Scottish Power wins $147 million In USA

Scottish Power, the UK electricity group, on Thursday said its US subsidiary had won $147m from the Utah Public Service Commission as compensation to cover increased costs during the US power crisis in 2000 and 2001. The award, which will mainly be collected through a temporary increase in customers' electricity bills, represents seventy two percent of the $205m originally requested by PacifiCorp, Scottish Power's US division. However, it is slightly higher than the sixty five per cent recovery rate the group has said it is expecting from combined claims in Utah and Oregon. “We believe the order provides a strong level of recovery of allowable costs incurred in Utah over the period,” said Judi Johansen, PacifiCorp chief executive officer. PacifiCorp was forced to pay soaring spot market electricity prices when its Hunter power plant in Utah broke down at the height of the western US power crisis. It then locked into long term power purchase contracts at between $200/MWh and $300/MWh but was hit for a second time when spot prices collapsed to about $30/MWh. A decision on allowable compensation in Oregon, which was also hit by the power crisis, is expected in June. Scottish Power on Wednesday said it was undeterred by its experiences in the US and would consider another acquisition there once it had increased returns at PacifiCorp, which it bought for GBP3.86bn ($5.65bn) in December 1999.

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