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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

California Biomass Plants' Viability Uncertain

LCG, December 23, 2002--Biomass plants in California's smoggy Central Valley, which have received state funding to assist with higher costs relative to other renewable power sources, could close within six months due to the state's unprecedented budget deficit.

Some of the plants, which require labor-intensive preparation of waste from agricultural sources, had previously closed in the 1990's, but then started up again when subsidies amounting to $30 million were approved by the state for three years, starting in 2000. The grants were viewed by legislators who approved them as a way to reduce air pollution in the Central Valley more cost-effectively than could be achieved by other means. Planning officials with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District say that for $1,400, the biomass plants can reduce particulates by a ton, whereas $5,710 might be incurred elsewhere to achieve the same effect. Without the biomass plants, field waste is burned at the farms where it is generated, resulting in 95 percent more soot, produced by 100 millions tons of waste each year.

Plants like Delano Energy may be able to continue operating, by virtue of their owners having signed contracts with a utility, in this case San Diego Gas and Electric. At other plants, like Madera Power in Firebaugh and Dinuba Energy in Tulare county, the uncertainty associated with California's projected $30 billion deficit has meant that lenders are unwilling to step in unless the plants are operating under 15- to 20-year contracts. Speaking to the Sacramento Bee, Sarah Reyes, D-Fresno, said, "Biomass is important not only for air quality, but for energy production." However, because of the deficit, she noted, "there's not going to be an opportunity for the state to subsidize them."

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