Allegheny Energy Solutions formed a strategic alliance withdistributed generation developer Capstone Turbine. “As the world’sleading microturbine manufacturer, Capstone enhances our range ofon-site solutions and provides us with a quality product to offerto our customers,” said David Cole, director of Allegheny EnergySolutions. “We believe there will be significant growth ofdistributed generation opportunities over the next five to 10years, and Allegheny Energy is seizing opportunities in thisgrowing market.” As part of the alliance, a Capstone MicroTurbinewas installed at the site of Allegheny Energy’s Mitchell PowerStation in New Eagle, PA. Allegheny will monitoring the technicaland economical characteristics of the device and identify newapplications. Allegheny Energy, Inc. is a diversified energycompany headquartered in Hagerstown, MD. Allegheny Power deliverselectric energy to about three million people in parts of Maryland,Ohio, Pennsylvania Virginia, and West Virginia.

Allegheny Power’s acquisition of Mountaineer Gas, WestVirginia’s largest natural gas provider and a wholly ownedsubsidiary of Energy Corporation of America, was approved by PublicService Commission of West Virginia (PSC) May 11. The acquisitionadds 200,000 new natural gas customers in a region where it alreadyprovides other energy services. It will grow Allegheny’s serviceterritory to more than 31,000 square miles and its customer base to1.6 million customers. The Federal Trade Commission/Department ofJustice has approved the acquisition. It still requires theapproval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Closing couldoccur sometime in the third quarter.

The proposed merger of LG&E Energy Corp., the parent ofLouisville Gas & Electric, and PowerGen Plc of the UnitedKingdom moved one step closer to reality yesterday with theapproval of the Kentucky Public Service Commission. “We believe theKentucky commission’s timely decision helps us stay on track forclosing this merger in approximately seven to nine months,” saidLG&E Chairman and CEO Roger Hale. The merger still must beapproved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, whereLG&E Energy serves several counties under the name Old DominionPower. A decision in Virginia is expected in late July. Also,approvals are required from the shareholders of each company, FERC,the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal TradeCommission. The merger will create a global energy company withassets of nearly $12 billion and total revenues of $8.7 billion,serving four million customers worldwide.

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety(OPS) gave Olympic Pipeline Co. the go-ahead yesterday to performadditional testing on the section of the product pipeline that wasclosed following an explosion in Bellingham, WA, that killed threelast June. The OPS directed Olympic to test the integrity of the16-inch pipeline segment which runs from Ferndale, WA, to Allenusing two types of in-line inspection devices, also know as “smartpigs.” The agency “will not allow this pipeline to reopen until wehave addressed every known risk to the safety of this pipelineusing state-of-the-art technology,” said Kelly S. Coyner, of theResearch and Special Programs Administration, which oversees OPS.

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