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Xcel Unit Reaches Settlement Tied to 2000-2001 California Power Sales

Xcel Energy subsidiary Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCo) last Wednesday said that it has reached a settlement pact with a group of California entities including, among others, the California attorney general, involving a number of proceedings before FERC relating to the price of sales into the California electricity markets from May 1, 2000 through June 20, 2001.

Pending approval of the settlement by the FERC, PSCo will pay approximately $5.5 million in cash and assign $1.8 million in accounts receivable from the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange to the settling participants.

In 2004, PSCo reserved approximately $7 million related to this proceeding. The settlement, which includes no acknowledgment of wrongdoing by PSCo, avoids further costly litigation and resolves all claims by PSCo against the settling participants and by the settling participants against PSCo, Xcel noted.

The other California parties signing on to the agreement are: San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co., the California Department of Water Resources and the California Public Utilities Commission.

Wednesday's news marks the latest in a string of similar settlement announcements related to the West Coast energy crisis of 2000-2001.

FERC last month announced that a settlement was brokered with Reliant Energy to resolve claims stemming from its role in the 2000-2001 energy crisis on the West Coast (see NGI, Aug. 22). In July, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced a $1.52 billion settlement with Enron Corp. to resolve market manipulation and price-gouging claims stemming from the sale of electricity and natural gas during the 2000-2001 energy crisis on the West Coast (see NGI, July 18).

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