EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
BREAKS GROUND ON COVERT POWER PLANT
Project Commits $2 Million
to Benefit Community Programs
COVERT, Mich.--Helping to
meet Michigan's growing energy needs, Gov. John Engler today joined
PG&E Corporation's (NYSE: PCG) PG&E National Energy Group (PG&E
NEG) officials in breaking ground for the 1,170-megawatt gas-fired
Covert Generating Plant. Company representatives also announced
the establishment of a community foundation and committed $2 million
to benefit the township's civic, charitable, educational, cultural
and environmental programs.
Upon completion of construction,
Covert Generating Plant, located about 48 miles west of Kalamazoo,
will be a "merchant" facility, selling its output primarily in the
competitive wholesale markets via the lines of Michigan Electric
Transmission Company, a subsidiary of Consumers Energy. The new
plant, scheduled to begin operating in the summer of 2003, is designed
to produce enough electricity to power approximately 1 million homes.
"The Covert Generating Plant
is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when the State
and private industry work together closely to meet not only the
electrical power needs of Michigan residents, but the community
outreach, educational, and environmental goals of the state as well,"
said Gov. Engler. "This is truly a partnership that benefits Michigan
at every level."
State Rep. Mary Ann Middaugh
and other state, county, local and PG&E NEG officials also participated
in the event.
Covert Generating Company
created the Covert Township Community Foundation and presented its
initial contribution of $1 million at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Covert Generating committed an additional $1 million to support
the foundation during the first 15 years of the plant's operation.
The foundation's advisory board will consist of township, business
and community leaders.
"Our involvement in the
community is every bit as important to us as our involvement in
providing clean, reliable, affordable power. We are pleased to make
a contribution that will help anchor the Covert Community Improvement
Foundation," said Chris Iribe, president and chief operating officer
of PG&E NEG's East Region. "Following a strong working relationship
with county, township and state officials, we're proud to be entering
the Midwest's competitive power market."
Covert Generating Company,
LLC, is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of PG&E NEG. Headquartered
in Bethesda, Md., PG&E NEG develops, builds, owns and operates electric
generating and natural gas pipeline facilities and provides energy
trading, marketing and risk-management services.
This news release contains forward-looking
statements regarding the plans and objectives of PG&E National Energy
Group with respect to the Covert Generating Plant. These statements
are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results
could differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking
statements. Some of the key factors that could cause actual results
to differ materially include, but are not limited to; (i) changes
in government regulations, including federal and state regulation
of the electric energy and natural gas industry, particularly in
California where it remains uncertain what measures will be adopted
by state and federal regulators to address the current California
energy crisis and what the effect of such measures would be on PG&E
National Energy Group's plans and operations; (ii) the extent to
which current or planned development of generating facilities are
completed and the pace and cost of that completion, including the
extent to which commercial operations of these development facilities
are delayed or prevented because of various development, construction
and operation risks, such as the failure to obtain financing, necessary
permits or equipment, the failure of third-party contractors to
perform their contractual obligations, and the failure of necessary
equipment to perform as anticipated; (iii) development and operation
of competing power plants; (iv) fluctuations in natural gas and
electricity prices and the ability to successfully manage such price
fluctuations; (v) the risks associated with marketing and selling
power from power plants in the newly competitive energy market;
and, (vi) the other risks identified from time to time in PG&E Corporation's
and PG&E National Energy Group's reports filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.