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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

Decision Made on California Direct Access Customers Surcharge

LCG, Nov. 8, 2002--Large energy customers who were allowed to buy electricity from marketers and wholesale suppliers other than California's major investor-owned utilities will pay a surcharge to repay the state for its power purchases, with California Public Utilities Commissioners split on whether the amount is sufficient.

Yesterday, a 3-2 vote by California PUC regulators was made to impose a 2.7-cents per kilowatt-hour charge on usage by electricity purchasers who had signed their own supply contracts, starting Jan. 1. PUC President Loretta Lynch and Carl Wood, who advocated that the surcharge be higher, voted in the minority. Lynch thought other, generally small customers, who buy electricity from the investor-owned utilities, would be left paying a disproportionate share of the costs incurred by the state through its electricity purchases. She asserted that "This massive transfer of wealth is discriminatory and unreasonable."

Jeff Brown, who voted with the majority, said it is necessary to keep a central feature of earlier deregulation plans in place, by allowing direct access customers to continue their relationships with alternative suppliers. "If actual costs are imposed each year, direct access would become uneconomic and would cease to exist," he said. He also indicated that not allowing direct access would represent "a terrible signal to the business community," according to the Sacramento Bee. He believed, however, that the 2.7-cent surcharge is likely to rise next year.

Those who entered into direct access contracts include industrial and retail facilities, as well as hospitals and schools.
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