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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

NRG Backs Out of Nuclear Expansion Project in Texas

LCG, April 20, 2011--NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) yesterday announced that it will write down its investment in the development of South Texas Project (STP) units 3 and 4. Moreover, NRG stated that it will not invest additional funds in the STP development effort.

Last month the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for building the two, 1,350-MW Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at the South Texas Project, an existing nuclear station located approximately 90 miles southwest of Houston. Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), a partnership between NRG and Toshiba Corp., applied for the permits in late 2007. NINA had planned to receive a construction license next year and commence operations of the two units in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

NRG's backing out of the STP project is driven by the recent events in Japan. NRG's President and CEO stated, "The tragic nuclear incident in Japan has introduced multiple uncertainties around new nuclear development in the United States which have had the effect of dramatically reducing the probability that STP 3 and 4 can be successfully developed in a timely fashion. We continue to believe both in the absolute necessity of a U.S. nuclear renaissance and that STP 3 and 4 is the best new nuclear development project in the country bar none. However, the extraordinary challenges facing U.S. nuclear development in the present circumstance and the very considerable financial resources expended by NRG on the project over the past five years make it impossible for us to justify to our shareholders any further financial participation in the development of the STP project."

NRG stated that NINA has suspended indefinitely all detailed engineering work and other pre-construction activities and will be focused solely on securing (i) a combined operating license (COL) from the NRC and (ii) a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company currently operates units 1 and 2, which are 1,410-MW pressurized water reactors that commenced operations in the late 1980s. STP ownership is divided among NRG at 44 percent, San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy at 40 percent, and Austin Energy at 16 percent.
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