NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

Regulators Okay Two Wisconsin Energy Power Projects

LCG, Oct. 18, 2001--The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has voted to let Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. move ahead with plans to add 2,800 megawatts of new generating capacity at its Port Washington and Oak Creek plants over 10 years, the company said yesterday.

Richard A. Abdoo, Wisconsin Energy chief executive said, "This is a significant first step toward ensuring the growth of new electricity supplies to meet growing demand in our state. A diverse coalition of consumer, industry and labor groups has worked to bring the Power the Future plan to this point, and we are pleased that we can continue to move forward."

State officials say Wisconsin will need more than 7,000 megawatts of new generation in the next 15 years.

The company plans to replace five coal-burning units at its 340 megawatt Port Washington plant with two 500 megawatt gas-fired units. It also will add three 600 megawatt coal-fired units at its 1,157 megawatt Oak Creek plant, bringing plant capacity to 2,957 megawatts at the coal burner.

The modifications to the two plants will cost $3 billion, said Margaret Stanfield, a spokeswoman for the company.

The approvals cover only part of an ambitious plan by Wisconsin Energy to upgrade power plants and spend $2.7 billion on its transmission and distribution systems, and those projects still must be approved by regulators.

Of this week's approvals, company spokesman Mike John said "There was a big step made, but it's only a first step. We still need to be able to prove to the commission that the projects are both needed and cost effective."

There will be opposition to Wisconsin Energy's plans. An attorney for the Midwest Independent Power Suppliers representing 15 independent power producers said "This (order) specifically stated that the commission has not determined that (Wisconsin Energy's) proposal to build these plants over alternatives complies with Wisconsin law."

Freddi Greenberg, a lawyer for the group, warned "We believe it will be very difficult for (the company) to show that it has considered alternatives to the necessary extent without a competitive process."

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