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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

Cold Boosts Gas Prices to Two-Year Highs

LCG, Jan. 24, 2002--Seasonal price fluctuations and unusually cold weather in the Eastern part of the U.S. have brought natural gas prices to two-year highs, and resulted in some power plants being taken out of operation.

In the Tennesse Valley Authority (TVA) service territory, temperatures on Thursday resulted in an all-time winter record for system power demand. Record low temperatures were recorded in much of the Southeast, in some cases by as much as ten degrees below the previous record. Areas further to the north are experiencing prolonged low temperatures in the single digits.

The continued low temperatures and increased use of gas for heating have brought gas prices to levels at which some power marketers engaged in tolling agreements with power plant owners (the marketers obtain the fuel needed to run the plant and pay the plant owner for the right to sell the output) have sold gas supplies rather than run the plants. Williams Energy Marketing, for one, has made little use of the Ironwood and Red Oak power plants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the past few months. Rather than utilize the plants, owned by AES Corp., Williams has been buying power from other sources while making profits from its gas supplies.

Prices for gas have remained elevated due to ongoing high levels of consumption. At the same time, the amount of gas in storage is falling relative to 5-year average levels. Some analysts are projecting that if the trend continues, prices could reach $8/mmBtu this quarter.
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