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ERCOT 2019 Summer Quarter Outlook

LCG, May 29, 2019-- LCG released a new summer (June – September 2019) report that looks at how the ERCOT grid copes with strained network conditions. Resource adequacy analysis for the region is especially important during extreme summer loading conditions. This summer the network is under particular scrutiny as the reserves have tightened because of recent retirements.

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South Field Energy Breaks Ground for 1,182-MW Power Plant

LCG, May 16, 2019--South Field Energy LLC announced yesterday its groundbreaking for an 1,182-MW, combined-cycle electric generating facility in Columbiana County, Ohio. The natural gas-fired facility is scheduled to commence operations in mid-2021 and represents a $1.3 billion investment.

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Industry News

EPA May Drop 'New Source Review' for Power Plants

LCG, July 27, 2001Christine Todd Whitman, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday the need to subject utilities to the federal Clean Air Act's "new source review" program could be replaced by new emissions standards.

The new source review program requires utilities to install anti-pollution upgrades when power plants are modified to increase their output. Utilities have complained that the EPA often looks on routine maintenance as significant upgrades requiring the review.

Last year, the EPA sued several utilities for allegedly violating the rule, prompting some, including American Electric Power Inc. and Southern Co. to fight the lawsuits, saying that the "upgrades" were simply routine maintenance projects.

Whitman said the EPA is drafting an alternative to the rules which would require generating plants to stay below national targets for nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and mercury emissions.

"It's time to simplify the existing regulatory structure," Whitman told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We believe there could be significant regulatory relief for the utilities."

Whitman said the agency's proposed legislation, which could be introduced this fall, could result in lower emissions than the existing regulations. "What we're looking for here is legislation that would significantly clean up the air beyond what any of our current regulatory targets call for," she said following the hearing.

Under the existing new source review program, as it has been administered, utilities making what they consider ordinary repairs to their power plants sometimes find themselves faced with a lawsuit filed by the EPA claiming they have increased the output of their plants without making expensive emission reduction upgrades.

The rule has actually deterred some companies from installing anti-pollution equipment because of uncertainty about the way the work would be greeted by the agency, some companies have said.

Some members of the Environment and Public Works Committee agreed. "Investment will not come as long as this regulatory uncertainty hangs out there," said Sen. Robert Smith of New Hampshire, the top Republican on the committee. "The current mandates discourage innovation."

Whitman said the EPA expected to complete its review of the new source regulations by mid-August.

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