California Sets Two Records Regarding Solar Power Production

LCG, March 8, 2018--The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recorded an all-time peak percentage of demand served by solar energy facilities on Sunday, achieving a record 49.95 percent at 12:58 p.m. The prior peak record was 47.2 percent set on May 14, 2017.

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ERCOT Expects Record-breaking Peak Demand this Summer

LCG, March 2, 2018--The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) yesterday released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming spring season (March - May) and its preliminary assessment for the summer season (June - September). ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, is predicting record-breaking peak usage this summer driven by the strong Texas economy. The combination of record-breaking peak usage and the recent retirement of older electric generating units is expected to result in tight operating reserves.

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Industry News

Owners Plan to Keep Navajo Generating Station Open through 2019

LCG, February 16, 2017--The utility owners of Navajo Generating Station (NGS) voted yesterday to extend operations of the coal-fired power plant to the December 2019 end of its lease if an agreement can be reached with the Navajo Nation. The four utility owners of NGS include: Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy and Tucson Electric Power. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the fifth owner.

Rather than closing the plant in 2017, the over two-year extension of the agreement would preserve continued employment at the plant and additional revenues for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. It would also provide the Nation or others with the potential to operate the plant beyond 2019 should they so choose - although the current non-governmental group does not intend to be participants at that time.

The 2,250-MW electric generating station is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Arizona, approximately 20 miles from the Grand Canyon. The station includes three, 750-MW units.

The utility owners of NGS see low natural gas prices that favor gas-fired generation over coal-fired generation like NGS. An SRP representative stated, "The utility owners do not make this decision lightly. NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area have been able to grow and thrive. However, SRP has an obligation to provide low-cost service to our more than 1 million customers and the higher cost of operating NGS would be borne by our customers."

The SRP representative stated that the owners' focus now is to secure an agreement with the Navajo Nation that would allow the plant to continue to operate through the end of its lease on December 22, 2019 and allow removal and restoration activities, which could take up to two years. SRP's announcement stated that these discussions are critical because without an agreement between the owners and the Navajo Nation, the plant would be required to cease operations this year.
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