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PG&E Gets OK to Sell Wind Farm

The $102.5-million sale is part of a plan to cut debt at the company's National Energy Group.

January 28, 2003|From Bloomberg News

PG&E Corp., the owner of California's largest utility, won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell a wind-power farm to MDU Resources Group Inc. for $102.5 million.

The Mountain View facility, owned by PG&E's unregulated power-generation and trading unit, National Energy Group, consists of 111 wind turbines near Palm Springs, according to a commission order.

National Energy Group has been selling assets to raise cash and reduce debt after a drop in wholesale power prices and the collapse of energy trading after Enron Corp.'s bankruptcy filing in December 2001.

The unit announced Jan. 17 that it was in default on $2.9 billion in debt and other obligations. PG&E said then that it would take nearly $250 million in charges for the fourth quarter as a result of the default.

Bismarck, N.D.-based MDU is the owner of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., which has 115,000 electricity customers and 213,000 natural gas customers in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

PG&E, the owner of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., is based in San Francisco.

Shares of PG&E fell 45 cents to $13.55 on the New York Stock Exchange.

MDU was down 69 cents at $25.11, also on the NYSE.

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