Fortnightly Magazine - October 15 1996

Mid-American Power, LLC has bought a 53-Mw, coal-fired generating plant, put it on the power grid, and plans to convert the facility into a 300-Mw, gas-fired, combined-cycle plant. Mid-American bought the E.J. Stoneman Station in Cassville, WI, from Dairyland Power Cooperative after almost two years of negotiations. The companies making up Mid-American include Power Systems, Ltd., Burns & McDonnell Engineering, Inc., and WPS-Power Development, Inc. The plant supplies energy to two regional utilities.

Power Markets Development Co., with its partners, will invest $250 million in a 155-Mw, gas-fired plant in the Aguaytia region of Peru. The consortium is headed by Maple Gas Corp.; PMDC is a subsidiary of Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. The project also includes drilling five gas-field wells and constructing about 250 miles of high-voltage electric transmission lines across the Andes mountains.

The second phase of the Hawaiian Biomass Gasification Program will determine the economic feasibility of producing synthetic gas from bagasse, the residual fiber left from processed sugar cane. Program participants include the U.S. Department of Energy, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, and Institute of Gas Technology. Testing is set to begin in early 1997.

American Electric Power and ICG Communications, Inc. have partnered to build a fiber-optic network in Ohio. AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power and Ohio Power signed an agreement with ICG Telecom Group, a national local-exchange carrier. The companies will build a 45-mile extension to AEP's existing fiber-optic lines in Columbus, and a 138-mile fiber link to Canton. The technology will upgrade AEP's internal telecommunications network while expanding ICG's customer base.

MFS Communications Co., Inc. was authorized by the District of Columbia Public Service Commission to provide local telephone services. MFS's fiber-optic network covers the District, parts of northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. MFS also has begun offering local telephone services over its fiber networks in Hartford and Stamford, CT.

A $21-million, cost-sharing program to develop the first high-power, commercial, electric motors using high-temperature superconductors (HTS) was announced by the U.S. Department of Energy and corporate partners American Superconductor Corp. and Reliance Electric. Estimates indicate that U.S. industry could conserve more than 9 billion Kwh annually, or about $600 million a year in power costs, by using large commercial HTS motors. t


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