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Duke Signs Long-Term Contracts with PG&E

October 31, 2000|Nancy Vogel

Duke Energy Corp. announced the signing of long-term contracts to sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the utility that serves most of Central and Northern California. The Duke contracts will help the PG&E Corp. subsidiary manage costs in the state's volatile electricity market. Since May, PG&E has spent an estimated $2.7 billion more to buy wholesale electricity than it can charge retail customers, whose rates were frozen by the Legislature in 1996. Duke executives called details of the contracts "proprietary" but said the price would be in line with the company's public offer in August to sell electricity at $50 a megawatt-hour for five years. (A megawatt is roughly enough electricity to supply 1,000 homes.) In 1998, Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke purchased major Northern California power plants from PG&E in Morro Bay and Moss Landing; the utility auctioned those plants to comply with the state's deregulation plan. Duke shares rose $2.63 to close at $85.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 71% year to date.

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