Reliant Energy improved its West Coast portfolio last week byannouncing a six-year agreement with the Springfield, IL municipalutility City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) to market its total 600MW generation. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement comes seven months after Reliant Energyrevealed its intentions of moving aggressively into the Midwestmarket by agreeing to develop a 600 MW gas-fired power plant atWood River’s refinery in Roxana, IL, which will go on line in 2001.”We see the agreement with CWLP as an expansion of our commitmentto the Midwest merchant market that builds on our recentlyannounced 600 MW Cardinal Energy facility in Roxana, IL,” saidReliant Energy Wholesale Group CEO Charles Oglesby.

“This marketing agreement, as well as the Roxana plant are notthe linchpins to our Midwest operations; they are collectively moreof a beachhead,” said Reliant spokesman Terry Naulty. “The dealwith the municipal increases our presence in an area where we wantto have a very large influence.”

The contract allows for Reliant Energy to supply the gas to firethe CWLP’s generation, yet no firm commitments have been made.Reliant plans to supply the gas for the Roxana plant, whichofficials said burned 30 Bcf last year. The municipality saidseveral other parties attempted to sign with CWLP, but the names ofthe other bidders were not disclosed.

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