Industry Briefs

Avista Advantage, a subsidiary of Avista Corp., has completed an investment agreement for an undisclosed amount with Wayne, PA-based EnerTech Capital Partners to help refine, expand and market the Spokane, WA-based company's suite of facility cost management service offerings. The agreement completes Avista Advantage's first round of private equity financing. Gary G. Ely, Avista Corp.'s acting CEO, said the agreement "will focus new attention on this important market segment, and create new value growth opportunities for both companies." EnerTech, one of the Safeguard Scientifics funds, is based in Wayne, PA. It specializes in companies poised for growth through deregulation, targeting the convergence of the energy, utility and telecommunications industries.

Cleco Energy LLC has purchased 160 miles of pipeline from Texas Southeastern Gas Co. and acquired 33 miles of Southland Energy Co. pipeline from International Paper for $3.2 million. Cleco Energy is a unit of Cleco Midstream Resources Inc., a subsidiary of Cleco Corp., based in Pineville, LA. The Texas Southeastern pipelines serve six municipalities, two local distribution companies, 11 industrial customers and three public authorities in southeast Texas. The Southland Energy pipeline runs from the Seven Oaks Field in Polk County, TX to an interconnect with existing Cleco pipelines in Lufkin, TX.

Danbury, CT-based FuelCell Energy Inc. has awarded contracts for two power plants using the company's Direct FuelCells for coal mine and remote location applications. The U.S. Department of energy National Energy Technology Laboratory received the first contract for $5.4 million to design, construct and operate a 250 kW DFC, using coal methane gas at the Harrison Mining Corp. mine in Cadiz, OH. The second contract for $100,000 went to the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center in Groton, CT for a remote location, 3 kW fuel cell power system using methanol for fuel. It will be installed by the second quarter of 2001 at the Cape Henry Lighthouse at Fort Story in Virginia.

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