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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

Shell Energy Services LLC is offering Georgia retail customers a weatherproof bill for their gas purchases. The bill sets flat monthly charges for consumers' natural gas bills, which Shell guarantees for a full 12 months. The program is different from other "budget" billing plans, Shell said, because there is no year-end adjustment or "true-up," no matter how cold it gets in the winter. For a limited time, consumers may sign up for the Shell Energy WeatherProof(SM) Bill by calling 1-877-56-SHELL or by visiting the Shell Energy Web site at www.shellenergy.com. After they provide qualifying information, customers are told exactly how much their monthly natural gas bill will be for the next 12 months. The calculation is based on a computer program analysis of multi-decade weather patterns for their respective regions of Georgia. The analysis is combined with the 12-month historical natural gas usage at the consumer's residence and the then-current guaranteed rate per therm-now 39 cents for Shell Energy natural gas.

Calpine Corp. announced Thursday it entered into an agreement with Austin, Texas-based GenTex Power Corp. to build, own and operate a $225 million natural gas-fired power plant in Bastrop County, Texas, 30 miles Southeast of Austin. The new project will be developed through a 50/50 joint venture. The proposed facility, called Lost Pines I, will provide 500 MW to the growing central Texas wholesale power market.

The project represents the first private/public venture between a public power organization and an independent power producer in Texas, Calpine said. Construction of the facility is expected to begin in October 1999, with the plant entering operations in June 2001. Calpine will manage all phases of project development. Upon commercial operation, GenTex will take half of the electrical output from Lost Pines I for sale to its customer base. Calpine will market the remaining energy to the deregulated wholesale power market through its Houston-based power marketing organization.

Calpine owns and operates more than 1,100 MW of capacity in Texas, with 1,500 MW of capacity in construction or under development.

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