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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

AEP Finishes Building Texas Wind Farm

LCG, Nov. 20, 2001--American Electric Power Co. Inc. said this morning that it had completed one of the largest wind farms in the U.S. as "the first step toward strategic growth in renewable generation."

AEP said it has finished building the 150 megawatt (nameplate capacity) Trent Mesa Wind Project near Abilene, Texas, which began producing electricity last summer. The wind farm, the fourth largest now operating in the United States, includes 100 wind turbines, each standing 328 feet tall on about 13 square miles. Construction of the wind farm cost approximately $160 million, the company said.

Before making the investment, AEP made sure it had a buyer for the power. "We are actively working to increase the renewable portion of AEP's generation portfolio, following the same model we use for any generation project -- securing a contract for the power before we build the plant," said Thomas Shockley, chief operating officer.

AEP said it expects Trent Mesa to generate more than 590 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which would represent a capacity factor of 44.9 percent -- probably out of reach for any wind farm. In a 1995 report, the California Energy Commission said the wind farms in that state produced only 18 percent of their nameplate capacity. Some backers of wind power claim that a capacity factor of 35 percent is possible, but production figures over a multi-year period have yet to back them up.

Shockley noted that Trent Mesa is the first significant wind farm in AEP's generation portfolio and said it "showcases AEP's wide array of capabilities. We developed the project, determined the appropriate site and negotiated a long-term contract for the electricity."

But AEP will not let green power go to its head. "Wind is a viable energy source, but it may not be the right choice for all areas," Shockley said. "It is vital for our nation's energy security that all sources of electricity generation -- coal, gas, nuclear, hydro and wind or other renewables -- continue to play a role in the total generation mix."

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