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Fitch Rates Illinois Municipal Electric Agency's $322.1MM 2009 Revs 'A+'.

NEW YORK New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 -- Fitch Ratings Fitch Ratings

An international rating agency for financial institutions, insurance companies, and corporate, sovereign, and municipal debt. Fitch Ratings has headquarters in New York and London and is wholly owned by FIMALAC of Paris.
 assigns the following ratings to the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency's (IMEA IMEA Illinois Music Educators Association
IMEA Integrated Munitions Effectiveness Analysis
IMEA Idaho Music Educators Association (Idaho chapter of the Music Educators National Conference) 
) series 2009 power supply system revenue bonds:

--$307.525 million series 2009A 'A+';

--$14.575 million taxable series 2009B 'A+'.

Fitch also affirms IMEA's outstanding power supply system revenue bonds at 'A+'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Proceeds from the series 2009 bonds will fund IMEA's remaining portion of the Prairie prairie

Level or rolling grassland, especially that found in central North America. Decreasing amounts of rainfall, from 40 in. (100 cm) at the forested eastern edge to less than 12 in.
 State Generation Station (PSGS PSGS Perot Systems Government Services
PSGS Philippine Society of General Surgeons, Inc
) construction, capitalize To regard the cost of an improvement or other purchase as a capital asset for purposes of determining Income Tax liability. To calculate the net worth upon which an investment is based. To issue company stocks or bonds to finance an investment.  interest for six months after scheduled completion of the PSGS, fully fund the debt service reserve fund to the maximum annual debt service requirement and pay the cost of issuance. IMEA may issue Build America Bonds and will make that decision closer to the sale date. The bonds are scheduled to price the week of July 13, 2009.

IMEA has a 15.17% ownership interest (approximately 240 mega-watts [MW]) in the PSGS, a 1,600 MW coal-fired generating station consisting of two supercritical Adj. 1. supercritical - (especially of fissionable material) able to sustain a chain reaction in such a manner that the rate of reaction increases
critical - at or of a point at which a property or phenomenon suffers an abrupt change especially having enough mass
 units. The project also includes the development of a coal mine and related facilities. As of April 2009, the PSGS Project was 16% complete although the engineering design work is 72.3% complete. IMEA's current estimate of the Project cost is $2,744 per KW (including the development cost of the coal mine).

The rating reflects the member's proven support of IMEA, through long-term take-and-pay all-requirements contracts, the system's relatively low cost and flexible power resources. In addition, IMEA's solid financial margins and self liquidity are comparable to other public power systems in the 'A+' category. Further support for the rating comes from the members' competitive and stable retail rates (relative to those of regional IOUs), and IMEA's proactive management.

As part of a future generation strategy to meet its participating member's needs, IMEA plans to replace expiring power purchase contracts and increase its owned generation resources. In addition to its participation in PSGS, IMEA is a 12.12% (approximately 91 MW) participant in the construction of Trimble County Unit 2 (TC2), a 750 MW pulverized-coal super-critical unit that will be located adjacent to the existing Trimble County Unit 1 (TC1), of which IMEAs owns a 12.12% (approximately 62 MW) share of the TC1 plant. As of April 2009, TC2 is 60.5% complete and is on schedule to meet its June 2010 guaranteed completion date. IMEA's cost for TC2 is projected to be $1,635 per KW.

Credit concerns include ongoing construction risks, the affects of the current economic downturn and uncertainty associated with proposed greenhouse gas greenhouse gas
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

greenhouse gas 
 legislation and the affect on IMEA's cost structure and financial metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM.  in relation to its peer group.

With regard to member customer composition, the members' consist of an above average mix of commercial and industrial customers that make up IMEA's members' energy sales. Mitigating mit·i·gate  
v. mit·i·gat·ed, mit·i·gat·ing, mit·i·gates
To moderate (a quality or condition) in force or intensity; alleviate. See Synonyms at relieve.

To become milder.
 this risk is the members' competitive retail rates and that no single customer accounts for more than 2% of IMEA's revenues.

IMEA's historical financial performance reflects solid debt service coverage and adequate liquidity. Although IMEA's debt levels have increased substantially as it funds the construction of TC2 and PSGS, IMEA and its participating members appear to have the financial ability to service this level of debt. It should be noted that the debt has been structured so that increased future debt service costs should be offset by reduced purchased power operating expenses Operating expenses

The amount paid for asset maintenance or the cost of doing business, excluding depreciation. Earnings are distributed after operating expenses are deducted.

IMEA is a joint action agency in Illinois comprised of 32 member municipalities throughout the State of Illinois. The participating members in turn provide residential, commercial and industrial electric service to their respective service areas. While the members are relatively small cities and villages, the recent addition of the City of St. Charles in 2007 and the addition of the City of Naperville in 2011 will increase peak demand and aggregate energy usage. Participating members have a combined population of 330,000 and the members provide electric service to approximately 158,300 primarily residential customers. While participating members have historically experienced peak demand and energy usage growth, there has been an average decrease of approximately 5% on energy usage during Fiscal Year 2009. This is partially due to conservation but also due to reduced industrial activity. This slow down in energy usage among participating members of IMEA was somewhat masked A state of being disabled or cut off.  by the addition of the City St. Charles as a participant in 2007. Members have reported some cutbacks and closings of industrial customers but overall, the member communities do not appear to be as adversely affected by economic and housing issues as other parts of the country. In light of the economic slow down, IMEA has reduced its load forecast for planning purposes and is now anticipating approximately 1% load growth going forward (excluding Naperville and Red Bud commencing service in 2011).

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 of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental  are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 12, 2009
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