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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

Mirant Produced Extra Energy With ISO Support

LCG, May 24, 2002--In response to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order to energy trading companies to report potentially manipulative trading practices, Mirant Corp. said it had practiced at least one of the strategies in California, as outlined in an internal Enron memo.

A filing by the company with the FERC said that the one strategy it had clearly engaged in was to produce at levels above forecast demand. Documents said Mirant had the support of the California Independent System Operator, manager of the state's power grid, in doing so. A power market consultant who was quoted in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Robert McCullough, said Mirant's justification did not change the "Fat Boy" strategy's being "a violation of the rules, but they have a good reason."

This week, a California state senator, Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana), said he had uncovered a practice by the ISO of buying more power than was needed to maintain reserve margins, anticipating non-deliveries by scheduled generators. According to Mirant, the ISO repeatedly encouraged the company to "fake the rules" by creating false demand and extra, real supply in order to ensure reliability. Dunn had concluded before Mirant's filing that the ISO caused the state to sell extra power it did not need at a loss.

Mirant raised another possibility, but said it did not have sufficient records to determine "with certainty," that it had bought power within California cheaply and sold the power outside the state at higher prices, benefitting from state price caps.

Of 510 days covered by FERC's data request, the company identified one during which it practiced a "variation" of megawatt laundering, in which a company sells power outside the state, to be bought back and sold within California. Enron referred to such a practice with the reference "Ricochet." According to McCullough, Mirant appeared forthright in asserting that this was a one-time occurence.
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