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Missouri PSC Approves Grain Belt Express HVDC Transmission Project

LCG, March 22, 2019--The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request filed by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own, operate, control, manage and maintain a high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line to move power east from wind farms in western Kansas to load centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

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FPL Targets 1,490 MW of Solar Capacity for New Community Solar Program

LCG, March 15, 2019--Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Wednesday filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program, FPL SolarTogether. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490-MW of capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.

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Industry News

FERC Grants SPP RTO Status

LCG, October 6, 2004--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) RTO status, subject to SPP submitting further revisions. The Commission also issued an Order on Rehearing related to SPP, removing some of the obstacles from the path to becoming a fully-functioning RTO. Both Orders were issued October 1, 2004.

The Commission previously issued a July 2, 2004 Order which had acknowledged SPP's continuing efforts to meet the prerequisites for RTO status and had identified specific, remaining issues to be addressed. The Commission has accepted many of the changes proposed by SPP, such as those related to "Corporate Governance". To address grandfathered agreements (GFA), the Commission noted SPP's commitment to address conversion issues at a technical workshop.

Commissioner Brownell dissented with respect to two issues. First, the Commissioner stated, "It is still unclear whether SPP has adequate authority to direct the day-to-day operations of the facilities within its footprint." Second, the Commissioner took issue with the fact that SPP had submitted a contract with an independent market monitor (IMM) that was inconsistent with the Commission's specific requirements previously set forth in its July 2 Order.

In the Order on Rehearing (issued October 1), the Commission did grant a rehearing for Schedule 1 rate pancaking, noting that "an RTO tariff must not result in transmission customers paying multiple access charges to recover capital costs." The Commission required SPP to submit a timetable to remove pancaking from Schedule 1.

The Commission clarified that its earlier, February 10 Order "does not contemplate any development and implementation of Day 2 markets, beyond the energy imbalance market in development as part of Phase 1 of SPP's plan, without the preparation of cost/benefit analysis." The Commission also clarified issues related to the Regional State Committee (RSC), such as stating, "our purpose in approving an RSC is not to usurp state authority, but, rather, to facilitate state consensus on certain regional issues and a partnership between this Commission and state commissions."

SPP, a regional reliability council since 1968, has 48 members serving customers in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

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