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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

California Congressman Puts Heat on Cal-ISO

LCG, Nov. 19, 2001--U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, a California Republican, has demanded that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission act on what he says is preferential treatment of the California Department of Water Resources by the California Independent System Operator.

In a letter last Thursday to FERC, which was released Friday, Ose said dealings between the two state agencies contravene the required independence of the ISO. Reliant Energy Inc. and Mirant Corp. filed a complaint with FERC last month alleging that information-sharing between the two groups violates the ISO's tariff.

Ose backed up his letter with a copy of a confidential memo from Eric Woychik, described as having inside knowledge of the water agency, to ISO board member Mike Florio, who is also a lawyer for an anti-utility gadfly group, The Utility Return Network.

Ose did not tell how he came by the memo, but said it revealed "egregious examples of interference by CDWR in the electricity market."

How confidential was the memo? In it, Woychik wrote "If the press, Legislature, or FERC get wind of this, I think we are toast!!!"

Woychik's memo said that CDWR scheduling practices resulted in "very large additional costs for purchases," and compromised reliability. He cited as an example an instance when the water agency required the ISO to accept bilateral contracts for $400 per megawatt-hour when cheaper coal-fired generation from a Nevada plant was available for $60.

In his letter to FERC, Ose said the memo "clearly illustrates the perils of a lack of independence" at the ISO.

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