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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

Missouri Said Close to Electric Dereg Law

LCG, March 19, 2001Legislation pending in House and Senate committees of the Missouri General Assembly, which would allow the state's investor-owned electric utilities to put their generating assets in unregulated subsidiaries, is being pushed by AmerenUE, the former Union Electric Co., according to the St. Louis post Dispatch.

The bill also has strong support from large industrial customers such as Boeing Co., Anheuser-Busch Cos., DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors because it would allow them to purchase power from alternative suppliers at lower rates than they are now paying.

The paper said the bills stop short of a full open electric market, but would allow the utilities to sell the power generated in their Missouri power plants into the wholesale market.

The legislation has drawn sharp criticism from Martha Hogerty, head of the Office of Public Counsel, a Missouri consumer watchdog agency. Calling the measure "the most irresponsible thing I have ever seen," she said "This bill would take all of our good, cheap energy dedicated to our Missouri customers and put it out on the open market."

Gary L. Rainwater, president of the Ameren Corp. subsidiary that would run the former Union Electric plants, said the measure would permit his company to combine Ameren's 8,000 megawatts of Missouri generation with its 4,000 megawatts of Illinois generation that once belonged to Central Illinois public Service Co., another Ameren unit.

Illinois is farther along in electric deregulation and AmerenCIPS has already moved its power plants into Rainwater's Ameren Energy Resources. He said the plan could mean lower rates and would give Ameren and other investors an incentive to build new generation.

"What's fundamentally changed in our business is that we can no longer rely on being able to buy cheaply on the wholesale market" to fill the gap between supply and consumer demand, Rainwater said.

Hogerty also objects to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission taking over much of the regulatory control. She said the Missouri Public Service Commission has a long history of overseeing the utilities and understands their costs and needs.

She feels that turning over the utilities' generating systems to federal oversight will ensure that rates for residential customers will rise.

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