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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

Easily Recoverable Appalachian Coal Expected to Last 20 Years

LCG, Mar. 29, 2002--A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey over six years concludes that 11 percent of the substantial coal reserves in Appalachian states can be recovered economically with current technology.

Technological advances have increased the amount of recoverable coal, but Leslie Ruppert, who led the study, said that the coal accessible to mining using present techniques may be exhausted within two decades. Beyond the 7.3 billion short tons considered recoverable, Ruppert said, "today, it is coal quality, and not coal quantity, that controls coal pruduction in the Appalachian basin." Of the coal that is not economically viable today, disadvantages include high sulfur content, and seams that are thin or deep underground.

Bill Raney, with the West Virginia Mining Association said, "right now, we're mining coal seams we passed over years ago. I've got a lot of hope in technology." Raney said that the value of coal would impact the amount recovered. Northern Appalachia coal that is high in sulfur content cannot be used under clean air standards, but funding for clean coal technologies that might allow burning of higher sulfur content coal is being considered by Congress.

Approximately 40 percent of national coal production is located in the Appalachian basin, and coal is used to produce about half of national electric generation.
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