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Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

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Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

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Industry News

Reliant Fined in Plant Shutdown Case

LCG, Feb. 3, 2002--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday released documents and announced a $13.8 million fine based on what a commissioner called "blatant" actions by Reliant Resources to drive up power prices in June 2000 by shutting down power plants in California.

Transcripts of conversations between traders for Reliant that were provided to the FERC indicated that multiple plants were taken out of the market on June 21 and June 22, about one month after prices in the Western power market had begun to climb from previous levels. One trader, whose identity was not given, stated in one transcript, "We decided prices were too low on the daily market, so we shut down everything except Ormond." In another conversation, a trader asked about shutdowns, "Did the market find out?" The answer was "No, God, no." Transcripts were posted on the FERC website.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Mike Florio, an attorney on the board of the California Independent System Operator, said that during the period in question, "roughly 8,000 to 10,000 megawatts disappeared from the Power Exchange market, virtually overnight." Many plant operators said that prolonged running of plants at high capacity made it necessary to take plants down for maintenance.

Reliant Resources will be required to have shutdowns at its plants during the next two years overseen by an independent engineering firm, which will need to provide updates to federal authorities. The fine imposed on Reliant was assessed based on FERC's calculation of the overall impact on buyers of power at the time. The fine will be allocated to individual participants, such as the state's utilities, after specific impacts have been determined.

The amount of the fine was strongly criticized by Gov. Gray Davis, who deemed it "insulting." State Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey, said claims by generators that all possible capacity had been provided to the market had been shown to be "an absolute farce."
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