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

Texas Commission Approves SWEPCO's Proposed Coal-fired Power Plant

LCG, July 8, 2008--The Public Utility Commission of Texas last week approved a proposal from Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) to build a coal-fired electric generating facility in southwest Arkansas. Prior to proceeding with construction of the facility, SWEPCO awaits a number of permits, including the receipt of an air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

On July 3, the Commission approved the proposal by a vote of 2-1 and rejected the recommendation from an administrative law judge (ALJ). Last January, the ALJ concurred with Texas Industrial Energy Consumers and with the staff of the Commission and recommended to deny the application for a certificate of convenience and necessity to build the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant. The ALJ had stated, "SWEPCO failed to prove that there is a need for the plant."

SWEPCO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), proposed to construct a 600-MW, coal-fired plant in Hempstead County, Arkansas to serve retail and wholesale customers in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. The estimated cost of the facility is $1.52 billion. The proposed facility will use ultra-supercritical technology and will burn sub-bituminous, Powder River Basin (PRB) coal from Wyoming.

In a 2-1 decision last November, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (CECPN) to construct the plant.
In March, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) unanimously approved SWEPCO's request to build the plant, including a requirement for SWEPCO to prepare and submit a study that identifies potential, cost-effective energy efficiency and load management programs for SWEPCO's Louisiana customers.

SWEPCO's application to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for an air permit is pending, and a SWEPCO spokesperson stated that they hope to receive the air permit by the third quarter of this year. Another project hurdle is opposition from some hunting clubs and landowners in Arkansas that believe the plant will harm the local environment, and they have appealed the Arkansas Public Service Commission's ruling to the state Court of Appeals.
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