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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

WPS Files Application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to Build Combined Cycle Facility at Fox Energy Center

LCG, January 22, 2015--Wisconsin Public Service Corp. (WPS) submitted its application for permission from the state Public Service Commission to install a 400-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle generating unit at the Fox Energy Center in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The estimated cost of the project is $517 million. Construction is anticipated to begin late in the spring of 2016.

The existing Fox Energy Center hosts a 593-MW combined cycle generating facility that began commercial operation in December 2005. WPS originally purchased the power generated from the facility. In March 2013, WPS acquired the dual fuel (natural gas and oil) facility for a total purchase price of $440 million from Fox Energy Center LLC, owned by subsidiaries of Tyr Energy, Inc. and General Electric.

Late in 2013, WPS announced a need for an additional 400-500 MW of electric generating capacity by 2019. Alternatives considered were to purchase power from other energy suppliers, buy an existing or new generating facility, or add another natural gas-fueled generator at the Fox Energy Center.

WPS also operates coal-fired power plants in Wausau and Green Bay, and these coal-fired plants may be taken out of service to avoid the need to invest in equipment and controls to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

A WPS spokesperson stated, "The studies say this is the best thing to do to meet our needs in 2019. It's the right site, it's the right time, it makes great sense.We are able to take advantage of existing cooling water and intake structures, as well as the electric transmission facilities and natural gas pipeline already in place at the site."

The Public Service Commission hearings are planned during the spring and summer, with a ruling likely by year-end.
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