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Mississippi Power Proceeds with Another Solar PV Project

LCG, April 28, 2016--Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power and Silicon Ranch Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the state's largest solar farm yesterday in Hattiesburg. The 50-MW solar PV project is estimated to cost $100 million and is scheduled to commence operations by early 2017.

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ESC Files Application with FERC for the Empire State Connector "HVDC" Transmission Project

LCG, April 27, 2016--Empire State Connector Corp. (ESC) announced yesterday that it has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authority to negotiate agreements with customers for transmission service on a 260-mile long high voltage direct current (HVDC) electric transmission line designed to deliver 1,000 MW of energy and capacity directly into New York City from generating sources located in upstate New York. ESC has assumed the full market risk for the $1.5 billion construction cost so at to cause no negative impact on ratepayers. The project is scheduled to be in-service in 2021.

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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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