Offshore Wind Projects Receive Boost from Massachusetts and Biden Administration

LCG, March 31, 2021--The Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation last Friday that authorizes the state to direct utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy by 2027.

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NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada Transmission Project Approved by PUCN

LCG, March 25, 2021--The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) on Monday approved proceeding with NV Energy's Greenlink Nevada transmission and renewable energy initiative. NV Energy's planned investment in Greenlink is over $2.5 billion.

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Industry News

Exorbitant Natural Gas Prices Keep New Plants Off Line

LCG, April 8, 2003Recent unusually high natural gas prices are keeping newly built power plants from starting up.

Plant owners and operators say that they cannot profitably operate plants in current economic conditions and may have to wait until the summer, when demand increases.

Current gas prices are roughly $5 per million Btu, and over this past winter prices reached record levels.

Most new plants built over the last few years have been natural gas-fired, a popular choice because of efficiency, local production of fuel, and cleaner emissions. Several natural gas-fired plants are also currently under construction, and roughly 300,000 MW of natural gas-fired capacity has been projected to come on line between 1998 and 2007. Deregulation efforts in many states encouraged the new construction, and many companies assumed that natural gas prices would remain stable when they initially planned the plants' construction.

According to some in industry, the cost of operating a plant is currently higher than simply buying power.

While many new plants are gas-fired, gas and oil plants comprise only a fifth of U.S. capacity. Coal and nuclear plants still dominate, generating some 70 percent of total capacity. Hydroelectric, wind, solar, biomass and others make up just 10 percent.

Companies like Williams Cos. and PPL Corp. have either kept new plants off line or even requested to take plants off line. Other companies have delayed or halted construction of new plants in order to wait for better market conditions.

Some U.S. companies are looking into liquified natural gas, an investment previously thought by some to be unnecessarily costly.

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