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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

Shell May Bid $11 Billion for Enron

LCG, Nov. 5, 2001--Royal Dutch/Shell is believed to be about to mount a 7.6 billion ($11 billion U.S.) bid for Enron Corp., believing the giant U.S. energy company can be had at a bargain price, The Independent, an English newspaper, speculated in its Sunday edition.

The paper, which said the deal has been the subject of considerable speculation on both sides of the Atlantic, said a takeover of Enron would fit Shell's ambitions to add more downstream energy operations to its portfolio. "I have no doubt that a deal is something Shell is looking into," one senior London analyst told The Independent.

Houston-based Enron has recently found itself in deep corporate trouble and the problems worsened last week when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation into partnerships run by the group's former chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, who has been placed on indefinite leave of absence.

Enron has seen its credit-rating slashed to near-junk status, and its shares have suffered a series of big falls, losing about 80 percent of their value.

"Enron's plan to employ asset sales and other means to repair its damaged balance sheet will be insufficient to restore its long-term credit quality to the historical BBB-plus level," wrote Standard & Poor's director Todd Shipman as the credit rating firm cut Enron's debt to two notches above junk status. "The company's financial flexibility continues to diminish."

Last week the situation deteriorated even further. With the SEC investigation hanging over it, Enron has been shut out of many of the usual ways of raising cash and, according to the weekly Barron's, there are "headaches" in Enron's $915 million debt associated with a water-company subsidiary, the pledge of its 19,000-mile pipeline last week to secure a $1 billion loan and the SEC investigation.

That has forced the company to resort to desperate measures to raise cash to cover its outstanding debts. Enron secured a $1 billion loan against its huge 19,000-mile network of natural gas pipes. The new credit, supported by assets of Enron's Northern Natural Gas Co. and Transwestern Pipeline, will help the company shore up its liquidity position.

"We are moving aggressively to strengthen our balance sheet and maintain our investment-grade rating," new Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey McMahon said in a statement.

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