Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Utilities' Integrated Resource Plans

LCG, March 22, 2018--The Arizona Corporation Commission last week rejected the Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) filed by Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP), sister utility UniSource Energy Services (UNS) and Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and has ordered them to develop plans that reduce their dependence upon natural gas and new, gas-fired power plants. The Commission prefers greater reliance on renewable energy and storage.

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Get a good picture of ERCOT in LCG’s newly released 2018 ERCOT Outlook

LCG, March 21, 2018 --Texas continues to experience an unprecedented transformation in its energy industry. The state saw record wind energy production in 2017 and will continue to see wind growth through 2018. Large transmission projects and upgrades have taken place. New import and export capabilities are on the horizon, such as through the integration of Lubbock Power & Light and the possible Southern Cross transmission project.

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Industry News

ESC Announces Open Solicitation Process for 1,000 MW HVDC Empire State Connector Transmission Project

LCG, November 28, 2017--Empire State Connector Corp. (ESC) announced yesterday the start of an Open Solicitation process for interested parties to reserve transmission capacity on the proposed 265-mile, 1,000 MW fully buried Empire State Connector (ESC) high voltage direct current (HVDC) electric transmission line designed to deliver electricity from non-carbon emitting resources in upstate New York to loads in New York City. The target in-service date of the project is 2022.

The Open Solicitation represents the next step in the development of the ESC, following the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order authorizing ESC to sell transmission rights and services on its proposed merchant transmission project at negotiated rates. London Economics International will serve as the independent solicitation manager for the Open Solicitation. Non-binding Expressions of Interest will be accepted until December 22, 2017.

The ESC will follow a unique underwater route through the Erie Canal and Hudson River so as to have no visual impact and low environmental impact. Upstate New York energy will be collected at a converter station built near Utica, where the electricity will be converted from AC to DC and transmitted via two six-inch diameter non-fluidized solid-state cables over 260 miles directly into the heart of New York City, where the electricity will be converted back to AC and injected into the grid.

The project has completed the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) interconnection feasibility study. According to ESC, preliminary engineering, environmental pre-feasibility study, route surveys and routing assessments have all been completed. A public outreach program is fully underway and the ESC plans to file its Article VII application with the PSC by the end of the year.

The ESC will support New York State's Clean Energy Standard (CES) that is designed to reduce carbon emissions from the state's power suppliers.

ESC's CEO stated, "This project perfectly complements the state's and the City's energy, economic and environmental policy goals. It creates significant upstate economic growth, spurs the development and use of clean, renewable energy, helps better tie together New York's massive electric grid with highly-controllable transmission technology and delivers low carbon energy into New York City."

ESC filed its application with the FERC for authority to negotiate agreements with customers for transmission service on the ESC in April 2016, when the construction cost was estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion.
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