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

Reliant Dedicates Seward Coal Plant

LCG, October 1, 2004--Yesterday Reliant Energy dedicated its new, 521-MW Seward Power Plant, which uses low-grade refuse from coal mines for fuel. The plant is located 80 miles east of Pittsburgh at the site of an 82-year old coal-fired power plant that Reliant retired last year. The plant is currently being tested and is expected to commence commercial operations shortly.

By burning refuse coal, the technologically advanced plant will provide for the clean-up of numerous waste-coal piles in the region. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through one of its agencies, provided tax-exempt financing for the project.

The Seward Power Plant is one solid, positive sign of the emergence of new, coal-fired stations. A common theme is adding capacity at existing coal stations, where much of the related infrastructure is in place and the incremental expansion is less dramatic to local neighbors. Recently, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) approved a new, 500 MW coal-fired unit proposed by Wisconsin Public Service Corp. at its Weston Power Plant near Wausau. The expansion at Weston, where there are three coal units currently operating, is the first project approved by the PSCW under a new law designed to simplify and streamline the approval process. Late last year, the PSCW approved the construction of We Energies' Oak Creek Project, which adds two, 615-MW, supercritical pulverized coal units at an existing coal station.

With respect to being the fuel supply of choice for new power plants, coal still has an image problem to overcome. In August, citizens in Springfield, Missouri voted down a proposal by City Utilities of Springfield to build a 300 MW, coal-fired power plant, and the mayor of Los Angeles instructed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to withdraw from the expansion of the coal-fired, Intermountain Power Plant in Utah and to instead pursue cleaner, renewable energy sources.

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