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Business Briefs

Issue 4 and Volume 103.

Rolls-Royce plc and Science Applications International Corp. have created a new company to provide predictive maintenance and electric power plant control and optimization products and services worldwide. The new company, call Data Systems and Solutions, LLC (DS&S), is headquartered in Reston, Va.

PP&L Inc. expects its new on-site spent fuel storage at Susquehanna nuclear plant to be ready this summer.

Houston Industries changed its name to Reliant Energy to reflect its evolution from a utility into an energy services company. Don Jordan, CEO, said Reliant plants to more than double its generating capacity in the next five years from 18,000 MW to about 40,000 MW.

Duke Energy Power Services has broken ground on its Hidalgo Energy power plant, its first major merchant power plant in Texas. The 500 MW, $175 million power plant should enter service in the summer of 2000.

The NRC has approved Westinghouse Electric Co.`s Risk-Informed, In-Service Inspection methodology for nuclear plant piping systems.

Empire District Electric Co. and Western Resources Inc. will share ownership of the 500 MW expansion of Empire`s State Line Power Plant. Construction should begin this fall.

Cinergy Capital & Trading Inc. has acquired Westwood Energy Properties Limited Parnership`s 30 MW plant in Schuylkill County, Pa. The fluidized-bed waste coal unit will be operated as a merchant plant. Cinergy plans to refurbish the facility, which has been shut down since 1997.

Foxboro Co. has received contracts to upgrade the distributed control systems for six Northern Indiana Public Service Co. units at its Michigan City, Bailly, and Schahfer generating stations.

Tennessee Valley Authority has awarded ABB Environmental Systems the $13 million contract for NOx emission control systems for its Paradise power plant in Kentucky.

The Wind Turbine Co. has signed a $950,000 contract with the California Energy Commission to help the firm develop a 350 kW wind turbine. The project received DOE funding in 1997.

ABB has been awarded the $16 million contract to rehabilitate Western Farmers Electric Co-op.`s Hugo power station by May 2000. The project includes installation of a new steam turbine.

GE Power Systems and Plug Power have announced a joint venture, GE Fuel Cell Systems, to distribute fuel cell systems worldwide.

Northern Alternative Energy Inc. and Northern States Power Co. have executed power purchase agreements for 25 MW of wind energy to be developed at 17 Minnesota sites.

Calpine Corp. has announced plans for a 540 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Westbrooke, Maine, to be completed in November 2000. Calpine acquired the development rights from Genesis Power Corp. Calpine has also announced plans with Bechtel to build and operate a 600 MW natural gas-fired power plant in San Jose, Calif. The plant, named Metcalf Energy Center, cannot be built until it clears extensive review. Approvals are anticipated in 2000 and commercial operation in 2002.

Carolina Power & Light Co. has announced plans for 1,100 MW of new peaking capacity to be operational by June 2001. Plans include capacity increases at two existing plants, a new 160 MW gas-fired plant in Monroe, Ga., and new construction at sites yet to be announced.

Northern States Power Co., Wisconsin Electric Power Co. and Wisconsin Public Service have formed a nuclear management company to focus on long-term safety, reliability and performance of their nuclear plants. Alliant Energy is seeking SEC approval to join the group at a later date. The four utilities operate seven nuclear plants.

EPRI and the Gas Research Institute have formed a consortium to commercialize advanced planar solid oxide fuel cells for decentralized power systems.

NIPSCO Industries is changing its name to NiSource to better reflect is direction as a multi-state electricity, gas and water supplier.