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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Industry News

Dominion Plans on Offshore Wind Projects, Pumped Storage and Relicensing of Nuclear Plants to Reduce Carbon Emissions

LCG, August 1, 2019--Dominion Energy presented plans to invest in clean energy infrastructure in its second-quarter earnings call yesterday. Dominion's five-year growth capital plan totals $26 billion through 2023.

A significant portion of Dominion's capital expenditure plan is to develop and install offshore wind projects. In July Dominion initiated construction on its $300 million, 12-MW Coastal Virginia wind pilot project, located 27 miles offshore of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The project is scheduled for completion in 2020. Dominion now expects the offshore lease area may accommodate over 2,000 MW of generation capacity and a total investment of $1.1 billion through 2024.

The executive vice president, president and CEO of Dominion's Power Generation Group stated, "In Virginia, we're looking at the need to get the life-cycle cost equivalent down closer to maybe the $80/MWh range, which means we need to see about a 15% to 20% capital cost improvement. We think that those costs can move in that direction once we stand up the US supply chain. That's been a real benefit that they've seen in Europe is being able to scale up the supply chain."

Given Dominion's interest to add variable or intermittent renewable generation resources, Dominion is also refining its search for a potential site to install a $2 billion to $3 billion pumped storage facility in southwestern Virginia. In addition, Dominion Energy Virginia (Virginia Electric and Power Company) will file its first battery pilot program this week. "We will pair batteries with solar facilities to begin the integration of peak shifting and clipping as well as test the reliability benefits of batteries on our distribution grid."

Relicensing Dominion's four existing Westinghouse pressurized water reactors reactors in Virginia for another 20 years is another critical element of Dominion's plan to utilize carbon-free electric generating resources. The nuclear resources include the approximately 1,958-MW North Anna and the 1,750-MW Surry nuclear power plants, along with a $4 billion capital program. The North Anna and Surry units were originally licensed to operate for 40 years, like all U.S nuclear units. All four units' licenses were renewed for 20 additional years of operation in 2003. The North Anna and Surry nuclear units' respective licenses currently will expire in 2038 and 2040, and 2032 and 2033. After a second renewal, the respective licenses for North Anna and Surry will allow the units to operate to 2058 and 2060, and 2052 and 2053.
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