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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

New England Firm Plans 420 Megawatt Wind Farm

LCG, Oct. 31, 2001--Boston-based green electricity company Energy Management Inc. has announced plans to develop a 420 megawatt (nameplate capacity) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound.

The company said it expects to get an optimistic 34 percent operating factor out of the Cape Wind Associates project, which, if achieved, means the wind farm would be the equivalent of a 140 megawatt power plant.

According to Cape Wind President Jim Gordon, the wind farm will consist of about 150 pylon-mounted turbines on a 24-square-mile shoal in Nantucket Sound, a density of 6.25 turbines per square mile, which is fewer that the 9 per square mile many consider best for maximum generation.

The company explained that the towers would be kept a half-mile apart so as not to affect navigation by fishing and pleasure boats.

Gordon said the wind farm would save New England electricity customers tens of millions of dollars a year because "Once the turbines are built, the wind is free."

Mike Worms, a New York energy analyst, disagreed. "I don't think wind power is cheap by any stretch," he said. "If it weren't for federal subsidies, it probably wouldn't even be a viable option."

Worms was referring to a federal production tax credit that pays wind farm operators 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour of power actually produced. That subsidy kicks in when a turbine first starts putting power on the grid and runs for 10 years, but the program is due to expire at the end of this year.

Without the tax credit, wind power would cost about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 1.83 cents for nuclear power, 2 cents for electricity produced in coal-fired plants and 3 cents for power from gas-fueled power plants.

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