The lights will shine in the city of Columbus, OH, for at leastthe next five years if CMS Energy Corp. has anything to say aboutit. CMS Marketing, Services and Trading (CMS-MST) reportedyesterday that it has been awarded a long term contract to providewholesale electricity and other energy services to the city’s13,000 residential and commercial customers.

“This contract will protect Columbus’ municipal utility from therisk of sharp increases in the price of electricity,” said TamelaW. Pallas, president of CMS Marketing, Services and Trading. “Weworked closely with the Division of Electricity to structure a dealthat included our managing the risks on their existing contracts,and protects them from volatility in the power markets now and intothe future.”

Under the agreement, CMS-MST will supply the entire electricitydemand for Columbus’ Division of Electricity over a five-yearperiod commencing January 1, 2001. In addition to the residentialand commercial customers, the agreement encompasses the electricityneeds of all of the city’s buildings and streetlights. Themunicipal utility in the past has served a peak demand of 147 MWwhich was set back in July 1999. CMS’ bid won the contract overseveral other electricity marketers.

“We intend to become more active in Ohio as it makes thetransition to a deregulated electric market by offering a full menuof energy services,” said Pallas. “This contract with the city ofColumbus gives us an excellent platform to expand our serviceofferings to municipal utilities and commercial and industrialenergy users in Ohio and elsewhere in the Midwest.”

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