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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

Bonneville to Increase Rates

LCG, Sept. 5, 2000Citing high prices and higher customer demand, Bonneville Power Administration said on Friday it was "forced" to alter its proposed power rates for the next five years. Cutting through the federal agency's casuistry, that means it will extract more money from its customers.

Bonneville said in a news release it "intends to revise the Cost Recovery Adjustment Clause (CRAC) of its 2002-2006 rates so the agency can strengthen its ability to cover its costs over the 2002-2006 rate period." The agency added that it "is not proposing an increase in its basic power rates for the five-year rate period and does not expect to make any change in its basic rates or the CRAC in the first year." That sounds like rates won't change until 2003, but after that look out.

"Our intent is to limit the scope of the modifications primarily to a revision of the Cost RecoveryAdjustment Clause to make it more robust in years two through five of the rate period," explainedJudi Johansen, Bonneville administrator.

What's happening is, electricity consumers in Bonneville's market are trying to hedge against higher power prices by contracting for the agency's cheap federal power and Bonneville keeps signing the contracts even though it doesn't produce enough of that cheap power. So it has to go into the market and buy power and the whole concept of federal power takes a beating.

Bonneville's proposal is an adjustment to a current rate filing it made with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year. Johnson said the agency's customers "are asking for possibly 1,400 average megawatts more than we anticipated in the rate case. Had we stayed with our original rate proposal, the amount of power purchases we would have had to make at the prices we might very well see over the next five years, would have put our financial stability at risk."

Confident in the outcome, Bonneville will go on signing contracts until October 31.

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