Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and a Silicon Valley maker of measurement instruments, Picarro Inc., have expanded their collaboration on a technology for detecting natural gas pipeline leaks. PG&E will deploy six of the vehicle-mounted Picarro Surveyor gas leak detectors. PG&E said it is the first utility in the nation to use the new technology (see Daily GPI, Feb. 3). Picarro and PG&E contend that the leak detection equipment is 1,000 times more sensitive than traditional leak detection equipment with capability to detect leaks down to one part-per-billion in ambient air while reducing false positives from naturally occurring methane.

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Sunoco Inc. Friday announced completion of their merger by which Sunoco has become a subsidiary of ETP (see Daily GPI, May 1). In the aggregate, Sunoco shareholders will receive 50% of the merger consideration in cash and 50% in ETP common units. The total consideration to be paid in cash will be about $2.6 billion, and the total consideration to be paid in equity will be approximately 54.97 million ETP common units. On Friday Sunoco ceased to be a publicly traded company and its common stock discontinued trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) on Thursday filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for permission to partially operate one of its two idle units at the 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (Songs). SCE sent the NRC a Confirmatory Action Letter, along with its restart plan for the 1,100 MW Unit 2 at Songs. The unit cannot be restarted until all plans have been approved by the NRC. Songs’ two units have been shut down since January (see Daily GPI, Feb. 7), increasing demand on the state’s gas-fired generation fleet. As the NRC now takes months to review SCE’s plans before making a decision on a restart date for the one unit, state regulators will begin proceedings next month to decide how much, if any, of the rising costs from the outage will be paid by utility ratepayers.

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