New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Construction Commences on Enel’s Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota

Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (“EGPNA”), the US renewable energy company of the Enel Group, has started construction of the 299-MW Aurora Wind Farm in North Dakota.

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Industry News

Senators Propose National Renewable Electricity Standard

LCG, September 22, 2010--Senators Bingaman (New Mexico) and Brownback (Kansas) yesterday announced plans to reintroduce a bill to create a federal renewable electricity standard (RES). The legislation is alleged to increase our energy security, enhance the reliability of the electricity grid by creating more homegrown renewable energy, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

The stand-alone, 43-page RES bill is almost identical to the RES included in the American Clean Energy Leadership Act, S. 1462, according to Senator Bingaman. The bill requires electricity suppliers to ratchet up the percent of renewable energy supplies (or energy efficiency improvements) from 3 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2021. The bill is designed not to affect state programs.

Like prior the proposal, the bill includes (i) an exemption for utilities selling less than 4 million megawatt hours per year of electricity and (ii) the option to pay alternative compliance payments to the Secretary at a rate of 2.1 cents per kWh.

Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, ocean, geothermal, landfill gas, incremental hydropower, hydrokinetic, and new hydropower at existing dams, an expanded waste-to-energy definition that includes municipal wastes, and biomass.

Although biomass is included as a renewable resource, the bill does nothing to address the carbon neutrality of biomass, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called into question with its proposed Tailoring Rule that does not treat biomass as carbon neutral. Without carbon neutrality, biomass development will likely be limited, and it will not become the primary, non-hydro source of renewables, as forecast this year in the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook.

Senator Bingaman states, "I think that the votes are present in the Senate to pass a renewable electricity standard. I think that they are present in the House. I think that we need to get on with figuring out what we can pass and move forward."
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