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

Xcel Energy Files Proposed Settlement for Colorado

LCG, December 7, 2004--Xcel Energy filed a settlement agreement with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for its Least-Cost Plan (LCP) on Friday. Under the agreement, Xcel Energy's subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), would proceed with its plan to add 3,600 MW of new generating capacity by 2013.

The LCP was filed last April, and in November the public hearings were suspended to allow for the development of a settlement agreement. The proposed settlement, which includes participants such as the Commission Staff, the Sierra Club, and Calpine, must be approved by CPUC. A public review of the settlement is scheduled for December 8, and Commissioners potentially could issue a decision by the end of this year.

A key element of the plan is the construction of a new, 750-MW coal-fired unit at that existing Comanche Station, located near Pueblo. PSCo had previously submitted its LCP and requested a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to build a 750 MW expansion of its Comanche Station - with a waiver from the competitive bidding process. The proposed settlement includes the waiver, and the new plant will be built under a confidential construction cost cap. The total project cost, including required transmission, is estimated to be $1.35 billion.

With respect to avoiding competitive bidding for large coal projects, a similar position was taken by Xcel Energy in its biennial Resource Plan submitted last month to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. To supplement existing supplies in Minnesota, Xcel proposed to add 1,125 MW of generating capacity by 2015, with the most likely fuel for base load capacity being coal. To pursue new, base-load capacity, Xcel proposed an alternative to competitive bidding because, as stated in the Resource Plan, that process is "not well suited to evaluate coal and large-scale" plants.

For the Commanche expansion, Xcel will also be allowed to include construction work in progress (CWIP) in base rate requests, without offset, beginning with the planned 2006 rate case filing, depending upon the company's capital structure and its senior unsecured debt rating.

The proposed settlement includes provisions for the installation of new pollution control equipment to reduce SO2, NOx and mercury emissions at the existing Comanche Station units, which have a capacity of 660 MW. The settlement also includes provisions for demand-side management efforts and expenditures, as well as commitments toward developing renewables as part of the supply mix.

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