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: Water Agency Can Collect from Ratepayers

LCG, March 8, 2001The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday voted to allow the state Department of Water Resources to collect from electricity consumers the money it spend buying wholesale power in their behalf.

The PUC granted the water agency authority to demand that retail electric rates be set at levels "sufficient to enable DWR to recover its revenue requirements on a timely basis." If the state's investor-owned utilities had had that authority, there wouldn't be a California power crisis.

The PUC action was necessary to reassure lenders from whom the state plans to borrow $10 billion or more to finance long-term power contracts.

The action is certain to result in an across-the-board rate increase beyond those currently contemplated. The PUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates acknowledged that electric bills would be going up. Chris Danforth, a spokesman for that watchdog agency, said "It's implicit that there's probably going to have to be a rate increase, but how it's all going to be handled is kind of up in the air."

So far, money spent by the water agency for power has been coming out of the taxpayers' pockets at the rate of $50 million a day.

And that's not all that's happening in the Golden State.

  • Those long-term contracts announced by California Gov. Gray Davis, under which the state will pay an average of $69 per megawatt-hour for wholesale electricity, may not be such a good deal with new power plants being authorized by the California Energy Commission. Robert Grow, an energy analyst who works for the commission observed "With new generation, the shortages will stop, and prices may return to something like normal, around $30 per megawatt-hour, and if you're paying $70 to $80 per megawatt hour, you're going to be paying way too much."

  • Sunlaw Energy Corp., the applicant proposing to build the 550 megawatt Nueva Azalea Power Plant Project in the city of South Gate, requested yesterday that the California Energy Commission suspend its licensing process for the generating facility. South Gate voters on Tuesday rejected the company's plans in a "no in my back yard" advisory vote, and Sunlaw had said it wouldn't build where it wasn't wanted.

  • By a 4-0 vote yesterday, the Energy Commission approved a 51 megawatt peaking plant that El Paso Merchant Energy Co. wants to build at the San Francisco International Airport. The facility, called United Golden Gate Power Project, was the sole remaining small peaking plants of seven proposed last fall. The others were withdraw in the face of neighborhood objections. None of the six cancelled plants would have been built in a residential area.

  • In a move to conserve energy, Gov. Davis yesterday released an implementation plan designed to put teeth into his February order that directed retail businesses to significantly reduce outdoor lighting after March 15. The implementation plan seems to be a backing off from the governor's February threat that retailers who didn't dim the lights could be fined $1,000 per day. It is not clear what motivator will replace the fines.

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