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

Connecticut Investigates New England Grid Operations

LCG, July 8, 2004--The State of Connecticut has approached the energy market on another front this month with its own investigation into New England grid operations last January, when cold weather increased heating requirements and related demand for natural gas and electricity. Natural gas and wholesale electricity prices rose dramatically as well, and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has charged that generators shut down gas-fired units and sold the natural gas to improve their profits, which nearly led to blackouts. Furthermore, he stated that the generators did not comply with the ISO-New England's request to return units to service.

The Attorney General is not satisfied with ISO New England's own investigation into last January's operations. "The ISO-New England report completely fails to ask why they did not put the plants back online or follow ISO's own order," Blumenthal said. "Contrary to the interim report's optimistic assessment of the gas and electricity markets, the cold snap revealed that current market rules are not only inadequate to protect the public safety and the region's power grid, but instead may work to undermine the reliability of the grid," Blumenthal wrote in his comments about the ISO-New England report.

ISO-New England spokesman Dominic Slowey said, "It would have been unprofitable for them to sell electricity at that point. There was no evidence of anti-competitive behavior on the part of the generators."

Connecticut remains busy on the energy front. Last month, the Islander East pipeline, sponsored by Duke Energy and KeySpan, said it would petition Superior Court in New Britain, Connecticut, to order state environmental regulators to issue a water quality permit to clear the way for the construction of the 50-mile, natural gas pipeline from Connecticut to Long Island, which follows existing corridors about 90% of the way. The pipeline would deliver 285,000 Dth/day of gas initially and ultimately 400,000 Dth/day to the New York City area. Attorney General Blumenthal said he will oppose the pipeline's request to Superior Court. "Every regulatory action taken by DEP [Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection] to prohibit this environmental disaster has been lawful and proper. I will vigorously defend the denial of the required permits and authorizations for this project, as it plainly does not deserve approval," he said recently in a prepared statement. Also last month, Connecticut and Long Island finally reached a tentative settlement agreement to allow the two-year old Cross Sound Cable to be energized on a long-term basis, providing additional regional grid reliability and providing more low-cost power into Long Island, a load pocket. Use of the Cable had been held up by the State of Connecticut on environmental grounds.

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