Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

SMUD May Cancel 1000 MW of New Generation

LCG, May 20, 2002-The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is considering canceling plans to build the Consumnes Power Plant.

The plans were to build the 1000 MW gas-burning plant next to out-of-commission Rancho Seco, using 8,000 acre-feet of water from the American River for cooling. The California Energy Commission questioned this water usage, preferring power plants to use reclaimed water or dry cooling methods over high-quality water when possible.

SMUD says that it would cost significantly more to build the Consumnes plant without the use of American River water. The steeper price tag decreases the chances of SMUD choosing to build the plant by 25 to 50 percent.

The first phase of building, to generate 500 MW, was scheduled to be operational in 2005 and would have cost $374 million to build. The second phase would have come on-line sometime around 2008. SMUD says that cooling the plant with sewage treatment plant water, 26 miles away, would cost $45 million extra in construction and $8 million in operation over 30 years. Air cooling would add $42 million in construction and $291 million in operation.

Apparently SMUD is fairly upset about the permitting process, and according to the Sacramento Bee, former SMUD chief and current chairman of the California Power Authority David Freeman said, "They're pretty angry; these folks are not in the habit of being regulated. It brings out the animal in them."

While the potential cancellation of this plant will not be seriously detrimental to the region, the pattern of delay is worrying some people because more generation or better transmission is necessary for grid stability in the Sacramento region. Two other area plant projects have also been delayed; they are the Roseville and Rio Linda-Elverta projects.

A SMUD report detailing options for the project is due in June.

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