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

Washington State May Offer Tax Breaks for Power

LCG, Feb. 14, 2001A Washington state lawmaker yesterday introduced legislation that would provide tax breaks to companies building new power plants. "We are in a world of hurt and we need to do something," said state Rep. Larry Crouse, a Republican.

Crouse, who is co-chairman of the Washington state House Technology, Telecommunications and Energy Committee, said he hoped his measure, if adopted, would encourage developers of plants for which permits have been issued to complete their projects.

The bill would exempt developers from state sales taxes on machinery and equipment for new power plants is 70 percent of their power production were sold within Washington for 10 years. The measure would defer the taxes for ten years if the power were sold outside of the state.

Crouse also introduced legislation that would allow power plant developers to get preferential treatment in their applications for water use permits, by going to the head of the line at the Washington Department of Ecology. That department has a long waiting list of other developers seeking water rights, some for years, and Crouse doesn't want that backlog to slow down power plant development.

"This doesn't take away anyone's water rights. But these plants will never get sited if they have a three- or four-year wait. It effectively shuts down the siting of generation," the Spokane lawmaker said.

Both measures will meet with stiff perhaps fatal opposition. Gov. Gary Locke last year vetoed a bill that would have given a tax break to the developer of a new power plant and has said tax breaks are not the answer to the state's energy problems.

"A tax break is not going to do a whole lot," said Collins Sprague, director of state government relations for Avista Corp., the former Washington Water Power Co. "The reason you haven't seen a lot of plants proposed for construction in the 1990s is because wholesale market prices have been so low, the prices just haven't been there. And we had tremendous high water years in 1995 and 1996, and all that depressed prices too."

The other co-chairman of Crouse's committee, state Rep. Erik Poulsen was more than skeptical. "We throw tax breaks at problems when we are not really sure what else to do," the Seattle Democrat said.

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