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

Lawsuit Filed Against Traders, Index Publisher

LCG, Nov. 25, 2002--Following testimony by a former energy trader and developer of related price indexes before a California senate committee, the state's liutenant governor, Cruz Bustamante, has filed a lawsuit over a pattern of false reporting of prices to an industry journal.

The class-action lawsuit seeking unspecified damages for ratepayers says that the indexes were known by industry insiders to incorporate trade data that were submitted in order to provide benefits to the companies involved, based on their contract positions. Michele Markey, a former employee for Platts, a McGraw-Hill unit that publishes Gas Daily, agreed to testify in response to a subpoena, with the condition of immunity from prosecution. Markey said that in discussions with those familiar with the system of anonymous reporting, "no one acted shocked about the topic."

According to the lieutenant governor's filing, the publishers of Gas Daily and Inside FERC Gas Market Reports, both under Platts, "These defendants conspired with the other defendants named herein, knowingly reporting false information, and employed absolutely no means to verify information given them by the market participant defendants." Markey testified that some systems to check the accuracy of prices were used, but that individuals reporting prices could have nonetheless managed to submit false prices successfully. Trades are not published individually but as part of indexes used by buyers and sellers to determine contract settlement terms.

Traders at some companies, including American Electric Power Co., Dynegy, CMS Energy, El Paso Corp. and Williams Cos. have verified that according to their own investigations, traders working for them seem to have made false reports to publishers. The lawsuit names as defendants McGraw-Hill, El Paso Corp., Sempra, Williams Cos., American Electric Power Co., Aquila Inc., Reliant Resources, Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Dynegy Inc., and Mirant Corp.
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