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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

Southeast U.S. Balks at FERC Regional RTO Plan

LCG, Oct. 24, 2001--The plan by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place the operation of the nation's electric transmission grid in the hands of just four super-regional transmission organizations has drawn fire from market participants in the U.S. Southeast, who say the plan could increase electric rates.

State regulators mostly want to keep the regional transmission organizations local, and contend that anything that would increase costs would be a mistake.

The Southern Co., which serves nearly 4 million customers through its operating utilities in the Southeast, says combining all the transmission systems in the region into one big RTO would require $3 billion in new transmission infrastructure, and that cost would be passed along to consumers.

Ed Holland, an executive vice president of The Southern Co., said of the proposed super-RTO "If the majority of those costs have to be borne by our retail consumers, we are looking at between an 8 and 10 percent increase in rates."

That's too much for Stan Wise, a member of the Georgia Public Service Commission. "We have low prices, we have reliable service, and we have a good system," he said. "We think the (FERC) process has been a little heavy handed and certainly without any consideration to what either the cost or cost savings are going to be with this new process."

Holland agreed. "It's when we get to what is the proper size and configuration (of the super-RTO) that we don't feel like appropriate analysis has been done," he said.

Wise was probably speaking for most state regulators in the Southeast when he said "If the average ratepayer in my state has to pay more to promote retail competition, I am most certainly not in favor of it."

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