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

California Power Authority Goes Green

LCG, Sept. 10, 2001--The California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, the state's new public power agency, voted on Friday to give its chairman, S. David Freeman, permission to negotiate contracts with renewable energy providers, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Freeman said his agency will initially fund about 1,000 megawatts in renewable energy proposals and will build on that as the Authority carries out what he sees as its mandate to build a "strategic reserve" of green power.

"It's important to recognize that by going with renewables first, this agency is willing to put its money where its mouth is," Freeman said in opening the Authority's board meeting. He did not say, however, how much money.

"Over the years the renewables have gotten the music and fossil fuels have gotten the action. We intend to provide action on both fronts, but to be sure no one feels that renewables are second-class citizens as far as the state is concerned," Freeman said.

Aside from geothermal power and hydroelectric power, which have long and successful histories in California, renewables are likely to remain second-class citizens. To date, no solar power installation has produced as much energy as its construction consumed in the first place, and the output of a wind farm is only about 20 percent of its nameplate capacity.

Power from solar and wind installations is significantly more expensive that that produced by nuclear or conventional thermal power plants and must be heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. Backers of those dubious resources are counting on the state legislature to move forward on a bill that would require utilities and other electricity retailers to generate at least 20 percent of their power from "renewable" resources.

The legislation, introduced by state Sen. Byron Sher, a Palo Alto Democrat, failed by a 7-10 vote to clear the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Thursday, but it is up for reconsideration today.

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