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North American – Electric Power News Briefs

Entergy Corp., New Orleans, La., said it completed the purchase of Indian Point 1 and 2 nuclear power plants in Westchester County, NY, from Consolidated Edison Inc., New York, NY. Entergy paid Con Edison $502 million for the plants, three turbines, and other assets. Entergy also paid about $100 million for nuclear fuel. The companies also entered into a agreement under which Entergy will sell the output of Indian Point 2 to Con Edison through 2004 as well as a capacity purchase agreement for Entergy to sell the installed capacity of Indian Point 2 to Con Edison through April 2005, with options for capacity purchases for another 6 years.

A unit of Black Hills Corp., Rapid City, SD, said it completed acquisition of a 273 Mw gas-fired cogeneration power plant northeast of Las Vegas, Nev. from a unit of Enron Corp. Most of the power is under a long-term contract expiring in 2024. The project also has a 222 Mw combined cycle expansion under way, Black Hills said.

TransAlta Cogeneration LP, Calgary, Alta., said it will buy TransAlta Corp.’s 60% interest in the Fort Saskatchewan cogeneration facility. TransAlta Corp. said it expects to realize cash proceeds of $35 million from the sale, resulting in a gain of 3à‚¢/share. The proceeds will be used to fund corporate growth initiatives. The transaction is expected to close Sept. 30.

Estonian state energy firm Eesti Energia and NRG Energy Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., said three banks — German KBC Bank , Japanese Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and SG Investment Banking, an arm of France’s Societe Generale — are lending $251.8 million (285 million euros) to renovate the Narva power plant and reconstruct the mines at the oil shale firm Eesti Polevkivi. NRG Energy agreed to buy a 49% stake in the projects for $70.5 million last August.

Montana Power Co., Butte, Mont., and NorthWestern Corp., Sioux Falls, SD, signed a 20-year contract under which NorthWestern will supply electricity to Montana Power from a facility north of Great Falls, Mont. The $140 million project will have initial capacity of 160 Mw, increasing to 240 Mw upon conversion to a combined cycle mode. Under the contract, Montana Power will purchase 75 Mw of the facility’s capacity on a year-round basis and an additional 75 Mw during November through February, the companies said.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved an 80 Mw gas-fired electric peaker unit, which will be owned and operated by Vectren Corp.’s electric generating business unit, Vectren Power Supply, Evansville, Ind. The $36 million turbine will be located at Vectren’s existing A. B. Brown generation station in Posey County, Ind.

New York State’s Siting Board approved the expansion of the Ravenswood electric generation facility owned and operated by KeySpan Corp., Brooklyn, NY. Construction could start in early November, with operation beginning in 2003. The expansion will entail installation of a 250 Mw gas-powered unit, bringing the plant’s maximum capacity to 2,410 Mw.

The 3,000 Alabama Power employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ratified a new 3-year contract with the electric utility of Atlanta’s Southern Co., chief negotiators for both the union and the company said. The old contract expired Aug. 15, but both parties agreed to work under its terms and conditions until a new agreement could be reached. Separately, Southern Co. reported signing a long-term wholesale power contract totaling 750 Mw with 30 electric membership cooperatives in Georgia. Terms were not disclosed.

Calpine Corp., San Jose, Calif., said it completed a 350 Mw expansion of its Broad River energy center, Gaffney, SC. With the second phase completed, the facility currently produces 890 Mw of peaking capacity. Total output from facility is under contract to Carolina Power & Light Co., Raleigh, NC.

Enbridge Inc., Calgary, Alta., reported launching Enbridge Atlantic Energy Services Inc. to sell natural gas commodity contracts to customers in New Brunswick. It will offer residential, commercial, and industrial customers variable and fixed-rate 1-year and 2-year term contracts.