New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

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Industry News

L.A. May Keep Share of Nevada Power Plant

LCG, Nov. 26, 2001--The city of Los Angeles, which a year ago planned to sell its 20 percent interest in the Mohave Generating Station in Nevada, may change its mind and keep its 316 megawatt share of the desert coal-burner.

"If there is anything we have found in the energy crisis, it is that being independent and being able to control one's own destiny is a very powerful economic tool," said Ron Deaton, the city's chief legislative analyst.

In August of last year, the Los Angeles City Council approved the sale of the city's interest in Mohave for $190 million as part of a 10-year Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plan to reduce the amount of power it gets from older, higher polluting plants.

At about the same time, the state of California began to feel the pinch of having insufficient generation resources and the LADWP found itself in the position of a supplier with a surplus of a scarce resource.

The municipal utility, under the leadership of S. David Freeman who now heads California's new power authority, sold its surplus power into the state's spot market for top dollar, making tens of millions of dollars.

California Gov. Gray Davis blamed the high price of electricity in the state on out-of-state independent power producers, who he called "the biggest snakes on the planet earth." But when the electric bills were made public, it was found that the LADWP was among the leading ophidians.

During the worst of the energy crunch, until early May of this year, the city of Los Angeles enjoyed plentiful electricity as the money rolled in.

The L.A. City Council is scheduled to reconsider the planned sale tomorrow. The majority of the panel has already indicated it wants to keep art least a 10 percent interest in Mohave.

The other owners of Mohave are Southern California Edison Co. with 56 percent, the federal Salt River Project with 14 percent and AES Corp. with 10 percent.

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