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PacTel to Buy $280 Million in Power From Enron


In what it touted as the largest single power sale to date in California's deregulating electricity market, Enron Corp. of Houston said Thursday it has made a deal to sell Pacific Telesis Group about $280 million worth of power over four years.

Enron is one of many out-of-state power companies vying in California's power market, which is scheduled to open up to competition on March 31. Starting then, residents and businesses who have been captive customers of the state's three investor-owned utilities will be able to choose their power provider.

Pacific Telesis Group of San Francisco is the parent of about 10 subsidiaries, including Pacific Bell, California's biggest telephone utility. Enron power will be delivered to about 8,000 PacTel facilities statewide.

PacTel was acquired by SBC Corp. of San Antonio last April. SBC is not included in the deal.

Enron beat out the power marketing subsidiaries owned by the parent companies of Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, a PacTel spokesman said. Although Enron will begin installing meters at PacTel sites immediately, power deliveries won't begin until deregulation begins.

The PacTel contract is the first commercial power sale Enron has announced in California, but the company said it has signed up 20,000 residential customers and 200 businesses.

Several major California businesses are believed to have signed comparable deals with power marketers, but few have been detailed in dollar terms.

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