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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

Judge Rejects CA Refund Claims

LCG, December 13, 2002-A federal judge ruled that power companies overcharged California electricity purchasers by $1.8 billion and ordered the state to pay its $1.2 billion in power bills.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Administrative Law Judge Bruce Birchman found that energy companies who sold power to the state during the California energy crisis overpriced electricity by a total of $1.8 billion. However, because the state owes energy companies $3 billion, California has been ordered to pay the $1.2 billion still owed.

The state, currently operating under quite a deficit, contends that it was overcharged by at least $9 billion. Earlier this year, some officials estimated that California was overcharged by over $20 billion.

California Governor Gray Davis expressed outrage at the decision, asserting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has unfairly supported energy companies and turned its back on the cash-strapped state. During the energy crisis, FERC adopted a hands-off policy with regard to California, only acting late in the crisis when a newly appointed FERC commissioner instated price caps.

Public Utilities Commission President Loretta Lynch also voiced her indignation at the judge's decision, noting what she deemed FERC's repeated refusals to help the state.

Energy company representatives noted their satisfaction with the decision, and shares for several companies went up immediately. Dynegy Inc., Williams Cos., Mirant, Reliant Resources, among others, have seen their shares increase in value since the decision.

Earlier this year California energy purchasers managed to rewrite contracts for meager gains, but overall the state has made little headway in both the fight for refunds and the effort to find and prove a cause for the crisis.

Several court cases are still in the works, in addition to fact-finding efforts by FERC and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also, gas pipeline company El Paso Corporation has been accused of withholding gas supplies in order to raise gas rates. If the court finds that El Paso Corp. was involved with artificially inflating gas prices, some energy companies and the state may suddenly find themselves on the same side, since many of California's electricity generators are gas-powered.

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