Tokyo-based Electric Power Subsidiary partners with AP Solar in 400 MW Texas Solar Project

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Texas Solar Project Sold to CIP

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Industry News

Regulators Okay First Energy ‘Transition’ Plan

LCG, July 20, 2000--The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio yesterday approved First Energy Corp.s "transition plan" in an action the regulators say "creates an opportunity to begin a competitive retail electric market in Ohio and provide opportunities for consumers to begin saving on their electric bills beginning January 1, 2001."

"This stipulation provides an opportunity to jump start the market by providing the resourcesnecessary for retail customers to begin to shop for competitive generation services," said PUCOChairman Alan Schriber.

The approval covers First Energys operating utilities, Ohio Edison Co., Toledo Edison Co. and Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. According to the commission, First Energy agreed to:

  • Offer at least 20 percent, or 1,120 megawatts, of their its tariff generation capacity to independent marketers, brokers and aggregators at fixed prices for resale to end users.

  • Provide end dates of customer payments for transition costs of Dec. 31, 2006 for Ohio Edison, June 30, 2007 for Toledo Edison and Dec. 31, 2008 for Cleveland Electric Illuminating.

  • Not increase distribution rates through Dec. 31, 2007.

  • Continue residential bill credits of $1.50 per month for Ohio Edison, and $5 per month for Toledo Edison and Cleveland Electric Illuminating residential customers.

  • Create and maintain a technical task force designed to address and attempt to resolve technical and operational issues involving the companies that may arise following the beginning of customer choice.

  • Continue to support low income housing energy efficiency improvements, with grants totaling $5 million per year through Dec. 31, 2005.

  • Forego recovery of up to $500 million in transition costs if the 20 percent customer shopping rate is not met by the end of the market development period. Ohio law establishes a 20 percent benchmark for customer shopping rates.

  • Reimburse marketers for certain transmission costs.

Schriber noted that "There has likely never been a settlement in a major case before this Commission in which the overwhelming majority of intervenors either supported or did not oppose the resolution of issues presented by the stipulation."

For its part, First Energy will be able to recover about $6.9 billion in stranded costs, inspiring H. Peter Burg, chairman and chief executive, to say "We are pleased that the Commission has approved our plan in a timely manner. Customers will get real competition and savings, and we'll have the ability to reduce debt and take the steps necessary to be successful in the competitive energy marketplace."

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