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Massachusetts Poised to Target More Offshore Wind

LCG, August 2, 2018--The Massachusetts Legislature approved H4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, on Tuesday that includes: an increase in the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) goals to 35 percent by 2030, a 1,000 MW energy storage goal by 2025, and a path to install an additional 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity. With the current goal of installing 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity, the total offshore wind capacity would be 3,200 MW. The legislation will now be received by the Governor of Massachusetts.

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Pattern Development Completes Power Purchase Agreements for 200 MW Wind Project in New Mexico

LCG, August 1, 2018--Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) yesterday announced it has signed 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) to deliver wind power from the 200 MW Duran Mesa Wind project currently in development near Corona, New Mexico. SVCE has signed a PPA for 110 MW, and MBCP has signed a PPA for 90 MW.

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Industry News

California Capsule: Davis Couldn't Win Election Today

LCG, May 25, 2001With citizens questioning his handling of the state electricity crisis, California Gov. Gray Davis would be unlikely to win next year's gubernatorial election if it were held today, according to a Filed Poll released yesterday.

While Republicans have no likely challenger standing by, the governor, who has lost 30 percent of his support in the last four months, could face challenges from within his own party.

According to Mark DiCamillo, the Field Institute's poll director, the opposition to Davis has become intense. When asked a range of levels of support for the governor from "very inclined" to reelect him down to "not at all inclined," respondents were 14 percent "very inclined" and 32 percent "not at all inclined."

Mark Petracca, a political scientist at the University of California's Irvine campus, figure Davis picked a good time to lose his popularity. "Despite the quicksand he's in, Republicans aren't standing on solid ground either. They are as culpable for this mess as Democrats are and, besides that, they don't have a leader."

Democrats hold every statewide office in California except that of Secretary of State, and Bill Jones is hardly a household name. In fact, the Field Poll shows Davis having an insurmountable lead over Jones.

But outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan could be a dark horse and would bring a lot of support from Southern California. Riordan yesterday told the San Jose Mercury-News he would "love to tackle" the state's problems and has strong backing from Republicans in the state legislature.

Assemblyman Rod Pacheco, a Republican from Riverside, told the paper Riordan is a moderate on social issues, has broad name recognition, can attract urban voters and has proven leadership ability. "We need a new captain of the ship because this ship is heading toward the iceberg," Pacheco said. "Dick Riordan is the only one who fits."

Riordan told the Mercury-News that, although he was looking forward to retirement, his "Irish-Catholic conscience" and his wife's support could motivate him to run. He said he'd make up his mind by the end of June.

California is suffering major problems not only in energy but in education and health care, Riordan said. "These are the types of crises that I love to tackle."

Reliant Will Cut Prices if State Cuts Emission Restraints
Reliant Energy Inc., the power producer Davis has chosen as his worst example of a Texas-based price-gouger, said yesterday it would cut prices at some of its peaking plants to as little as $150 per megawatt-hour if the state will relax emissions restraints so the company can run the plants without breaking the law.

One of the units is the one whose power Reliant bid into the state market two weeks ago at $1,900 per megawatt-hour, hoping the California Independent System Operator would say "no dice." Instead, Cal-ISO said "send us all you can" and Reliant took a lot of heat for more price-gouging.

Yesterday, Joe Bob Perkins, president and chief operating officer of Reliant Energy Wholesale, said "We are voluntarily reducing prices in the hope that all the decision makers in California understand the need to lower restrictions during times of emergencies."

The peaking units, which are supposed to run only on those ordinarily rare occasions when power is short, can operate only a few hours a year without overshooting their emissions restrictions. But Cal-ISO can order the plants to run whenever it says it needs their power during an emergency. Reliant wants regulators to stop counting the hours the plant runs during those declared emergencies.

"All we're asking is 'don't count the hours that you use against us'," said John Stout, a senior vice president of Reliant Energy Wholesale. "If you want more megawatts, give me permission to make more megawatts."

Davis Orders 48-hour Blackout Warnings
In a move that indicates he might be realizing that rolling blackouts are a possibility this summer, Davis yesterday ordered state officials to put in place a warning system that will provide alerts 48 hours in advance of outages, followed by 24-hour predictions of the areas in which they will occur and one-hour warnings to the specific neighborhoods.

Businesses, police departments and householders have all complained that the present policy does not give enough time to prepare for a blackout. Suddenly shutting down a food processing line, for example, can result in waste of thousands of pounds of food. Shutting down a line producing microprocessors can do millions of dollars in damage to expensive equipment, unless it is done carefully.

"If blackouts are going to occur," Davis said, "there is no reason to keep the public in the dark. We all deserve as much advance notice as possible."

Under the plan, which should be in place by June 15, the state would be warned 48 hours before blackouts were a probability. Then, 24 hours ahead of the possible blackouts, the general areas Fresno, for example, or Silicon Valley would be announced. At 60 minutes before the lights go out, warning would be delivered to specific blocks through radio, television and the Internet.

After receiving the 24-hour warning, it would be up to the electricity customer to keep an eye or ear tuned for the one-hour warning.

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