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

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Gains Traction in Northeast

LCG, December 21, 2005--A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed yesterday by the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont (Signatory States) that outlines a regional, cap-and-trade program to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units with the intent of reducing global warming. The launch date for the trading program is January 1, 2009. The MOU is a result of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which was initiated in 2003.

The regional annual CO2 emission budget will be equal to 121,253,550 short tons, with each Signatory State receiving a specific allocation. Similar to other emission allowance markets, like the SO2 allowance market, if a company does not have sufficient CO2 allowances to cover CO2 emissions from its generators, it must either reduce annual emissions or purchase allowances from sources able to keep their emissions below their prescribed cap. For the years 2009 through 2014, each state's CO2 budget will remain unchanged. For the years 2015 through 2018, an annual reduction of 2.5% will applied with the goal of achieving a 10% CO2 emission reduction in 2018. A safety valve price threshold of $10/ton (2005$) of CO2 emissions is included in the MOU.

The program includes allowance offsets to sponsors of approved CO2 emission offset projects, such as landfill gas capture and combustion, sulfur hexaflouride capture and recycling, converting non-forested to forested land, and projects to reduce fugitive methane emissions from natural gas transmission and distribution. For offset projects located in Signatory States, allowances will be awarded on the basis of one allowance for each CO2-equivalent ton. However, for offset projects located outside the Signatory States, allowances will be awarded on the basis of one allowance for every two CO2-equivalent tons. If the spot price of CO2 emissions equals or exceeds certain triggers, then offset allowances may be awarded outside of the United States.

The Signatory States plan to release in the next 90 days a "Model Rule" to act as the foundation of statutory and regulatory authority to establish the program. Public comment will be pursued, and revisions to the draft Model Rule will be considered. The Signatory States have committed to seek to develop the necessary state statutes and regulations such that the program can commence operations on January 1, 2009.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island had initially contributed to the development of RGGI but have elected not to sign the MOU. The MOU allows for these two states to opt back in prior to January 1, 2008 and encourages other states to join the program.

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