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

Initiative Would Have Montana Buy Back Hydro

LCG, Sep. 4, 2002--An initiative to be on the Montana ballot later this year will ask whether the state should enter into a process by which it could buy twelve hydroelectric dams under private ownership, through negotiation or possibly by condemning them.

The reason given by campaigners for the initiative is that power prices have risen more than they would have under a regulated utility. Rates were previously relatively low compared to rates in other states. Deregulation was enacted in 1997, when the regulated utility, Montana Power, pushed for deregulation, and projected lower prices for customers following divestiture of its assets.

Residential rates were frozen until this summer, but have begun to rise. Montana Power has transformed itself into an internet service provider, Touch America, while its market capitalization is 10 percent of its former value. Surveys by the current owners of the dams in question, including PPL Corporation and Avista, have found that while residents are skeptical of the merits of deregulation, they are also wary of condemning private assets.
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