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

Virginia Begins Hearings on Dominion Restructuring

LCG, Oct. 12, 2001--The Virginia State Corporation Commission began hearings yesterday to decide whether to allow Dominion Resources Inc. to create an unregulated electric generation company, separate from its from Virginia Electric & Power Co. subsidiary.

Dominion wants the separate power producer in place when electricity deregulation takes effect in the Old Dominion on January 1.

Dominion Resources, which is already a holding company, favors a complete "legal separation" of its entities, which would create a new company called Dominion Generation, into which it would transfer generating assets belonging to Virginia Power.

That's the "cleanest, safest, easiest to monitor and the most effective way" to accomplish its goals, James C. Roberts, the company's lawyer, told the commission.

Dominion Generation would do business as a power wholesaler throughout the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, and would be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rather than by Virginia.

The commission staff prefers a less complete separation that would keep the power producing assets under its regulatory oversight.

The commission will conduct several days of hearings with testimony expected from at least 15 parties. Included among them are alternative energy providers who are concerned that Dominion would restructure its power producing costs in a way that would make it impossible for them to compete with the entrenched company.

Some consumer advocates have expressed concern over "cost shifting" -- the possibility that Dominion would, when unbundling its retail electric rates, assign some generation costs to distribution in order to keep its wholesale rates below market values.

One member of the commission staff recommended caution. "This is not the time to take sweeping and irremediable actions," William Chambliss said.

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