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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

Enron India Lenders Will Talk to, May Sue Governments

LCG, May 8, 2001Financial institutions that provided about $2 billion in financing for the Dabhol Power Co. project in the Indian state of Maharashtra are willing to discuss a cut in interest rates to prevent default, newspapers on the subcontinent said this morning.

But while Indian and foreign bankers are willing to bend a little to end a stalemate, they will not hesitate to sue the government of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra State Electricity Board and even the federal government of India in order to get every rupee owed them.

A problem lenders have in India is they are referred to and thought of as "donors."

The $2.9 billion Dabhol project, which is 65 percent owned by U.S. energy company Enron Corp., has become mired in another problem common to India the notion that contracts, once signed, are nonetheless forever open to renegotiation. When the project was formed in the mid-1990s, the MSEB signed contracts agreeing to purchase all the power from a 740 megawatt first phase and a 1,444 megawatt second phase.

The first phase began commercial operation a year ago, and Enron India has been forced to invoke governmental guarantees at the state and federal level to get paid for power each month. The company is currently owed about $48 million by the MSEB and is dealing with the federal finance ministry in an attempt to get paid.

The huge second phase of Dabhol is scheduled to begin commercial operation in June, and now the MSEB says it doesn't need the power, and that makes the lenders nervous. The Economic Times, India's leading financial newspaper, this morning quoted an unnamed banker as saying "All lenders, both Indian and offshore, want to see the second phase of the project taking off. We may cut the rates if there is any formal request from either (Dabhol) or the government."

Even though five Indian banks -- the Industrial Development Bank of India , State Bank of India , the Industrial Finance Corporation of India, ICICI Ltd and Canara Bank lave lent $1.4 billion of the $2 billion total, Dabhol represent the largest foreign investment in India. Enron's experience has already tarnished India's reputation as a safe place to invest money.

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