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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

NERC Goes to Bat for Gorton Bill in House Test

LCG, Sept. 14, 2000--The North American Electric Reliability Council yesterday wrote to J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to urge his support for prompt passage of legislation in this session of Congress to promote and ensure continued reliability of the high-voltage electric transmission systems in North America.

And NERC said it didn't want to see any changes from the way the measure, sponsored by Sen. Slade Gorton, emerged from the Senate. NERC's message yesterday was supported by 12 major league state and industry organizations, all of whom will back out if the House tacks on anything whatsoever.

Gorton's legislation, passed earlier by the Senate, would grant the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over a new Electric Reliability Organization. FERC would also have authority over all affiliated regional reliability entities, all system operators and all users of the bulk power system.

The bill prescribes procedural guidelines for FERC approval of operating standards for the national grid and its regional subsection and requires all users of the bulk power system to comply with those standards.

The measure would also aim at getting recognition in Canada and Mexico and calls on the U.S. government to use its best efforts to get the governments of the two neighboring countries to go along with standards accepted by the electric Reliability Council.

Every system operator would be required to be a member of the new Electric Reliability Organization and also be a member of an affiliated regional reliability entity operating under an agreement applicable to the region of the system operator or who is responsible for operation of a bulk power system facility.

Gorton's bill not only creates the Electric Reliability Organization, it gives it muscle by granting enforcement powers and the ability to punish those who transgress.

In his letter to Speaker Hastert, Michehl R. Gent, president of NERC, said "Having Congress enact this legislation now, with the RTO coordination amendments, is an important step to ensure the continued reliability of the nation's high-voltage electricity system, and one that should not wait."

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