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

Congressman Wants Enron's Accountants Probed

LCG, Nov. 20, 2001--U.S. Congressman John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who considers himself the "dean of the House of Representatives" and who is the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has called for an investigation of accounting firm Arthur Andersen in connection with its audits of Enron Corp.

In a letter released yesterday, Dingell asked the Public Oversight Board for "an oversight review or special investigation of Arthur Andersen LLP."

In his letter, Dingell wrote "The best accounting standards in the world are meaningless if the accounting and audit processes are so inept or corrupt that they produce unreliable numbers and untruthful reporting."

As high-flying Enron has collapsed, beset by a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into several partnerships involved in "off-balance-sheet" transactions, the company has been forced to restate its earnings for recent years.

Critics have asked why the company or its accountants couldn't get the numbers right the first time. Chicago-based Arthur Andersen has also been scored for not doing more as Enron's auditor to draw investors' attention to questionable accounting practices.

Dingell is one of those critics. "I request that (the Public Oversight Board's) investigation or review include adequate, transparent and public disclosure of all significant issues identified," he wrote.

Arthur Andersen is one of the so-called "Big Five" accounting firms -- which consists of The Big Five: Andersen, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG Peat Marwick and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

They were once known as the "Big Eight," but that was before William Cooper merged with Lybrand, Adam & Edward Ross, & Robert Montgomery and later with Price Waterhouse & Co.; before Deloitte merged with Touche, Ross, Bailey & Smart; and before Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young.

As the huge accounting firms have consolidated into fewer companies, they have branched out into all kinds of consulting, raising questions about possible conflicts of interest. A lawsuit in Oregon charges that Arthur Andersen's judgment in its Enron audits was impaired by fat fees it was collecting from the energy company.

In a response to Dingell's letter, Andersen spokesman David Talbot said he firm was confident that the Public Oversight Board process "will confirm the quality of our auditing processes."

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