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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

New York PSC Directs RG&E to Contract for Power from R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

LCG, November 17, 2014-The New York Public Service (PSC) ordered Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) for electricity generated from the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, which is owned by Constellation Nuclear Energy Group, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon.

Constellation had petitioned for assistance from the PSC, stating that it had lost $100 million over the last three years and that it has forecast revenue shortfalls after the contract with RG&E expired at the end of last June. Exelon stated to the PSC, "Projected market revenues are insufficient to support the Ginna facility's continued operation."

Under the expired contract, RG&E purchased 90 percent of the power generated from the 581-MW nuclear power plant. After the expiration, Constellation has to accept competitive market prices. With relatively low natural gas prices and low market prices for electricity, the non-carbon emitting nuclear facility could be uneconomic to run, which could then lead to the closure of the facility. Based on a study released last month, closure of the base load, 44-year old nuclear facility, located 22 miles northeast of Rochester, could increase grid reliability risks.

The PSC stated that, with its order, it is acting to protect grid. The Chair of the PSC would like to develop a solution to maintain grid reliability until an alternative can be implemented.

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