Continuing to push its advantage as the main gas supplier inWisconsin, Coastal’s ANR Pipeline Co. announced yesterday thatAlliant Energy’s Wisconsin Power & Light Co. (WP&L) hasagreed to extend to 2003 and 2010, respectively, its transportationand storage service agreements, which are due to expire in 2000 and2003. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC-W) hasapproved the agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With these agreements, Alliant Energy-WP&L joins othermajor Wisconsin utilities that have extended their contracts withANR,” said Jeffrey A. Connelly, CEO of ANR Pipeline Co. “In thecase of Alliant Energy-WP&L, which has direct access to otherpipeline alternatives, it’s especially gratifying to have themconclude that the ANR system adds significant value.”
Although no volumes were disclosed, Alliant said the dealsrepresent 55% of WP&L’s transportation capacity and 50% of itsstorage capacity. The “other pipeline alternative” Connellydescribed was Northern Natural Gas. An Alliant spokesperson saidthe company chose ANR because it was the more aggressive companyduring the negotiation process and it also offered the best dealfor its customers. Northern Natural did not comment before presstime.
The signing elongates ANR’s presence concerning Wisconsinutility gas supply. Besides WP&L, the pipeline company serves ahost of other utilities in the state, including Madison Gas &Electric, Wisconsin Public Service, Wisconsin Fuel & Light andWisconsin Gas.
ANR’s position, however, was made tenuous last year by the $230million interstate Guardian Pipeline project. The 149-mile projectwas filed at FERC last December by its sponsors, WICOR, CMS Energyand Viking Gas Transmission. Wisconsin Gas already has committed to650 MMcf/d on that line. Also, Kinder Morgan and Nicor Energy areplanning the $75 million Horizon Pipeline, which would traversefrom Joliet, IL into northern Illinois but would also be capable ofbeing expanded to serve Wisconsin markets.
Martucci said many other utilities are happy with ANR’s service.Alliant, he said, has been an ANR customer for many years. In 1995,the utility signed a performance-based gas rate plan with ANR. Forthe five consecutive years since it was adopted, Alliant Energy’sinnovative gas rate plan has generated more than $12.1 million inbill credits for customers in Wisconsin, ANR said. Customersreceive 60% of any savings realized when Alliant Energy’s gastraders are able to “beat” the average regional wholesale pricesover the course of each year.
“Alliant Energy already delivers the best energy value to ourWisconsin customers, and these new agreements enable us to continueproviding them with reliable, low-cost natural gas service,” saidWilliam Harvey, president of Alliant Energy-WP&L. “With ourunique performance-based rates for gas service, our customers willbenefit directly from the highly competitive prices provided byANR.”
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