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Southern Heads North to Add Renewable Generation

LCG, July 6, 2016--Southern Co. announced yesterday that its subsidiary, Southern Power, has acquired its first project in Maine, the Passadumkeag Windpark, located in Penobscot County. The 43-MW wind project was purchased from an affiliate of Quantum Utility Generation, which developed and built the project. EDF Renewable Services will serve as the balance-of-plant (BOP) operations and maintenance contractor. Construction began last year and is expected to be completed shortly after this acquisition.

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Rhode Island Legislature Passes Revisions to Increase RPS Goals to 40 Percent

LCG, June 28, 2016--The Rhode Island legislature last week passed legislation to increase the state's renewable energy target from 14.5 percent by 2019 to 40 percent by 2035. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gina Raimondo.

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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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