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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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

Cal Power Authority may be Losing

LCG, Nov. 28, 2001--The California Power Authority, created earlier this year to build, own and operate new power plants as insurance against electricity outages, now says it probably won't need those power plants.

The new agency, headed by S. David Freeman, has halted negotiations to build by next summer 31 proposed projects with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts.

"It's looking less and less likely that these projects will be needed by next summer," said Amber Pasricha, a power authority spokeswoman.

On November 20, the California Energy Commission issued its 2002 Monthly Electricity Forecast which predicted that the state next summer will have a supply surplus of approximately 340 megawatts including new generation of 4,000 megawatts expected on line by July 2002.

A forced outage at any baseload power plant could plunge the state into another electricity deficit, resulting in rolling blackouts. A surplus of 340 megawatts in the control area of the California Independent System Operator represents a "cushion" of less than 1 percent, while most power professionals consider a reserve of 15 percent to be prudent.

Much of the state's power supply for next year and for up to 20 more years is in the form of long-term contracts negotiated by the California Department of Water Resources at an average cost of $69 per megawatt-hour -- more than twice today's going price.

Consumer advocates and state regulators want to see those contracts renegotiated, but the power producers are loath to accommodate them.

Now, Freeman sees a way to put the $5 billion funding for his agency to good use, if it isn't going to build power plants. He said the power authority could use its money to provide low-cost financing to companies already doing business with the state as an incentive for the companies to renegotiate their contracts.

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