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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

Yakama Tribe Bills Bonneville for Rain-Making

LCG, May 23, 2001The Yakama Indian Nation of Washington state has sent the Bonneville Power Administration a bill for $32,000, seeking payment for two ritual rain-making ceremonies the tribe claims will help the federal operator of hydroelectric facilities produce more power this summer.

The Pacific Northwest has suffered through a persistent drought that has severely curtailed power production at Bonneville's 29 hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, forcing large aluminum smelters to curtail production or shut down operations and eliminating power available for export to California.

The drought also has the states of Washington and Oregon scrambling to find sufficient electricity production to meet their own needs. Large diesel generators are being installed near Wenatchee, within view of the Columbia, and in Tacoma.

With the water shortage threatening to continue, the Yakima tribe talked to Bonneville about producing some rain. Mike Hansen, a Bonneville spokesman, said the agency's acting administrator, Steve Wright, talked in March to representatives of the Indian Nation about "traditional" methods of encouraging rainfall.

Hansen said Wright was willing to listen but apparently Randy Settler, a tribal council member, thought the conversation was a go-ahead. The tribe went ahead with two ceremonies in the central Washington mountains in March, bringing traditional foods such as roots and berries, and thinks the ritual did some good.

At the Yakima airport, 1.86 inches of rain has been recorded since the first of the year, withmore than half of that -- 0.98 inches, occurring since March 1, the Associated Press reported. The year-to-date total is 1.47 inches below normal, while the amount since March 1 is 0.40 inches less than normal.

"We've had more rain since those events," Settler said. "We've had a lot of rain."

So, the Yakama Indian Nation sent Bonneville a $32,000 bill for the rain-making. Hansen said the invoice was "pretty vague" about the details, adding that Bonneville would not pay the bill.

"It was pretty much a blow to me to hear from the (Bonneville) administrator that he couldn't find the funds ... to assist in this," Settler said.

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