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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

Cinergy Close to Settlement on Polluting Power Plants

LCG, Dec. 22, 2000--Cinergy Corp. said yesterday that it and its two operating utilities had agreed in principal with the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental groups and several Northeastern states on settlement of lawsuits brought against the Ohio firm for violating pollution regulations at some of its power plants.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, EPA and the others would drop all challenges of past maintenance and repair activities at Cinergy's coal-fired generation fleet. In addition, Cinergy would be allowed to continue on-going activities to maintain reliability and availability without subjecting the plants to new federal permitting requirements.

The Northeastern states, seeking to shift responsibility for their air quality problems to power plants in the Midwest and Southeast, charged that Cinergy and other utilities violated Clean Air Act provisions that exempted older coal-fired plants from some of its restrictions.

The suits claimed that ongoing maintenance of the plants had the effect of creating new generation resources for the utilities, and were therefore prohibited unless new power plant permits were acquired. Environmentalists joined the suits hoping that the coal-fired units would be shut down.

Cinergy did not admit to any wrongdoing but said that in return for resolution of past claims and "future operational certainty" it would shut down or repower with natural gas nine small coal-fired boilers at three power plants beginning in 2004, build four additional sulfur dioxide scrubbers starting in 2008, upgrade existing pollution control systems, and phase in the operation of NOx reduction technology year-round starting in 2004.

James E. Rogers, Cinergy chief executive, said "While we believe that our maintenance programs followed standard industry practice and were monitored for years by the EPA without complaint, we have pursued a settlement because it is preferable to spending years in time-consuming and wasteful litigation and is consistent with our environmental leadership position."

William F. Tyndall, Cinergy's vice president for environmental services and federal affairs, said it would take national legislation to resolve the problem of coal-fired generation. "While the settlement goes a long way toward providing Cinergy with the certainty needed to manage its plants, we still believe that the best solution is for Congress to replace the overlapping and conflicting requirements for coal-fired power with a single set of environmental goals," he said.

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