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Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

California Capsule: While We Were Out

LCG, March 5, 2001We were snared by some medics on Thursday afternoon and they wouldn't let us go until Friday, well after the hospital lunch which we politely declined. But California's Gov. Gray Davis kept up his arduous efforts to rescue the state's investor-owned utilities from insolvency.

Last month, it will be recalled, the governor arranged for the California Department of Water Resources to spend $10 billion of taxpayer money buying power because no one would sell it to the penniless utilities. Another plan would create a California power authority to own power plants at a cost of $5 billion.

Then Davis got the idea of giving the utilities a transfusion of cash by using more taxpayer money to buy their electric transmission systems the grid that ties 75 percent of the state together. Savants in Sacramento reckoned that the grid would cost the state $3 billion.

A week ago, the governor blew $2.76 billion of that on the transmission facilities belonging to just one utility, Southern California Edison Co., and announced triumphantly that negotiations with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. were going so well that he thought the deal could be wrapped up in four weeks at the outside.

Just last Friday, Davis said PG&E officials "are moving on it much faster than they were a week ago" but conceded it could take "two or three weeks to reach a conceptual agreement." What got the company moving appears to be an offer by the governor to pay $7 billion for PG&E's high-voltage wires. The thing that will take two or three weeks is the utility's desire to get $10 billion.

In other news from the world's sixth largest economy:

  • Californians are doing their part to help the state weather its energy crisis, if you believe the governor and the California Energy Commission. For one reason or another, electricity consumption in the state was down 8 percent last month. It wasn't clear if that meant down from January or down from February of last year, but the governor's office said the figures were adjusted for weather and growth factors. If it was down from January, the drop should come as no surprise, for there are 9.7 percent fewer days in February. In any case, Davis said "February's numbers are evidence that our call for energy efficiency and demand reduction is working."

  • Democrat U.S. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Max Bacus of Montana tacked a rider onto a bankruptcy reform measure working its way through Congress that would require PG&E Corp. and Edison International Inc., the parent holding companies for PG&E and SoCal Edison, to pay the Bonneville Power Administration more than $100 million owed for power sold into California in recent months.

  • Edison International said on Friday that SoCal Edison has missed another $711 in payments to suppliers. The utility said it is trying to get some short-term money to alleviate the cash crunch. Ted Craver, SoCal Edison's chief financial officer said he is struggling "not to allow anybody to jump ahead of someone else" when it comes to deciding which bills to pay.

  • PG&E Corp., in much the same position as Edison International only with bigger numbers said on Friday it had closed a $1 billion loan agreement with GE Capital Structured Finance Group and Lehman Brothers that will allow the holding company to pay some of its debts. The company secured the facility with its equity interest in PG&E National Energy Group, which owns power plants in other states.

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