South Field Energy Breaks Ground for 1,182-MW Power Plant

LCG, May 16, 2019--South Field Energy LLC announced yesterday its groundbreaking for an 1,182-MW, combined-cycle electric generating facility in Columbiana County, Ohio. The natural gas-fired facility is scheduled to commence operations in mid-2021 and represents a $1.3 billion investment.

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Exelon to Shut Down Three Mile Island by September 30, 2019

LCG, May 10, 2019--Exelon Generation announced Wednesday that Three Mile Island Generating Station Unit 1 (TMI) will shut down by September 30, 2019. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had approved back in 2009 a 20-year extension for the nuclear energy facility through 2034.

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Industry News

California Renewable Requirement Leaves Municipals Exempt

LCG, Oct. 14, 2002--A bill signed into law by California Gov. Davis that requires power suppliers and marketers to sell an increasing amount of power sourced from renewables does not include municipal utilities.

The California law is much the same as similar laws in states such as Texas and Connecticut. A federal rule now being considered has elicited strong lobbying efforts by municipal utilities to exclude them from a national renewables standard. The reason many such utilities cite for their opposition is the need to keep prices low to customers, who are also owners.

"It frustrates me when environmental groups and the Green Party just sort of blindly support public power and assume it's going to be cleaner," Julia Levin, California policy coordinator with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the Sacramento Bee. Some supporters of green power believe the inconsistency may contribute to more volatile power prices in the future, as non-municipal suppliers increase their purchases of renewable power by 1 percent of sales annually. The recently signed bill calls for a 20 percent minimum requirement.

There is wide variation among California municipal systems in the proportion of renewable generation sold, with Santa Clara's utility Silicon Valley Power ranking among the highest due to use of geothermal generation. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) relies very little on renewable sources (2%), and imports power from coal-fired plants in neighboring states. The LADWP says it may set renewable goals for itself next year.

David S. Freeman, who has headed both the Tennessee Valley Authority and the LADWP, said the focus of municipal systems on cost reduction and opposition to state-imposed requirements, "Is their attitude on this stuff smart? No. Is it right? No, but it's inbred."
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