possibility of soliciting other potential buyers for some or all of the plant’s capacity. 

UBS International Infrastructure Fund (UBS) agreed to acquire a 50-percent equity interest from EdF Renewable Energy (EdF) in the 161-MW Spinning Spur II wind project in Oldham County, Texas, when construction is complete in July 2014. Construction began in June 2013 at the project, which will use 87 GE wind turbines with a capacity of 1.85 MW each. The project will use the new Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) transmission lines. 

EdF Renewable Energy acquired the 5.86-MW Lancaster solar project from Urban Green Technologies (UGT) , and began construction. The Town of Billerica, Mass., will purchase the plant’s output under a long-term agreement. EdF will develop, own, and operate the project with commercial operation expected in spring 2014. M+W U.S. is building the project under an EPC contract, with Gehrlicher Solar America (GSAC) as subcontractor. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed.

Illinois Power Holdings (IPH) completed its acquisition of New Ameren Energy Resources (AER). The transaction includes AER and its subsidiaries Ameren Energy Generating (Genco), New AERG (AERG), and Ameren Energy Marketing (AEM). The transaction includes the AEM retail and marketing businesses, doing business as Homefield Energy, and the following plants: Duck Creek, Coffeen, E.D. Edwards, Newton, and Joppa. 

Natural Gas

Cheniere Energy contracted Bechtel to build LNG trains and related facilities