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PSC: No Iberdrola settlement talks now

Public Service Commission spokesman James Denn said this morning he doesn't know of any settlement talks between staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola SA, the Spanish utility seeking to acquire Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion. The merger is going to be discussed at the PSC's monthly meeting Wednesday, and a special session has been scheduled for Aug. 27. A vote on the merger could take place that day.

Public Service Commission spokesman James Denn said this morning he doesn't know of any settlement talks between staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola SA, the Spanish utility seeking to acquire Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion.

The merger is going to be discussed at the PSC's monthly meeting Wednesday, and a special session has been scheduled for Aug. 27. A vote on the merger could take place that day.

Energy East, which is headquartered in Maine, owns Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas, which have 1.3 million upstate New York customers.

The five members of the PSC must approve the deal under state law. New York is the only state in the Energy East service territory that has yet to approve the deal.

Staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola have had settlement talks in the past, but the negotiations broken down. The Spanish daily Cinco Dias reported yesterday that talks had resumed.

A settlement before a PSC vote would ensure that Iberdrola would at least have a say in crafting the conditions of the merger. When National Grid purchased KeySpan last year, the companies reached a settlement with the department staff.

The PSC... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Public Service Commission spokesman James Denn said this morning he doesn't know of any settlement talks between staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola SA, the Spanish utility seeking to acquire Energy East Corp. for $4.5 billion.

The merger is going to be discussed at the PSC's monthly meeting Wednesday, and a special session has been scheduled for Aug. 27. A vote on the merger could take place that day.

Energy East, which is headquartered in Maine, owns Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas, which have 1.3 million upstate New York customers.

The five members of the PSC must approve the deal under state law. New York is the only state in the Energy East service territory that has yet to approve the deal.

Staff at the Department of Public Service and Iberdrola have had settlement talks in the past, but the negotiations broken down. The Spanish daily Cinco Dias reported yesterday that talks had resumed.

A settlement before a PSC vote would ensure that Iberdrola would at least have a say in crafting the conditions of the merger. When National Grid purchased KeySpan last year, the companies reached a settlement with the department staff.

The PSC commissioners used that as a framework to design their own order, adding other conditions to the sale.

An administrative law judge overseeing the Iberdrola proceeding recommended to the PSC that stringent conditions be placed on the merger, including barring Iberdrola from owning wind farms in the NYSEG and RG&E service territories.

Iberdrola has said it may walk away from the merger if any limits are placed on its ability to own and build wind farms in New York. Iberdrola is the largest wind developer in the world and is planning to spend $2 billion on wind projects in the state over the next five years.

"Staff is not aware of and is not participating in any negotiations," Denn said. "All parties participating in negotiations would have to be informed and invited if talks were to resume. No such invitation has been made by any party to the proceedings."

He declined to address the Cinco Dias story.


Source: http://blogs.timesunion.com...

AUG 15 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16587-psc-no-iberdrola-settlement-talks-now
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