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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

77 Maine Towns Face Higher Electricity Prices

LCG, Oct. 16, 2001--The cost of electricity for consumers in 77 towns of east-central Maine will increase by a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in March as the result of a rate hike by Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative, the Bangor Daily News reported yesterday.

The co-op said it was passing on to its 11,600 customers an increase in what it pays for power to WPS Energy Services, an affiliate of Wisconsin Public Service Co.

Aside from the rate increase, the co-op's service territory is in good shape, according to Doug Jones, president of Eastern Maine's board of directors. Unlike the power crisis that paralyzed parts of California earlier this year, eastern Maine has "an abundance of generation" to meet local demand, he said.

"Another problem in California, though, was that there was inadequate transmission-line access to power sources in other states," Jones said. "This highlighted a new importance for the transmission segment of the electricity industry as more states deregulate."

Jones told 200 people attending the co-op's annual meeting about two projects to enhance transmission in Maine. "The most immediate of these is the newly proposed 345 kilovolt line that Bangor Hydro-Electric wants to build from Orrington to New Brunswick," he said. The new line has the potential to encourage power plant development in nearby Canada, he pointed out. "Since those new power plants will be in (our) back yard," Jones said, "members may probably see lower supply prices in the long run."

There is also the Neptune Project, which is a plan to connect power sources in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with the northeastern United States by way of an undersea transmission line. It also could prove beneficial to the co-op's customers, Jones said.

Treasurer Scott Skinner told members that when the co-op's delivery rates are compared with the other utilities whose service territories include rural areas, Eastern Maine's rates are the lowest of the four. The others are Bangor Hydro, Maine Public Service and Central Maine Power.

But still, customers in those 77 towns will see their electric rates rise by a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in March.

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