NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

Texas Utilities Claim PUC Not Responding to Rate Rules

LCG, July 25, 2002--Rate increase requests filed by major Texas utilities two weeks ago are legally justified under the rules for deregulating the Texas electricity market, the utilities say.

The companies, which include Reliant Resources and its energy provider Reliant Energy, TXU Corp., and units of American Electric Power, are seeking a court ruling to bring about rate changes based on increases in the cost of natural gas. When the rate filings were made, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) referred the filings to the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

At issue are rules meant to cover a transition period for the deregulated Texas market, which allow adjustments in rates up to twice per year. A 4 percent increase in 12-month gas prices, or changes in the cost of power purchases, are supposed to form the basis of rate changes.

Reliant, which is seeking a 5.8 percent rate increase, says the difference between wholesale and retail prices is costing it $500,000 per day. CPL Retail Energy and WTU Retail Energy, under American Electric, argue that by not granting the requests, the PUC will discourage market entrants. Unregulated players see the regulated utility rates as the price they have to beat to offer customers a competitive alternative. The PUC is planning to receive a response to the filings from the State Office of Administrative Hearings by September.
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