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

CPUC Won't Vote on California Bonds Today

LCG, Sept. 13, 2001--The California Public Utilities Commission said yesterday it would not vote on measures involving the state's pending issue of $12.5 billion bonds to cover the cost of power purchases already made and those to be made in the future.

Since January, the California Department of Water Resources, acting as a sort of purchasing agent for the state's cash-strapped investor-owned utilities, has bought about $11 billion with of wholesale power in the spot market, using money from the state's general fund. In addition, the agency has negotiated something like $43 billion in long-term power purchase contracts stretching out for the next 10 or 20 years.

When it does get around to deciding the bond measures, the CPUC will set up the legal and financial framework for the CDRW's power purchases, including how ratepayer revenues are used to service and repay the debt incurred by the bond issue.

The Commission said it would hold its regular Thursday meeting today, but would be unable to take up the bond issue and other items on its agenda because the agency was closed following the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

California Gov. Gray Davis had intended to market the bonds last May, but the state legislature denied him the two-thirds majority that would have made the bond legislation effective immediately. State Treasurer Phil Angelides, has set an October 31 deadline for bringing the bonds to market and said the CPUC delay should not affect that so long as the Commission issues its orders by the end of this month.

A key element that must be decided by the CPUC is how much of ratepayer revenues to allocate to the utilities to cover past power purchases and how much to give the CDWR to back the bond issue. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has vowed to go to court if it feels the burden of bond support is placed too heavily on its customers.

Angelides admits a drawn-out court fight would thrown a monkey wrench into the state's plans to issue the bonds.

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