AEP Will Proceed with North Central Wind Projects Despite Texas Commission Denying Approval

LCG, July 8, 2020--American Electric Power (AEP) announced last Thursday that, following the PUC of Texas not approving AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co.'s (SWEPCO) plan to add 309 MW of wind energy to serve Texas customers, AEP will proceed to acquire the entire planned 1,485 MW of North Central wind projects.

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JEA Board Approves Transaction with FPL to Close 848-MW Coal Unit in Georgia

LCG, June 30, 2020--The JEA Board of Directors in a special meeting last Friday unanimously approved a transaction that will result in closing an 848-MW unit at Plant Scherer and entering into a 20-year purchase power agreement (PPA) with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL).

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Industry News

CPUC to Probe SoCal Ed Safety Record

LCG, Sept. 18, 2001--The California Public Utilities Commission revealed yesterday that it will investigate the safety record of Southern California Edison Co., saying the beleaguered utility has violated safety rules 4,721 times in the past three years.

The consumer services division of the CPUC says that 37 accidents, five which resulted in fatalities, were linked to the violations.

"Safety in the provision of utility service is a top priority for the commission," said CPUC Commissioner Carl Wood in a statement. "The public expects PUC safety requirements to be rigorously enforced, and we will meet that expectation."

Last night, SoCal Ed issued a statement saying "We take the California Public Utilities Commission's allegations very seriously. In simple terms, the safety of the public and our employees is a core value at Southern California Edison, and has been a top priority of our business for over one hundred years.

"Our electric system is composed of many millions of parts and components that are proactively inspected and maintained by a group of dedicated and highly qualified employees. SCE people work very hard to maintain safe and reliable operations despite the constant ravages of weather, natural disasters, vandalism, normal wear-and-tear and all the other factors that affect the electric facilities spread across our vast 50,000-square-mile service area.

"Equipment problems are detected, managed and corrected through an aggressive maintenance program. We continue to believe that our program is one of the best in the industry with respect to reliability of service and to the safety of our customers and employees."

The CPUC consumer services division said it had sent notices to the utility about its alleged violations. The division's report suggests there may have been a significant number of injuries and fatalities that might have been prevented by compliance with safety standards.

SoCal Ed's statement said "We have started a comprehensive review and analysis of the allegations contained in the Commission's Order Instituting Investigation. We are assessing the document and expect to have a more detailed response soon. Until this review is completed, we cannot respond further to the report."

How the investigation will affect the state's bailout efforts on behalf of the company is anyone's guess. Many legislators are already unhappy about the prospect of being called back to Sacramento to deal with the bailout following adjournment of the legislative session and may not be kindly disposed toward a villainous capitalist organization.

Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for the governor, said the investigation should not adversely affect Edison's chances of receiving financial help from the state.

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