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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

Montana Regulators Seek Delay for Electric Competition

LCG, Oct. 31, 2000-- An insufficiency of competitors has prompted the Montana Public Service Commission to propose a two-year delay in opening the state's retail electricity market to competition.

Will Rosquist, a staff economist, said yesterday that the commission now wants to open the power market in July 2004 because of limited choices and currently high prices. "There are not enough competing suppliers out there to keep in check monopoly pricing," he said.

Montana's 1997 electric restructuring law calls for the market to be fully open on July 1, 2002, but allows the commission to extend the transition period by two years if the regulators find that the extra time is necessary to give customers a real choice from among competitive suppliers.

Rosquist said that although Montana has ample generation, California's power shortages have affected the state. Wholesale prices in the Pacific Northwest are closely related to those in California because that state imports up to 25 percent of its power during periods of peak demand.

The economies in other northwestern states have also increased demand, particularly in the Seattle area. For that reason, prices paid for electricity from Montana's large power plants such as the 2,250 megawatt Colstrip complex have risen.

Wholesale power prices are now higher than the 1998 level at which Montana's rates were capped by the restructuring law. For that reason, Energy West Resources, the only alternative retail supplier doing business in the state, decided to call it quits. Energy West's 1,000 customers will default to Montana Power Co.

Another problem facing the commission is that 23 of Montana's 25 rural electric cooperatives had chosen to pass up the opportunity to restructure. The co-ops account for almost half of Montana's power supply.

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