Detroit Edison reported that its unique bid-phased electricchoice program in Michigan continues to receive a positive responsefrom new participants using the system. The fifth and final bidphase of the program showed that demand for capacity on itsdistribution system again exceeded the amount of space available,as the company received over 70 requests.

Bidders, which include power marketers, electricity customersand other aggregated groups, bid on the opportunity to use theDetroit Edison distribution system to transmit electricity fromalternative suppliers.

Bids are collected and tabulated by the public accounting firmof Rehmann Robson, which acts as an independent bid administrator.The Michigan Public Service Commission also oversees the entire bidprocess.

Starting with the first phase, which began in August 1999, andin each of the next four phases leading up to Jan. 1, 2002, DetroitEdison and Consumers Energy have opened a portion of theirtransmission infrastructure capacity to competitive providers.

Currently, the company has opened up 1,125 MW, or more than 12%of its capacity to more than 40 customers wishing to choose analternative supplier. The list includes Meijer, the University ofMichigan-Ann Arbor and North Star Steel.

The company said Michigan’s bid-phased format was unlike otherelectric deregulation efforts in other states. The five-phaseapproach allowed Detroit Edison to ease its way into the program,and correct things along the way. The company remains responsiblefor the upkeep and distribution reliability of the electric system.

“Michigan and Detroit Edison have developed an electric choiceprogram designed to be fair to all energy users,” said JamesGessner, Detroit Edison Electric Choice Program manager. “It willbe the benchmark for other states and utilities because customersand other participants will experience a seamless transition tofull statewide electric choice in 2002.”

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