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Austin Energy Adds 500-MW of Wind Power to Its Portfolio

LCG, May 19, 2015-Austin Energy recently announced that it has added two commercial wind plants to its portfolio late last month. The addition of the Los Vientos III and Jumbo Road wind farms add approximately 500 MW of generating capacity, increasing Austin Energy's wind portfolio to 1,340 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Austin Energy's wind power will now account for approximately ten percent of the installed wind capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system.

Hawaii Poised to Become First State with 100 Percent Renewables Goal by 2045

LCG, May 12, 2015-The State of Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the country to pass legislation to set achieve a one hundred percent renewable energy portfolio standard by 2045. The legislation, House Bill 623, passed last week and now awaits the governor's signature.

Industry News

Agriculture Group Backs PG&E Hydro Plan; Independent Power Producers Don’t Like It

LCG, Aug. 11, 2000--Lobbyists began choosing sides yesterday as the California Public Utilities Commission began studying a proposal by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to transfer its hydroelectric facilities in the state to a newly created unit of its parent holding company PG&E Corp.

The proposal, reported here yesterday, had the backing of The Utility Reform Network (TURN), theCoalition of California Utility Employees (CUE), Agricultural Energy Consumers Association(AECA), California Retailers Association, Sonoma County Water Agency, and Tuolumne UtilityDistrict.

Director Michael Boccadoro of the AECA called the settlement agreement "an historic opportunity to guarantee that these resources are operated in a reliable, environmentally sound manner and toprovide electric customers with significant economic benefits."

But the owners of independent power plants are against the proposal. Jan Smutny-Jones, executive director of the Independent Energy Producers Association, said "The best way to protect the environment and ratepayers, and to foster a truly competitive electric market is through an open, conditioned auction of these generating assets."

When PG&E first proposed transferring ownership of the hydro facilities to an affiliate, the plan was dismissed as self-serving and concerns over market power were raise. So, the utility proposed that it auction its plants, just like it did with its fossil-fueled power plants. That raised concerns by environmentalists and others who wondered what would happen to Californias rivers when competing generation companies ran the hydro turbines full time.

This time around, PG&E says its proposal should satisfy both environmentalists and free-market competitors.

As the sainted Noah Webster said in his 1802 American Spelling Book, "It makes a difference whose ox is gored."




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