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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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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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Industry News

FERC Grants SPP RTO Status

LCG, October 6, 2004--The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) RTO status, subject to SPP submitting further revisions. The Commission also issued an Order on Rehearing related to SPP, removing some of the obstacles from the path to becoming a fully-functioning RTO. Both Orders were issued October 1, 2004.

The Commission previously issued a July 2, 2004 Order which had acknowledged SPP's continuing efforts to meet the prerequisites for RTO status and had identified specific, remaining issues to be addressed. The Commission has accepted many of the changes proposed by SPP, such as those related to "Corporate Governance". To address grandfathered agreements (GFA), the Commission noted SPP's commitment to address conversion issues at a technical workshop.

Commissioner Brownell dissented with respect to two issues. First, the Commissioner stated, "It is still unclear whether SPP has adequate authority to direct the day-to-day operations of the facilities within its footprint." Second, the Commissioner took issue with the fact that SPP had submitted a contract with an independent market monitor (IMM) that was inconsistent with the Commission's specific requirements previously set forth in its July 2 Order.

In the Order on Rehearing (issued October 1), the Commission did grant a rehearing for Schedule 1 rate pancaking, noting that "an RTO tariff must not result in transmission customers paying multiple access charges to recover capital costs." The Commission required SPP to submit a timetable to remove pancaking from Schedule 1.

The Commission clarified that its earlier, February 10 Order "does not contemplate any development and implementation of Day 2 markets, beyond the energy imbalance market in development as part of Phase 1 of SPP's plan, without the preparation of cost/benefit analysis." The Commission also clarified issues related to the Regional State Committee (RSC), such as stating, "our purpose in approving an RSC is not to usurp state authority, but, rather, to facilitate state consensus on certain regional issues and a partnership between this Commission and state commissions."

SPP, a regional reliability council since 1968, has 48 members serving customers in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

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