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ERCOT 2019 Summer Quarter Outlook

LCG, May 29, 2019-- LCG released a new summer (June – September 2019) report that looks at how the ERCOT grid copes with strained network conditions. Resource adequacy analysis for the region is especially important during extreme summer loading conditions. This summer the network is under particular scrutiny as the reserves have tightened because of recent retirements.

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South Field Energy Breaks Ground for 1,182-MW Power Plant

LCG, May 16, 2019--South Field Energy LLC announced yesterday its groundbreaking for an 1,182-MW, combined-cycle electric generating facility in Columbiana County, Ohio. The natural gas-fired facility is scheduled to commence operations in mid-2021 and represents a $1.3 billion investment.

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Industry News

Energy Secretary to Reduce Project Risks for New Nuclear Plants

LCG, May 18, 2005--Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman outlined plans yesterday designed to reduce nuclear project risks and increase the likelihood that new nuclear plants are constructed and operating by the year 2014. The last application for a new reactor was submitted in 1973.

One element of the Energy Department plan is to create a $3 billion insurance pool that would protect investors with respect to interest, operating, maintenance and construction costs caused by regulatory delays. The insurance would apply to each of the first two plants built using the new Westinghouse design and the new General Electric design. Companies would be asked to pay an insurance premium of about 10 percent of their total coverage, possibly over a period of years. Insurance premiums would be waived for utilities that place firm orders for new nuclear power plants before 2009.

The idea of building new nuclear plants is rapidly gaining momentum for a variety of reasons. First, fossil fuel costs for both coal and natural gas-fired plants are at near record highs. Second, nuclear power generates no carbon emissions, which may be a significant cost advantage if legislation leads to carbon emission fees. Finally, the electric generating capacity surplus in many parts of the nation reduces the urgency to add capacity to meet reserve requirements and provides a longer lead time to plan and construct a complex, large new nuclear stations with lengthy regulatory reviews.

One organization acting to further the development and construction of new nuclear power plants is a consortium, NuStart Energy Development, formed in 2004. NuStart includes Exelon, Entergy, Southern Company, Constellation, Duke Energy, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Florida Power & Light, Progress Energy, EDF International, and the two reactor vendors, GE and Westinghouse Electric. The NuStart consortium is considering the Westinghouse Advanced Passive Pressurized Water Reactor and the General Electric Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor. NuStart is currently reviewing alternative sites and plans to apply for two licenses at specific sites with specific designs by the end of the year.

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