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

Guilty Plea Submitted by Enron Trader in Manipulation Case

LCG, Feb. 5, 2003--A trader for Enron, Jeffrey Richter, responded in Federal District Court in San Francisco yesterday to a case alleging his participation in false scheduling of power resources in the California power market with a guilty plea.

Richter, 33, had previously told F.B.I. agents investigating the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001 that he had not submitted any power schedules intended to deceive market operators. He admitted Tuesday to having lied to the agents. Speaking about the interview on Sept. 26, Matthew J. Jacobs, an assistant United States attorney, was quoted in the New York Times, "The most significant thing is that the defendant is admitting that he made false statements. This should send a message that if anyone impedes or obstructs the investigation they can and will be prosecuted."

The investigation that led to Richter being charged was triggered based on documents generated by a meeting between Richter, fellow trader Timothy Belden and one other trader with a company lawyer. The participants discussed trading strategies that allowed Enron to profit by deceptive practices, including by receiving payment for relieving fictional congestion.

Richter pleaded guilty to engaging in strategies that could have contributed to raising market prices, Get Shorty and Load Shift. While Belden, who has been cooperating with prosecutors, admitted to wire fraud for his role in Western energy markets, his involvement appears to have taken place starting in 1998, rather than in 2000 as was the case with his less senior colleague. Mr. Richter became a trading assistant for Enron's West Power short-term trading desk in June 1999. A fine of as much as $250,000, and a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison for each guilty plea could be imposed, based on market manipulation and lying to investigators.
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