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

GAO Study Reveals CA Market Abuse

LCG, July 17, 2002-The U.S. General Accounting Offices released a study on Tuesday which found that California's flawed market design allowed electricity suppliers to charge unreasonably high prices during the crisis of 2000/2001.

The GAO study showed that frozen retail electricity rates kept demand high, and the California Public Utilities Commission's dissuasion of long-term contracts left utilities vulnerable to spot market prices. This situation allowed those selling power to hold out on sales until utilities were frantic to buy and had to pay higher prices than would result in a proper competitive market.

The study did show that prices at that time should have been above average due to low rainfall and limited reserves, but the actual prices during the electricity crisis were higher than would have come to pass in a properly executed market.

The GAO also said that price caps did not prevent high prices because they did not apply to other Western states and that companies buying power had no ability to mitigate steep prices because of faulty market design.

Another GAO report released earlier this month concluded that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not have sufficient authority in controlling and policing electricity markets.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is still investigating possible Western electricity market manipulation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are also investigating specific companies' market practices.

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