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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

AEP, Power Agency to Expand Texas Grid

LCG, May 24, 2001American Electric Power Co. and the Lower Colorado River Authority yesterday reached a tentative agreement to spend $500 million over the next five year to expand the electric power transmission system service southwestern Texas.

The program, which will require approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, is aimed at improving capacity on the system to accommodate 27 new power plants that will add 14,000 megawatts of generation to the Texas grid in the next few years.

The joint venture, which was approved by the LCRA's directors yesterday, expects to have a final agreement in place next month. Robert Cullick, a spokesman for the LCRA, said "We expect to have a final negotiated contract in June and hope to start construction on specific projects by the end of the summer."

In an assessment of transmission systems earlier this year, the North American Electric Reliability Council said Texas' transmission grid, though in better shape than those in California and New England, was in need of improvement. Cullick agreed, saying "There are some bottlenecks. By expanding existing lines and building new ones we hope to relieve some of these bottlenecks."

In addition to expanding capacity on existing lines and building new ones, the program calls for upgrading substations, adding new connections and making other improvements.

Under the joint venture between AEP and LCRA, the Authority will own the new facilities and AEP will operate and maintain them. Because of its tax-exempt status, LCRA will be able to finance the improvements at lower cost than could a private company.

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