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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

Enron's Portland General Sale on the Rocks

LCG, March 26, 2001The agreement by Sierra Pacific Resources to purchase Portland General Electric Co. from Enron Corp. for around $2 billion plus assumption of about $1 billion in debt appears to have fallen victim to the deteriorating state of the Western U.S. electric industry.

When the agreement was announced in November 1999, the companies expected to wrap up the transaction in about six months. But, by the middle of the year 2000, the financial picture of the power industry in the West was rapidly changing.

That change was made apparent to almost everybody when wholesale market prices for electricity were passed through undiluted to the retail customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., who saw their electric bills double in just one month from May to June 2000.

Sierra Pacific, which owns Nevada's two electric utilities, said increased costs for power as well as power plant fuel caused it to spend $889 million more in 2000 that it had planned to part with, producing a loss for the year of $39.8 million, or 51 cents per share.

Then, Nevada regulators, looking across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, became aware that much of the problem in California was caused by an insufficiency of power supply and ordered Sierra Pacific not to sell any more of its generating assets. The proceeds of those sales were counted on to help pay for Portland General Electric.

On Friday, Jeffrey Skilling, Enron's chief executive, said there is only a "5 percent probability" that the sale of Portland General Electric to Sierra Pacific will be consummated. He added that Enron was "not in a particular rush" to sell the Oregon utility, though there were higher-profit places the proceeds of such a sale could be put to work.

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