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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

Power Prices Threaten Washington State Economy

LCG, March 14, 2001--An analysis by the Washington state Office of Financial Management, noting that electricity in the state costs 20 percent more than it did a year ago and natural gas 60 percent more, paints a grim picture for the economy of the state.

In a worst case scenario, the study predicts that higher energy prices could cost householders $1.7 billion per year and cut job growth by a third. According to an Associated Press report, the hardest hit will be aluminum refiners, which use massive amounts of power. Those aluminum businesses located in Washington because of the abundance of inexpensive hydroelectric power.

It takes water to make hydroelectric power and Washington's rivers are near their all-time lows, as are the impoundments behind dams. Those reservoirs are the fuel tanks for the turbines that provide much of the Pacific Northwest's electricity.

Washington Gov. Gary Locke is expected to officially declare a drought emergency today. According to the energy analysis, electric power prices could rise another 50 percent and not come down for two or three years.

That will be too much for the aluminum industry, according to Robin King, an official of the Aluminum Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. "Those high prices simply would not allow aluminum production to resume or continue," he said.

Employment in Washington's aluminum industry has dropped from around 7,000 in 1998 to 5,000 today and a state economist says it will be down to 3,000 in another two years.

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