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Missouri PSC Approves Grain Belt Express HVDC Transmission Project

LCG, March 22, 2019--The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request filed by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own, operate, control, manage and maintain a high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line to move power east from wind farms in western Kansas to load centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

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FPL Targets 1,490 MW of Solar Capacity for New Community Solar Program

LCG, March 15, 2019--Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Wednesday filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program, FPL SolarTogether. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490-MW of capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.

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Industry News

EPA Updates 'New Source Review' Rules

LCG, June 13, 2002--The White House said today that the EPA will issue revised rules concerning the installation of emission controls for power plants that are upgraded or expanded.

EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said of the rules, "The need for reform is clear and has broad-based support." The rules were strongly favored by a range of utility and industry groups, who have complained that rules under the EPA's New Source Review program, started during the Clinton administration, have been unclear, leading to inconsistencies in enforcement.

Controversy has surrounded which repairs to a plant represent maintenance under the program, and which mean a change in the plant's size or operating characteristics. According to Whitman, "Our review clearly established that some aspects of the New Source Review program have deterred companies from implementing projects that would increase energy efficiency and decrease air pollution."

Under the New Source Review program of the last 10 years, an analysis was required before repairs could be classified as "routine," and therefore would not trigger the need for emission controls. Refineries as well as generating facilities may see improvements in reliability and efficiency as repairs pick up in frequency, another EPA official said.

Strongly negative reactions to the Bush administration announcement came from environmental groups and some Democratic legislators, including the majority leader, Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. Some are concerned that coal plants in the Midwest will cause more serious air pollution in the Northeast under the revised rules.

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said that the EPA "has no calculations on increased pollution or public health impacts." Clapp said that the new rules will cause most repairs to be considered routine. "You can do anything but tear the plant down and keep your exemption, so these plants will never be cleaned up," he said.

The rules allow baseline emission allowance standards to be calculated based on any consecutive 24-month period in the past 10 years. This may mean that some power plants will be able to produce more power than they have recently, without running up against emission limits.
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