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

Coal-Fired Generation at the Intermountain Power Project to End in 2025

LCG, May 25, 2017--The owners of the Intermountain Power Project announced on May 23 that they will cease electricity generation fueled by coal in 2025. The decision is driven by the loss of existing customers, environmental regulatory issues, and competition from both gas-fired generation that benefits from low natural gas prices and growing renewable (wind and solar) capacity supported by state renewable portfolio standards (RPS's).

The Intermountain Power Project ("IPP") is located near Delta, Utah and began commercial operations in 1986. The electric generating facility includes a two-unit, 1,800-MW coal-fired station; two transmission systems; a microwave communication system and a railcar service center; all built as a joint undertaking by 36 utilities in Utah and California.

Nearly all of the electricity generated by the IPP has been delivered to six municipal power systems located in southern California, with the largest being Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LAWDP). However, under California state law, these municipalities are now prohibited from purchasing coal-fueled electricity after their existing power purchase agreements (PPA's) expire.

"We are saddened to announce this decision, but factors beyond our control make continued operation of the coal units unfeasible after their current power purchase agreements expire," said the Board of Directors Chairman for Intermountain Power Agency ("IPA.") "We are mindful of the substantial economic contribution IPP makes to rural Utah and we will vigorously continue efforts we began years ago to diversify and provide project benefits for its employees and surrounding communities for as long as feasible."

IPP participants are preparing plans to develop new natural gas-fired electricity generation at the project site. Thirty-two municipal power systems and rural electric cooperatives have subscribed to participate in the gas project and engineering has begun. The project envisions about 1,200 MW of new natural gas-fueled electricity generation at the site that would become operational in 2025.

In addition to the new natural gas project under development, other energy projects have been attracted to the area by IPP's substantial infrastructure, according to the IPA. Over 300 MW of wind farms located in Millard and Beaver counties connect to the grid at the IPP's switchyard. Furthermore, salt dome caverns have been constructed immediately adjacent to IPP and are currently in operation for storage of natural gas liquids. Future cavern development could provide storage capacity for other materials, such as natural gas or other fuel products, or for compressed air energy storage (CAES).
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