U.S. Department of Energy Announces First Awards under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

LCG, October 16, 2020--The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this week announced it has selected two U.S.-based teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).

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PSEG Files Application to Extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for New Jersey's Carbon-Free Nuclear Power Facilities

LCG, October 2, 2020--PSEG yesterday filed applications to extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County in order to preserve New Jersey's largest carbon-free source of electricity and to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goal of 100 percent carbon-free energy supply by 2050.

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Industry News

El Paso Electric Agrees to Refunds Related to Manipulation

LCG, Dec. 6, 2002--An investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission into transactions involving utility El Paso Electric's generation portfolio has resulted in the company stating that it was connected with Enron Corp.'s efforts to distort the California electricity market.

According to a document exchanged between company attorneys and FERC trial lawyers, El Paso Electric stated that Enron used the utility's assets to carry out manipulation schemes, such as "Fat Boy", and possibly "Ricochet." As part of a proposed settlement, El Paso Electric would pay $14 million in refunds and discontinue trading of wholesale power at market rates for two years. The company, which owns generating plants in west Texas and southern New Mexico, is not connected with El Paso Corp., a larger, natural gas firm.

The settlement may be rejected or modified, subject to the response of an administrative law judge and FERC representatives. The case has implications for ongoing investigations by California. Gov. Gray Davis' deputy legal affairs secretary, William Kissinger, said "We can't judge whether this is a slap on the wrist or a pinch or something more than that. It's a black box."

Enron and El Paso's business dealings gained in significance in 1997, when Enron essentially took control of the utility's trading arm. While the utility provided only 0.3 percent of needed wholesale power to the California Independent System Operator, Enron may have exacerbated the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001 by having power available, although unsold or "parked", until it decided to offer power to the desperate ISO at much higher rates. Other companies with previous ties to Enron are being investigated for what may be similar dealings.
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