Arizona Public Service Co., Phoenix, and Salt River Project received approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission to build 37 miles of a new 1,200 Mw, 500 kv transmission line extending from the Palo Verde switchyard to a new substation west of Phoenix. Preconstruction activity on the power line will begin immediately. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2003.

A unit of Raleigh, NC-based Progress Energy Inc. said work has begun at its 480 Mw Effingham County plant near Rincon, Ga. Construction at the site had been halted pending receipt of the plant’s air permit. Completion is expected in June 2003.

EPN-NGL Storage LLC, a unit of El Paso Energy Partners LP, Houston, bought Suburban Propane Partners LP for $8.4 million in cash. The transaction closed Jan. 31. Under the agreement, Suburban entered into a storage arrangement with El Paso, allowing the company to serve its retail operations.

The Michigan Public Service Commission is investigating quality of service complaints against Detroit Edison Co. and Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. The companies must file a report on their customer service quality by Mar. 6. The report is the initial step of the commission’s investigation.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma signed a $3.4 million contract with CMS Energy Corp.’s energy performance unit. CMS Viron will replace the university’s chilled water plant and install a new boiler, energy efficient lighting, a campus-wide energy management system, and water conservation retrofits. The energy savings from these upgrades are expected to pay for the improvements.

The UK’s Immingham CHP LLP hired Foster Wheeler Ltd. subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, as engineering, procurement, and construction management contractor on a $300 million, 730 Mw combined heat and power plant. The facility will supply steam and electricity to Conoco Inc.’s Humber Refinery, steam to the neighboring Lindsey Oil Refinery, and electricity to the National Grid.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is opening a case to explore whether the rates paid to developers of small power plants or cogeneration facilities are still reasonable. The commission asked for comments from regulated utilities, qualifying facility (QF) producers, and other interested persons on increasing the size and contract length of QF projects.