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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

Old Alaska Gas Pipeline Plan May Get New Life

LCG, Nov. 19, 2001--A 25-year-old plan to build a natural gas pipeline to carry Alaskan North Slope gas to the lower 48 took on new life last week when nine energy companies announced they have agreed to come together to settle a financial problem and pitch a business plan to North Slope natural gas owners, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.

The companies or their predecessors were in a partnership that in 1977 won rights to build a pipeline along the highway to bring North Slope gas to market. The companies, led by Foothills, invested hundreds of millions but dropped out when gas prices fell in the 1980s, leaving only developer Foothills Pipe Lines and its two Canadian owners, TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. and Westcoast Energy Inc.

The prospect that the companies that had bowed out of the deal might want their money back -- with interest, it has grown to $4 billion and is referred to as the "meatball" -- has deterred meaningful progress on the pipeline.

Dennis McConaghy, an executive of Foothills who announced last week's agreement, said the companies are committed to removing all barriers to the project, which would follow the Alaska Highway.

Thursday's memorandum of understanding among The Williams Cos., Duke Energy Corp., Sempra Energy International Inc., Enron Corp., PG&E Corp., El Paso Corp., Westcoast Energy and TransCanada does not resolve the liability issue, but it provides a framework to settle the claims and re-form the Foothills partnership if the companies choose.

"Let me put it this way," McConaghy said. "We're prepared to take the $4 billion number off the table as part of a commercial settlement with the producers if that's what it takes."

In the meantime, the agreement allows the companies to jointly develop a business proposal and present it to the gas producers early next year, he added.

The biggest hurdle facing the pipeline is cost. The owners of the North Slope concessions -- BP, Exxon Mobil and Phillips -- doubt that the pipeline can be built cheaply enough to allow the gas that comes out the lower end to be sold competitively.

John Shively, an advisor to Foothills, thinks it can be done. "We are a group of gas transportation companies. Some savings can be achieved. This is what we do," he said.

And the producers at the north Slope aren't entirely [pessimistic. "Our goal is to create and identify an economic project," spokesman Dave MacDowell said. "If this can get us there, we're delighted."

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