EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Mirant Says 600 Megawatts Face Emissions Shutdown

LCG, July 23, 2001Mirant Corp., which operates the 2,022 megawatt Pittsburg power plant it purchased from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., warned again Friday that emissions regulations may force it to shut down four units having a combined capacity of 600 megawatts.

The result, combined with the opening two weeks ago of Calpine Corp.'s new 555 megawatt Pittsburg plant, would be a net loss to the state of 45 megawatts of much-needed generation in a city that regards power plants highly.

Mirant said it had told the state in April that it would be forced to cease operating parts of the Pittsburg plant if it could not secure emissions waivers, but the warning apparently went unnoticed by state officials.

"That's pretty big news if they're going to shut it down indefinitely," said Stephanie McCorkle, a spokeswoman with the California Independent System Operator. "I haven't heard this. Obviously, we wouldn't want to see any megawatts go away."

Even Steve Maviglio, the spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis, was surprised by the news. "It's significant, no doubt about it," he said. "We're going after every megawatt we can get. As a broad policy, as much power as we can keep on-line is beneficial until we can get new plants up and running."

Mirant had planned to tear out some of the units at Pittsburg and replace them with 530 megawatts of new generation, but tabled those plans earlier this year, citing California's "hostile" business climate as exemplified by the governor's vilification of independent power producers.

Now, the company has been ordered to cut nearly in half the average hourly nitrogen oxide emissions at Pittsburg and two other plants it owns in the San Francisco Bay Area. Faced with the massive investment in new emissions controls, coupled with the high operating costs of the old units, the company says it has little choice other than to shut down some generation.

"We're very serious about shutting them down" unless the company gets permission to exceed the emission limits, said Mark Gouveia, vice president and chief operating officer of Mirant's California division. "We're not going to violate the law to run them."

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