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

Relicensing Sought for North Anna, Surry Nukes

LCG, May 31, 2001--Dominion Resources Inc. said yesterday it had filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the operating licenses of its two Virginia nuclear power plants for an additional 20 years.

If approved as expected, the license extensions would permit the two 900 megawatt reactors at the North Anna plant near Richmond to operate until 2038 and 2040. The two 800 megawatt reactors at the Surry nuclear power plant near Newport News would be authorized to operate until 2031 and 2033.

The 103 commercial reactors operating in the U.S. were originally granted 40-year operating licenses by the NRC, but an industry-wide improvement in its "nuclear safety culture" and stringent operating and maintenance oversight by the federal agency have most, if not all, running better than ever.

The NRC has set up guidelines for nuclear operators seeking to renew licenses, requiring operators to show a 20-year operating history and to demonstrate that continued operation would not endanger public health or safety or harm the environment.

Because of the low cost of uranium fuel, the nation's nuclear power plants were able to produce power for 1.83 cents per kilowatt-hour in 1999, the most recent year for which figures are available. That is lower than the cost of producing power from coal, and to top it off, nuclear plants now typically operate at around 90 percent of capacity, day in and day out, and even skeptics are coming to realize they do so without emitting any pollutants.

Because of these considerations, industry observers expect operators of nearly all 103 reactors to apply for license extensions.

"It's a pretty high number that we're looking at and that's a good reason to get in line early," saidDominion Resources spokesman Jim Norvelle. He said it would take about two years for the NRC to approve the applications.

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