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

Cal-ISO Bills Water Agency $1 Billion for Power

LCG, Nov. 27, 2001--The California Independent System Operator, which purchases power on the volatile spot market to protect the state's transmission system, has sent a bill for $1 billion to the California Department of Water Resources, which purchases power on behalf of the state's investor-owned utilities, which don't have the money to pay for it.

The CDWR didn't actually purchase power from Cal-ISO, but the rationale seems to be that the water agency would have had to buy the power if Cal-ISO hadn't, so it should pay the ISO even if the money is really owed to the companies that produced the power.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week, in response to filings by independent power producers, ordered Cal-ISO to pay its overdue power bills. The ISO had said it didn't really owe the money because it was simply a scheduling coordinator and not a creditworthy power purchaser.

FERC said simply that the power producers had to be paid for the power requisitioned and scheduled by the ISO.

Cal-ISO said in a filing of its own last week that it would get the money from the CDWR and pay all its past due bills by next February 7, but the payments would have to come in installments, if FERC approves.

Cal-ISO also said payment depended on the CDWR responding to its invoices.

Gary Ackerman, executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, a trade association representing the power producers, said "We are anxiously waiting for an answer from CDWR."

He added, "We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic -- just iffy."

There is a lot to be "iffy" about -- or very little on which one can hang his hat. The CDWR is arguing with FERC over matters of jurisdiction. The ISO says CDWR is just an agent for the cash-strapped utilities and the utilities are the ones who schedule the power anyway. Except the ISO also says it has to schedule power to protect the transmission grid.

We can't figure it out. But we do know that Cal-ISO has asked the CDWR to pay it for $1 billion worth of power it didn't sell to the CDWR.

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