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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

Sierra Club Loses Challenge of Air Permit Issued for New Gas-fired Power Plant in Texas

LCG, March 21, 2014 - The United States Environmental Appeals Board rejected on March 14 a Sierra Club petition for a review of an air permit issued to La Paloma Energy Center LLC for a gas-fired, combined-cycle power project in Harlingen, Texas. With the decision, an obstacle in the path towards construction is set aside. The project is being developed by Coronado Power Ventures, LLC and Bechtel.

Last November, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 issued the permit to La Paloma Energy Center, LLC (LPEC). The permit authorizes LPEC to construct and operate a 637-MW to 735-MW natural gas-fired power plant. In December, the Sierra Club filed a petition challenging the La Paloma permit on the grounds that the EPA erred or abused its discretion by failing to base the emissions limits for each of the plant's three gas combustion turbine (CT) units on the energy efficiency of the most efficient of three technologies proposed by the developer.

The Environmental Appeals Board stated in its March 14 order denying review of the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit, "Sierra Club has failed to demonstrate that the Region clearly erred or abused its discretion in establishing the GHG permit limits for the combustion turbines at the proposed LPEC facility. The Board finds no support in EPA's Best Available Control Technology [BACT] guidance for Sierra Club's position that the three specific turbine models proposed by LPEC must be identified as separate control technologies throughout the Region's five-step analysis." The Board concluded that the Region had a rational basis for its determinations that all three of the permitted turbine models considered are comparably efficient, that the assigned BACT limits are substantially equivalent except for marginal differences attributable to capacity, and that the GHG emission limits for all three turbine models represent BACT for highly efficient combined cycle combustion turbines.

The Sierra Club also challenged the permit on the grounds the EPA did not require LPEC to consider a design incorporating solar thermal energy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because the Region incorrectly concluded that solar technology would redefine the source of the GHGs. However, the Board concluded, "Under the circumstances of this case, the business purposes and site-specific constraints described in the administrative record support the Region's conclusion that the addition of supplemental solar power to this facility would constitute redesign of the source."
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