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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

What Dark Secrets Lurk in the Western Grid?

The Western Systems Coordinating Council, the utility-backed organization responsible for maintaining standards and protocols on the electric transmission network serving the 13 western United States and part of western Canada, is hiding something, and we thought you might be interested.

We like to know what we are writing about. Ever since we were an apprentice reported on a metropolitan daily ($38.75 for a 44-hour week) we have had a nagging suspicion that we didnt know enough. This has been reinforced from time to time by comments from our readers -- thoughtful people who say "You dont know what youre talking about."

There has been a lot of news about the transmission grid lately, especially in California where the independent system operator has had his hands full getting meager power resources to where they are needed most. One of our readers, a power systems engineer with a California utility, suggested we get a book that would help us understand more about how the grid works.

"Spend your money on the Western Systems Coordinating Council System Operator Training Manual," he told us, and directed us to the WSCC Website where it could be ordered. There was a simple order form which we printed and dispatched to the WSCC, along with our check for $30.00. Nowhere was it mentioned that this was top secret stuff.

Eleven days later, we received a call from the WSCC. A lady with a pleasant voice said that we had omitted to fill in the name of our company. "It would have been irrelevant," we said, explaining that we were not employed in the industry. The nice voice got an edge on it and we were told that we could not have the manual. After a brief exchange marked by growing acrimony, we said "Youve got the money, just send the book."

Not thirty minutes later we received another call, this time from a man who identified himself as the ladys supervisor. He cited "policy" as the reason we could not have the manual, and said it contained sensitive material. He will return our check.

Sensitive material? Is there something in the WSCC Operator Training Manual that Saddam Hussein can use against us?

We will get a copy of the manual -- our power systems engineer friend will see to that. And when we do, we will give you a book report, complete with a criticism of the WSCCs use of the English language.

Our power systems engineer friend was nonplused. "After all," he said, "you have half the citizens of California ready to hang the energy industry and a couple of politicians who have bought a new rope." He did not understand why the WSCC would withhold information that would make coverage of the power situation in the West more accurate.

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