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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

FERC and California Prepare for Long-term Contract Hearing

LCG, Dec. 12, 2002--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and attorneys for California have different views of how strong California's case is for overturning long-term contracts the state signed during the energy crisis.

A brief developed and filed by FERC staff in preparation for hearings into $43 billion worth of contracts found that the state needs to prove that the long-term contracts were affected by prices in the soaring short-term market. California contends that spillover between the two existed. According to the Commission's brief, "CDWR [California Department of Water Resources] in fact renegotiated letters of intent it had entered into and rejected other higher cost contracts," thereby indicating to FERC that the California agency did not lack bargaining power.

The hearings, which are due to end with a ruling by FERC Judge Bobbie McCartney by mid-February, are meant to resolve California's assertion that the contracts were signed under circumstances in which the state had little choice but to purchase electricity at unjust rates. The FERC staff wrote that in order for the contracts to be overturned, they must be shown to be contrary to the public interest, according to the "Mobile-Sierra" doctrine set forth by the Supreme Court in the 1950's. The FERC's brief raises the argument that the power market would be adversely affected if the contracts are not upheld.

Some energy sellers to California, such as Calpine Corp. and Williams Cos., have thus far reached agreements with the state on revised contract terms. Others that have not proceeded to settlements include Allegheny Energy, Dynegy Inc., Sempra Energy, and Coral Energy, a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell. If a ruling were to be issued in California's favor, a related action by western U.S. utilities could gain momentum.
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