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GPU Says Stranded Cost Talks Continue

GPU Says Stranded Cost Talks Continue

GPU Energy said settlement negotiations with parties involved in the company's stranded cost and unbundling case will continue as a regulatory deadline passed last week. "We have notified the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that although we have not reached a settlement at this time, we will continue the negotiation process," said Mike Filippone, director of rates for New Jersey.

GPU Energy officials and representatives from intervening parties have been engaged in settlement talks since March 11. The negotiations are aimed at settling a number of issues concerning GPU Energy's restructuring that were outlined in the New Jersey Energy Deregulation Bill signed into law last month.

"Our goal is to reach a fair and balanced settlement. In extending the negotiations, we hope to do just that," Filippone noted.

Late last year New Jersey utility holding company GPU Inc. sold its non-nuclear generating assets for $2.62 billion - 2.5 times book value or $510 per kilowatt. The majority of generating assets were bought by French- and Japanese-owned Sithe Energies Inc. of New York City, which bought assets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The deal made Sithe the largest U.S. independent power producer.

GPU Energy is the trade name for the three domestic utility subsidiaries of GPU, Inc. The GPU Energy companies, Jersey Central Power & Light, Metropolitan Edison and Pennsylvania Electric, serve more than two million electric customers in an area encompassing about half the land areas in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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