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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

$10 Billion-for-Power Bill Becomes California Law

LCG, Feb. 2, 2001The California Assembly yesterday afternoon mustered the bare minimum number of votes necessary to pass legislation allowing the state to purchase billions of dollars worth of electricity under long-term contracts, and it was immediately signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.

The law authorizes the state to issue an estimated $10 billion in revenue bonds to fund a program under which the California Department of Water Resources will buy power, presumably at low-low rates, and resell it to utilities for delivery to consumers.

What has not yet been determined is whether power producers will sell electricity to the state at the hoped for rates. An initial round of bidding produced a "weighted average" of 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, 25 percent higher than the 5.5 cents legislators had said was the highest permissible price.

It later turned out that the governor's "weighted average" did not include power that would be delivered during periods of high demand.

The Assembly had failed to pass the measure early yesterday after a marathon Wednesday session lasting past midnight. But some Republicans said they crossed the party line after receiving assurances from the governor that he would aggressively encourage the development of new power plants.

Residential electricity customers would be protected from rate increases unless they used 130 percent more power than an arbitrary "baseline," a figure some said would be meaningless. That provision was seen by some Republican lawmakers as having the effect of transferring the higher cost of power to industrial and commercial customers.

Several large California industrial firms Intel Corp. among them have already said they will not plan new facilities in the state and will consider moving some operations to places where electricity is both cheaper and more reliable.

That possibility raises the specter of the residential customers protected from higher rates not having the paychecks with which to pay their low rates.

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