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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

Mid-American Unit Sues SoCal Ed over Payment

LCG, Nov. 15, 2001--A subsidiary of a major Midwestern utility holding company said it filed a $100 million lawsuit yesterday against Southern California Edison Co., alleging the struggling utility has reneged on an agreement to pay part of its past-due bill.

CalEnergy Operating Corp., which is 50 percent owned by Mid-American Energy Holdings Corp., said it file suit in California Superior Court in Imperial County claiming SoCal Ed had reneged on an October promise to begin paying overdue bills for electricity produced at its geothermal plants.

In exchange for that agreement, CalEnergy and several other non-utility power producers known as "qualifying facilities" agreed not to file a petition which would force the utility into involuntary bankruptcy.

David Sokol, chairman of CalEnergy's parent company, said SoCal Ed "is reneging on its agreements with renewable energy producers. Edison protects its shareholders while little players across the state, including vendors and landowners in Imperial County, suffer."

Qualifying facilities are not, for the most part, "renewable energy producers." Most are medium-size conventional gas-fueled plants, many of which are cogeneration units, built in response to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978.

SoCal Ed took umbrage in a statement issued yesterday. "We categorically reject as untrue the claim that SCE breached any settlement agreement with CalEnergy or otherwise acted inappropriately," the utility said, adding that it hoped to be able to pay all its creditors early in the new year.

"Meanwhile, we believe it is important to deal fairly and equitably with all creditors and not to single out one group for preferential payments," the company said.

Mid-American Energy is majority owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is the largest utility in Iowa, with operations extending into Illinois and South Dakota.

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