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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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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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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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