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

Judge Defers Action on SoCal Edison Rate Hike Suit

LCG, Feb. 13, 2001A federal judge yesterday declined to take emergency action which would have allowed an electric rate hike for Southern California Edison Co., and instead continued the case to March 5.

The continuance will likely be greeted by headlines saying "Judge denies," which the judge didn't, but it was not what SoCal Edison wanted either. The utility, which faces bankruptcy after spending billions of dollars subsidizing inexpensive electricity for its retail customers, had hoped for an order allowing it to immediately raise rates by at least a penny per kilowatt-hour, and didn't get it.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew didn't want yesterday's action called a victory or defeat. In a warning aimed at the utility, whose public relations department has said it was winning its case, the judge said "I don't want there to be any spin by anyone with regard to what this court is doing."

The court's inaction weakens the position of SoCal Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in their negotiations with California Gov. Gray Davis and the state legislature on how the companies are to be saved from bankruptcy.

SoCal Edison had originally sued the California Public Utilities Commission in November of last year, seeking a rate increase sufficient to cover most of its power costs, and PG&E followed suit in a Northern California District Court. The PG&E suit was transferred to Judge Lew's court in Southern California and the two were expected to be combined.

Following yesterdays action, SoCal Edison chose its words carefully, noting Judge Lew did not grant its request for an immediate rate boost. "Instead," the utility said, "he accelerated a scheduling hearing to March 5, invited other summary judgment motions, and indicated that, if necessary, an early trial date would be set."

"We are encouraged that the court recognizes the importance and urgency of this case and is dealing with it expeditiously," the utility said in a statement.

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