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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

San Diego County Water Authority Seeks Proposals for 500-MW Pumped Storage Project

LCG, July 21, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Tuesday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that would expand use of existing hydroelectric infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The project could potentially dampen water rate increases and provide greater opportunities for renewable energy development in the area.

The pumped-storage, hydroelectric project would provide up to 500 MW of utility-scaled energy storage capacity to (i) complement the growth of solar and wind farms that intermittently generate electricity within the day and over the year, and (ii) improve Southern California's electric grid stability. The associated energy storage capacity of the project would provide five to eight hours of energy storage. By enabling greater development of intermittent renewable electric generating capacity, the pumped-storage project would support California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the requirement for investor owned utilities (IOUs) to procure 50 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The physical project would include an interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill. The system would be used during off-peak energy-use periods when electricity prices are low to pump water uphill to the new upper reservoir, where water would be stored. The water would then be released to the lower reservoir by gravity to generate power when energy demand and electricity prices are higher. As planned, power generated at the San Vicente facility could be delivered to the grid via new electric transmission lines parallel to the Sunrise Power Link, and the new lines would connect to an existing Sycamore Substation owned by SDG&E approximately five miles away.

The chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors stated, "This potential project is an exciting and innovative opportunity to optimize our water facilities to benefit our ratepayers while helping the region as a whole meet its energy needs. The competitive bidding process will help ensure this potential project delivers maximum value."

The RFP calls for interested parties to provide details of their full-service teams qualified to perform all activities to deliver an operational project. Proposals are due to the Water Authority by September 12, 2017. The Water Authority expects to then evaluate proposals and seek approval from the Board to begin negotiations with a potential full-service team by the end of this year.

The Water Authority currently operates an energy storage facility at Lake Hodges, which in 2011 began its operations of pumping water to Olivenhain Reservoir, where there is an electric generating capacity of 40 MW. The agency's San Vicente Dam Raise Project - completed in 2014 through a partnership with the City of San Diego - provided additional opportunity for energy storage because it created approximately 105,000 acre-feet of new regional carryover storage water supplies and 52,000 acre-feet of new emergency storage capacity, increasing the hydroelectric energy potential at the reservoir site. The Water Authority owns the additional storage capacity created by the dam raise and completed filling its carryover storage capacity in summer 2016.
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