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: Washington Rebuffs Pleas for Help

LCG, March 7, 2001The Bush administration is turning a deaf ear on pleas by California congressional Democrats that the federal government step in and help the state get out of the electrical short circuit it got itself into.

Several members of California's congressional delegation testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should set price caps on wholesale power in their state, at least temporarily.

Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat from Chula Vista in Southern California, wants FERC to impose wholesale power price controls that would prevent "a small energy cartel" from "robbing the state blind."

FERC Chairman Curt Hebert has called price controls "counterproductive" while President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who heads the president's energy task force, are opposed to intervention in the California electricity market.

Rep. Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who heads the House committee, also opposes price caps. He conceded they might provide "some short-term relief" but would be harmful in the long run.

And there was other news from the Left Coast.

  • Reliant Energy Inc. jumped on an announcement by California Gov. Gray Davis that it was among 20 power producers that have agreed to long-term contracts with the state. "We have a memorandum of understanding with the (Department of Water Resources) that provides merely a framework for discussions that could lead to a long-term contract," Reliant spokesman Richard Wheatley said. "We have no definitive agreement for a long-term contract, but we are making progress."

  • Dynegy Inc. and NRG Energy Inc. were among those signing contracts with the state and yesterday issued a joint statement giving some of the details. According to the companies, they will provide up to 1,000 megawatts of power beginning yesterday and running through the end of the year. Beginning next January 1, that will increase to 2,300 megawatts. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • Voters in South Gate, a blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles, went to the polls yesterday to decide whether they want a 550 megawatt power plant in their garden spot. Early returns suggest they do not, though the vote is "advisory" only. Sunlaw Energy Inc., the Southern California developer has said it would abide by the voters' wishes. South Gate Mayor Raul Moriel, who was on a hunger strike in protest of the power plant, collapsed yesterday and was taken to a hospital. At 10:47 PST this morning, the California Energy Commission advised that Sunlaw has asked that its application for the plant be suspended.

  • Opposition to a power plant could have another California mayor in political trouble. San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales has been firm in his opposition to the development of the 600 megawatt Metcalf Energy Center by hometown power company Calpine Corp. Calpine decided to find out what the people felt and, to avoid being told what it wanted to hear, went to Sacramento for one of the leading Democratic pollsters. It seems 79 percent of San Jose voters think the plant ought to be built. To add perspective, the poll showed voters think Gonzales is doing a worse job than Gov. Davis.

  • Across the bay from San Francisco, Contra Costa County supervisors voted 4-0 to direct the country administrator and the Department of Community Development to compile within 45 days a report on possible sites for new power plants. The supervisors are more attuned than their constituents to California's need for new generation. The "not in my backyard" protests followed immediately, even though one potential site is at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station and sits right on top of a deposit of natural gas.

  • Another possible Contra Costa County plant cleared a low hurdle with the California Energy Commission yesterday. The commission staff concluded a 530 megawatt addition to the existing 1,260 megawatt plant near Antioch that Southern Energy (now Mirant Corp.) purchased from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The staff concluded that impacts caused by the addition "can be successfully mitigated with the possible exception of visual resources." Nothing will ever make Antioch beautiful.

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