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Xcel Energy Expands Plans to Add Wind Farm Capacity to 3,380 MW

LCG, March 23, 2017--Xcel Energy yesterday announced plans to make the largest multi-state investment in wind capacity in the country. The proposed plan is expected to increase the amount of wind energy in the Xcel's energy mix by 2021, with wind fueling nearly 35 percent of its total energy mix.

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First Solar Starts Operations of the 250-MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project

LCG, March 22, 2017--First Solar, Inc. Friday held the commissioning ceremony for the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The power generated by the 250-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project will be purchased under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power(LADWP).

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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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