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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

U.S. House Panel Hears that Dereg Works

LCG, Feb. 16, 2001A panel of U.S. lawmakers hear yesterday that electric industry restructuring and deregulation works fine, depending on what state you are in, and problems in California should not put a damper on the movement to a competitive power market.

"True competition does not result in power shortages, blackouts or high prices," said Rep. BillyTauzin, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which heard testimony from officials from states where electric deregulation was working.

The Louisiana Republican cautioned that problems similar to those in California could crop up in other states if development of a competitive electricity market is not handled with care.

Michael Travieso, consumers counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission, asked "Could what happened in California happen in Maryland?" He thought not, but pointed out "There are no guarantees, when markets deregulate.... It remains to be seen whether electric deregulation willproduce consumer benefits promised by those who championed it."

But John Quain, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, told the panel "Retail competition works" and said Pennsylvanians have "saved nearly $3 billion since electricity competitionbegan in 1997 with power rates now 4 percent lower than elsewhere in the country."

Alan Schriber, chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, said deregulation in his state was a success so far, but they were keeping an eye on California and learning from its errors. "Ohio is in no great hurry. We are willing to learn as we go," he told the committee.

Carl Wood, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission talked to the panel, saying it was a "central mistake" for the state to require its utilities to sell its power plants and to have no warning signals built into the deregulation scheme. But then he drifted back on a call for federal price caps on wholesale power, blaming "out-of-state" power producers for California's high prices.

Peter Esposito, a vice president of Dynegy Inc., one of those power producers had an answer for Wood. "Despite growing financial risk, we have continued to produce power," he said, asserting California's power problems occurred because demand exceeded supply and the state's deregulation plan deregulated only half the market.

"California made a critical error by deregulating only the wholesale market, while maintaining ratecaps on retail purchases," Esposito pointed out.

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