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

New York Requests NRC to Close Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

LCG, November 19, 2015-The State of New York has requested the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to, on an expedited basis, deny the application for relicensing of the Indian Point Energy Center in New York. The New York Governor's director of state operations stated that the nuclear energy facility is located within 20 miles of a major population center with over 20 million people, making it impossible to have an effective safety and evacuation plan. The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board began hearings Monday to address issues raised during the application process for the facility, which has an electric generating capacity of approximately 2,070 MW.

The facility owner, Entergy Corporation, submitted an application to the NRC for a 20-year license extension for the two reactors in 2007. The original 40-year operating license for Unit 2 expired in 2013, and the license for Unit 3 expires next month. The NRC allows the units to operate under expired licenses until a final decision is made on relicensing.

The Governor's director of state operations stated, "Given the deterioration of this aging plant, it should not be permitted to operate for another 20 years."

An Entergy spokesperson stated, "Entergy has invested more than $1 billion in Indian Point since purchasing the facility, adding new layers of safety and back-ups to protect against man-made or natural events, no matter how unlikely."

The spokesperson also stated that the nuclear power plant has received the highest operational ratings from independent experts at the NRC and that Entergy is confident that it can demonstrate Indian Point meets all of the NRC requirements to operate for another twenty years.

Earlier this month, Entergy announced that it will close the 838-MW James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York. Entergy stated that the decision is driven by reduced revenues cause by low natural gas prices and a market design in New York that does not adequately compensate nuclear power generation for the benefits provided, including carbon-free power. Prior to the announcement, Entergy and New York State officials were unable to resolve the problem and achieve an agreeable solution. In 2008 the NRC extended the operating license for the facility to October 17, 2034.

Following the announcement of the planned closure, the Governor of New York stated, "The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of the more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the 'bottom line.' The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy's actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce."

Given both the FitzPatrick and Indian Point nuclear facilities are closed in the near term, New York will lose over 2,900 MW of carbon-free, electric generating capacity.
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