New York PSC Approves Ravenswood Energy Storage Project

LCG, October 18, 2019--The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday approved construction of the largest battery storage facility in New York State history. The 316-MW Ravenswood Energy Storage Project will be built in Long Island City, Queens, New York and scheduled to be partially operational by March 2021.

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Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource BP Announce 250-MW Solar Project in Colorado

LCG, October 1, 2019--Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource BP announced Friday that they have reached a long-term agreement to develop a 240-MW solar facility in Colorado. Lightsource BP will finance, build, own and operate the Bighorn Solar project and sell all the electricity it generates to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The project will be built on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo, making it the largest on-site solar facility dedicated to a single customer in the country.

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Industry News

Xcel Seeks Replacement Power;Spent Fuel May Choke Nukes

LCG, Nov. 14, 2001--Xcel Energy Inc. said yesterday it is seeking bids for 1,100 megawatts of firm capacity to replace power that would be lost if its 1,030 megawatt Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Red Wing, Minn., chokes to death on spent fuel.

Prairie Island Unit 1 is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate until 2013 and Unit 2 through 2014, but under Minnesota law, the plant's spent fuel storage capacity is expected to be reached in 2007.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered Xcel to develop a contingency plan involving requests for proposals for 1,100 megawatts of power. The proposals are due next February 15.

Prairie Island stores the used radioactive fuel in a pool and is also authorized to store some spent fuel in steel and concrete dry casks, said Mary Sandok, a company spokeswoman, who added that the state authorized 17 casks of dry storage while the NRC approved 48.

The spent fuel problem was though solved in 1982 when the U.S. Congress enacted legislation requiring the Department of Energy to create a permanent repository for the radioactive waste and begin accepting it for storage in January 1998. That program was funded by a one-sixth of one cent per kilowatt-hour surcharge on the electric bills of customers of nuclear utilities.

Though the 1982 law has been twice supported by court orders, it has been largely ignored by the DOE, which has spent about half of the $17 billion fund trying to get a nuclear waste dump ready at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

The Yucca Mountain repository is opposed by anti-nuclear activists who want the nation's nuclear power plants to choke on their spent fuel.

Xcel said it has urged Congress to act on nuclear fuel storage and has sued the DOE for its failure to accept spent fuel, but has also joined a group of eight large nuclear utilities to develop a temporary 820-acre storage site on the 18,000-acre reservation of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians in Skull Valley, Utah.

In the meantime, it will look over the replacement power proposals it receives in February and prepare a short list of bidders by next August 1. Final selection of power providers is expected to be made by November 1 of next year and purchase agreements should be in place by early 2003.

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