Electric deregulation is moving faster in the virtual world thanthe real world. While power choice has yet to sweep the land, threeproviders of Internet-based power trading are expanding/upgradingtheir systems to meet demand and improve system flexibility.

Houston Street Exchange of Portsmouth, NH, will extend coverageof HoustonStreet.com to every U.S. power trading region Sept. 13.Originally planned for a nationwide rollout after January 2000, thecompany’s flexible Web-based power trading floor,HoustonStreet.com, currently allows traders in the Northeast(NEPOOL, PJM and NY) to trade power online. After the expansion,traders across the country will be able to trade power within theirrespective regions or with traders in other regions.

Using HoustonStreet.com, traders can post offers, make bids,counter and re-counter based on the product and term of theirchoice.

Houston Street Exchange also addresses subtle differences in howtraders buy and sell power in different regions. Traders in NEPOOL(New England region), for example, can buy and sell an idle powerplant’s ability to generate power, called installed capability(ICAP), while in some other regions there is no market for ICAP.HoustonStreet.com identifies appropriate products for each region.The site also incorporates the different delivery points for eachregion.

More than 70% (78 out of 110) of the wholesale power tradingcompanies in the United States have either fully registered totrade power on HoustonStreet.com or are in the registrationprocess. “We had originally planned to extend coverage to the restof the country between January and April of 2000. But based uponthe growing demand from traders nationwide, we have been workingovertime to accelerate the rollout schedule,” said Frank Getman,CEO of Houston Street Exchange.

Houston Street Exchange is a wholly owned subsidiary of BayCorpHoldings Ltd.

Enermetrix.com (formerly North American Power Brokers Inc.), acompany that matches energy buyers and sellers in Internetauctions, has upgraded its system. Formerly the World Wide RetailExchange (REX), Enermetrix.com now fully automates the procurementprocess. “The enhancements to our Internet commerce system forenergy are based on input collected over the past two years fromdozens of energy suppliers and hundreds of energy consumers,” saidJohn Gaus, CEO and co-founder of Enermetrix.com.

Enhancements include online purchasing confirmation, expandedfinancial reporting capabilities, enhanced support of index-basedcontracts, improvements to installation and branding of channelpartner Web sites, an accounting user group and updated onlinedocumentation. The upgraded Enermetrix.com is available immediatelyat www.enemetrix.com.

The company also changed its name from North American PowerBrokers to Enermetrix.com and will be working to makeEnermetrix.com a worldwide brand for buying and selling energyonline. Enermetrix.com is a privately held company headquartered inMaynard, MA. It originated in 1996 as North American Power Brokers.

Automated Power Exchange Inc. (APX) of Cupertino, CA, a providerof Internet-based electricity trading exchanges, has secured $15.5million in equity funding to roll out additional exchanges in theUnited States and international markets. In addition to the APXCalifornia Markets, the APX Green Power Market and the APX OhioMarket in operation, APX is opening exchanges in Illinois, NewYork, and other areas in 1999.

APX offers scheduling, credit management, settlement, and trueprice discovery while maintaining the anonymity of the transactingparties. “The need for our full-service exchanges is building aselectricity industry deregulation proceeds,” said Ed Cazalet, APXCEO. “This funding will allow us to keep pace with the demand ascompetitive markets open state-by-state in the U.S. andcountry-by-country globally.”

It also will enable the company to continue to expand itson-line service portfolio. Corporate investors include CommonwealthEdison, FirstEnergy Corp., and Bechtel Enterprises.

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