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Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

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Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

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Industry News

UtiliCorp Accused of Profiteering on Retail Gas

LCG, Dec. 7, 2000--Missouri regulators are investigating anonymous charges that UtiliCorp United Inc. made illegal profits on natural gas that it resells to 730,000 natural gas customers in five states, including Missouri.

An unsigned letter from a person claiming to be an employee of the utility charged that UtiliCorp's natural gas supply division, which purchases wholesale gas for resale to customers, was told it had to achieve an annual profit of about $10 million in a way that would not be detected by regulators.

As a regulated utility, UtiliCorp is prohibited from making a profit on retail gas unless an incentive system is in place for sharing profits with customers. No such program exists for UtiliCorp.

"I feel that these business practices are not appropriate and should be brought to your attention," the letter to the Missouri Public Service Commission said, noting that utilities in Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska were affected by the practices.

The Missouri Public Service Commission found the allegations serious enough to justify an investigation. So did UtiliCorp, which is cooperating with investigators and conducting a probe of its own.

"While the allegations are anonymous and questionable, we nevertheless are taking them seriously," said George Minter, a UtiliCorp spokesman. The company said yesterday that it would not allow practices which were detrimental to ratepayers or against regulations. It expressed confidence that it will be found to have complied with regulations in spirit and to the letter.

Regulators is Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota have also opened investigations.

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