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ERCOT 2019 Summer Quarter Outlook

LCG, May 29, 2019-- LCG released a new summer (June – September 2019) report that looks at how the ERCOT grid copes with strained network conditions. Resource adequacy analysis for the region is especially important during extreme summer loading conditions. This summer the network is under particular scrutiny as the reserves have tightened because of recent retirements.

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South Field Energy Breaks Ground for 1,182-MW Power Plant

LCG, May 16, 2019--South Field Energy LLC announced yesterday its groundbreaking for an 1,182-MW, combined-cycle electric generating facility in Columbiana County, Ohio. The natural gas-fired facility is scheduled to commence operations in mid-2021 and represents a $1.3 billion investment.

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Industry News

Midwest ISO Tariffs Draw Complaints

LCG, Feb. 13, 2002--The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), now two weeks into its operation as a FERC-approved Regional Transmission Organization, is drawing criticism from traders and marketers over its tariff design.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will consider the complaints at its next routine meeting tomorrow, has promoted RTO's in order to bring about an open and efficient marketplace in which electricity can be bought and sold efficiently over the transmission grid. Some market participants see the rules now in place in the MISO as unnecessarily increasing costs and holding the potential for discriminatory access. As vice president of Cargill-Alliant, Bret Jones, told Reuters, "the concept of an entity managing the grid in order to optimize revenues... is beneficial for everyone, providing for a lower cost delivery system and better use of that system. I don't believe that the MISO structure has reached that point."

As a joint venture of Cargill Inc. and Alliant Energy Corp., Cargill-Alliant made a filing with the FERC on Dec. 10. In October, another filing was made by the American Transmission Co. concerning allegations of discriminatory treatment and flawed rate design.

Cargill-Alliant's dissatisfaction comes partly from the different transmission charges assessed to different transmission users. Charges represent either a network rate or a point-to-point rate. Marketers are charged point-to-point rates, which are often more expensive than the network rates. Utilities buying power for customers pay the network rate. According to Duke Energy North America, Dynegy Power Marketing Inc., subsidiaries of Mirant Corp. and Tenaska Power Services Co., the ability of utilities to reserve transmission capacity equivalent to expected peak loads at no additional charge may lead to inefficient use of the grid.

Midwest ISO chief financial officer Michael Holstein confirms that "there are certain circumstances where a trading pattern that existed before is not as profitable as it is today." He pointed to simplified billing for customers, and the replacement of multiple charges by different utilities with a single tariff as improvements. Holstein said the changes mean that "the net gain offsets whatever dislocation there is for certain limited transactions."
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