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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

Enron India Not Planning to Sell Dabhol 'Right Now'

LCG, May 2, 2001U.S. energy giant Enron Corp., mired in financial disputes with the federal government of India, the government of the Indian state of Maharashtra, and the Maharashtra State Electricity Board, has no immediate plans to sell its interest in the Dabhol Power Project, the company's chairman said yesterday.

"We're not in any discussion right now on selling the plant," Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay told reporters after the company's annual meeting. Enron and financial institutions that provided backing for the Dabhol project met in London last month to discuss courses of action open to them following attempts by India, Maharashtra and the MSEB to unilaterally modify agreements reached in the mid-1990s.

"The lenders have sent the government of India a letter indicating the various things both the government of Maharashtra and the government of India need to do to come back into compliance with the contract," Lay said.

Under agreements reached in 1993 and 1995, the MSEB is to purchase all the power from a 740 megawatt first phase and a 1,444 megawatt second phase of the Dabhol project. The first phase has been producing power since last summer and Enron has been forced to invoke guarantees by Maharashtra state and the federal government of India to be paid for each month's bill.

The MSEB is currently $48 million behind on its electric bill and last month adopted a creative new strategy to meet its obligation. The state-run utility fined Enron something like $200 million for alleged failures to perform and then instructed the U.S. company to simply deduct the electric bill from the fine.

The 1,444 megawatt second phase of Dabhol is schedule for completion later this year, and now the MSEB says the power in not needed. Lay said the second phase could be delayed if the MSEB doesn't pay its electric bill. "The construction activity is being scaled down, so it is impacting operations, but its still not too late to stop any damage from that if the governments step up and honor the contracts," he said.

The Dabhol project represents the largest foreign investment in India, and India has made no secret of its desire to attract foreign money to assist in development of its infrastructure. But four U.S. power firms have pulled out of Indian projects already and failure of the Dabhol project would be a sever setback for the subcontinent in its efforts to finally take part in the industrial revolution.

"It sends a very bad signal to the rest of the world as to the difficulties of investing in India, which isnot what India needs right now," Lay said.

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