Peabody COALSALES Co. agreed to provide Minnesota Power as much as 2.5 million tons of low-sulphur coal each year. Coal will be supplied by Peabody affiliate Big Sky Coal Co. Big Sky's contract with the power company ends in May; the new agreement runs through 1999. Terms of the deal weren't released.
The Georgia Public Service Commission begins a series of workshops on electric industry restructuring next month. The workshops will examine national efforts, consumer ramifications and environmental and energy efficiency issues. Stranded costs also will be targeted. Commission staff will present the panel with its findings when the workshops end this summer.
Some 86 percent of industry executives believe customer choice is inevitable, according to the Washington International Energy Group's 1997 Electric Industry Outlook. That figure is up 30 percent from last year. Half of the executives believe most companies won't survive intact into the next decade; nearly half of the surveyed companies are engaged in mergers and acquisitions. Nearly 80 percent of the respondents said loss of customers was a very important issue, and nearly 90 percent say electric utilities will merge with gas utilities. The number who believe utilities and telecommunications companies will merge has increased three times over three years ago. And less than half the industry is convinced that nuclear power can be competitive. The Outlook surveyed 557 utility, IPP and power marketing executives.
Delmarva Power & Light Co. has agreed to provide utility management services to W.L. Gore & Associates. Delmarva will aggregate, analyze, and handle most of Gore's utility bills for 14 locations in Maryland and Delaware, including those for electric, oil, propane, sewer and water. It also will provide reports on energy usage and related expenses, spotting problems and recommending solutions. The agreement is similar to one made with Happy Harry's Drug Store. The terms were not released.
Bay State Gas Co. plans to acquire SAVAGE-ALERT, Inc., and merge the company with affiliate EnergyUSAÔ. SAVAGE-ALERT is a 130-employee, $13-million nationwide energy design, engineering and mechanical contracting company. Bay State plans to acquire the company through a stock swap of about 150,000 new shares, representing a 1.1-percent increase in outstanding shares (worth about $4.25 million). The two companies will operate under a joint venture agreement until regulatory approvals are received.
The Electric Power Research Institute and Oracle Corp. have agreed to develop information technology products for the industry. Potential projects include helping link utility customers and business partners to conduct service transactions over the Internet. The two organizations also will work together to adapt existing Oracle on-line analytical processing software.
Itron and Southern California Edison agreed to develop a program to read 50,000 meters. The launch date and project location were to be announced. The system will provide daily scheduled consumption readings, real-time, on-demand readings, time-of-use readings, outage detection, and unauthorized usage monitoring.
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