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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

TransCanada PipeLines subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) filed its new pricing structure proposal with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) yesterday. The gas transportation tolls on TransCanada's Alberta system are consistent with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached recently with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Announced March 24, the MOU details a new distance- and quantity-based pricing structure to replace the current postage-stamp pricing regime for tolls on the Alberta system. The application also reflects input gathered during an extensive stakeholder consultation process that began in late 1996. The filing replaces an application NGTL put forth to the AEUB in April 1998.

FPL Energy completed the previously announced purchase of Central Maine Power's non-nuclear generating assets. The purchase includes hydro, fossil and biomass generating plants with a total capacity of 1,185 MW. FPL Energy's new assets, purchased for $846-million, include 373 MW of hydro, 781 MW of fossil and 31 MW of wood-fired capacity.

Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Co. gave Bechtel Power Corp. a $300 million contract to decommission its idled nuclear power plant in Haddam Neck, CT, and examine building a natural gas-fired power plant on the site. Bechtel is expected to finish the decommissioning in 2004. Decommissioning and more than 20 years of spent-fuel storage is expected cost more than $400 million. The 585 MW nuclear plant is 49% owned by Northeast Utilities. Seven other utilities also hold ownership in the plant. It was closed down for safety reasons in July 1996.

The new Wild Goose Storage Inc. began injecting working gas at its facility in Butte County, CA, just north of Sacramento. Wild Goose is owned by an indirect subsidiary of Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. The state's first merchant storage facility is tied into the PG&E system near the citygate in northern California. "We believe adding 14 Bcf of gas storage effectively at the citygate, with many of the key players in California as customers, will significantly improve market liquidity," said a Wild Goose official.

Wisconsin Gas' GasAdvantage customer choice program gained approval from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to continue for a fourth year. This year the program added the Washington County municipalities of Slinger, Hartford, and Jackson to West Bend as participants in the program. The commercial portion of the pilot also will be expanded to include the entire ANR Pipeline-served portion of the company's service territory. And the total available capacity of the entire program (both commercial and residential) will be increased from 11,300 Dth to a limit of 22,000 Dth of peak day service. Open enrollment for residential and commercial customers will run from July 1 to Sept. 30, or until the total volume capacity is reached, whichever comes first. Marketers must sign an agreement with Wisconsin Gas before May 1 to participate.

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