Peoples Energy and Dominion Energy announced they plan todevelop and operate a 300 MW gas-fired electric generating peakingfacility near Elwood, IL, 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The $90million project is expected to be completed in time to providepower to the grid in summer 1999.

The plant is expected to be connected to multiple gas lines andCommonwealth Edison’s electric transmission lines. “ComEd has beenvery cooperative as we work toward tying into their transmissiongrid,” said Thomas Patrick, executive vice president of PeoplesEnergy. “The Elwood plant will offer an added source for electricpower and enhanced supply reliability for Northeastern Illinois,including Chicago.” The two companies are finalizing a turnkeycommitment with GE Power Systems for two turbine-generator sets andconstruction of the facility.

“This venture represents an extension of our strategy to growour power generation and natural gas businesses in the Midwest andNortheast, home to about 40% of our nation’s demand for energy,”said Dominion CEO Thomas N. Chewning.

Peoples Energy said its entry into merchant plant development ispart of an overall diversification strategy, which includesincreasing activity in oil and gas exploration, electric powergeneration and the midstream energy business. Peoples has targetedto achieve 25% of its earnings from nonutility activities by theyear 2002.

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