New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

FERC Staff Supports Tougher Natural Gas Index Rules

LCG, January 16, 2003-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff have suggested standards for natural gas indices in order to avoid false reporting.

Last year several companies were found to have submitted false natural gas prices to industry periodicals, yielding an inaccurate view of the natural gas market of the time. El Paso Corporation, American Electric Power, Dynegy Inc., CMS Energy Corp., and Williams Cos Inc. have stated that employees gave bogus data to newsletters.

FERC staff members have asserted that minimum reporting standards should apply to natural gas indices. They suggested that indices be subject to third-party review and should include real trading information, not solely aggregate figures.

Dynegy and Xcel Energy have already settled by paying $5 million for their part in manipulating the market with false price reporting. Although publications have procedures to eliminate erroneous or false information, it is not clear what false price information may have been incorporated into indexes.

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission has also subpoenaed Duke Energy, Portland General Electric , and Avista Corp.

FERC commissioners will hold a conference with the Department of Energy's Information Administration regarding natural gas pricing but have not stated whether or not standards will be adopted.

Meanwhile natural gas prices have increased significantly of late, some say due to cold weather and limited supply.

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