Power Notes

Feb. 13, 2002 — Officials at the San Onofre nuclear generating station reported the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting public comment on the design for temporarily storing used nuclear fuel. The public comment period continues through Apr. 29. If approved, the dry cask storage system will be used to permanently package and temporarily store the Unit 1 used nuclear fuel in preparation for its final disposal at a US Department of Energy-approved site.

El Paso Electric Co., El Paso, Tex., filed a request with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to reduce its monthly fixed fuel factor. If approved, the proposal would decrease the average monthly bill of a typical New Mexico residential customer using 500 kw-hr to $53.97 from $59.47. Base rates will remain unchanged.

TradeSpark LP reported the number of fourth quarter transactions increased 81%, compared to fourth quarter 2000. In 2001, transition to an electronic trading environment accelerated. TradeSpark traded more than $40.2 billion (notional value) in energy products in the fourth quarter and more than $150 billion since its inception. During the 2001 fourth quarter, TradeSpark experienced a 967% increase in natural gas traded, and a 118% increase for electricity megawatt hours over the same period last year.

Rouse Co., Columbia, Md., signed a contract with BGE Commercial Building Systems, a unit of Constellation Energy Group Inc., Baltimore, for 125,000 Mw-hr/year of electricity for the corporate office and nine retail malls over the next 2 years. Under Maryland’s deregulation law large commercial businesses must select an energy supplier by July 1, or begin paying market-based rates.

Mirant Corp., Atlanta, Ga., reported completing the sale of its 44.8% stake in Bewag, a Berlin-based utility, to the Vattenfall group. Mirant received more than $1 billion in net proceeds after repayment of $600 million in debt associated with its Bewag investment.

TC PipeLines LP, Calgary, reported Northern Border Pipeline Co., of which TC PipeLines holds a 30% general partner interest, has retained the services of KPMG LLP as its independent auditor. The change is the result of the resignation of Arthur Andersen LLP as Northern Border Pipeline’s auditor effective Feb. 5. TC PipeLines’ independent auditor is KPMG LLP.

TECO Power Services Corp., Tamp, Fla., successfully tested its interconnection between the TPS-owned and operated Frontera power station in Southwest Texas and the Cumbres substation in Mexico, owned and operated by the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The interconnection provides for the first fully dispatchable electrical transmission line between the US and Mexico, and is designed to provide up to 150 Mw of electricity from the Frontera facility to Mexico via a 2-mile, 138-kv transmission line.

The Bonneville Power Administration has tentatively chosen a preferred route for a new 63-mile, 500 kv transmission line through central Washington. The proposed line would link BPA’s Schultz substation to a new substation near the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Reservation and increase transfer capability by 300-400 Mw in a highly congested part of the region’s transmission grid north of Hanford.