Peoples, Dominion to Build Chicago-Based Power Plant
Peoples Energy and Dominion Energy announced they plan to
develop and operate a 300 MW gas-fired electric generating peaking
facility near Elwood, IL, 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The $90
million project is expected to be completed in time to provide
power to the grid in summer 1999.
The plant is expected to be connected to multiple gas lines and
Commonwealth Edison's electric transmission lines. "ComEd has been
very cooperative as we work toward tying into their transmission
grid," said Thomas Patrick, executive vice president of Peoples
Energy. "The Elwood plant will offer an added source for electric
power and enhanced supply reliability for northeastern Illinois,
The project marks People foray into the merchant power plant
business. A spokesman said the Chicago local gas distributor was
attracted by recent moves in the state toward electric
restructuring. But its entry into merchant plant development also
is part of an overall diversification strategy, which includes
increasing activity in oil and gas exploration, electric power
generation and the midstream energy business. Peoples has targeted
to achieve 25% of its earnings from nonutility activities by 2002.
For Dominion, the deal "represents an extension of our strategy
to grow our power generation and natural gas businesses in the
Midwest and Northeast, home to about 40% of our nation's demand for
energy," said Dominion CEO Thomas N. Chewning.
The two companies are finalizing a turnkey commitment with GE
Power Systems for two turbine-generator sets and construction of
the facility. Rocco Canonica
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