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Utilities brace for Hurricane Matthew; Audit finds deficiencies in MSHA's complaint handling

Coronavirus Crisis Brings New 5G Use Cases Into Action

How 37 Years of Default Data Can Prepare Us for the COVID-19 Fallout

How 37 Years of Default Data Can Prepare Us for the COVID-19 Fallout

Broadband-Only Homes Surge To 25% Of US Households Ahead Of COVID-19 Crisis

Utilities brace for Hurricane Matthew; Audit finds deficiencies in MSHA's complaint handling

Top News

warned Oct. 6 that up to 2.5 million of its roughly 4.8 million customers couldlose power and sustain damage from Hurricane Matthew. The storm was expected tohit the state late Oct. 6 and hug the coast for most of Oct. 7 before moving upthe Atlantic coast. Based on its recent outage data, theNextEra Energy Inc.utility said the hurricane has affected 653,490 customers. The utility said ithas restored power to 177,200 customers and that 476,300 of its customers are stillwithout power.

Upcomingfederal underground gas storage rules could help smooth over the nation's patchwork ofstandards, but regulators must be careful to avoid unintended consequences,said market participants including a Kinder Morgan Inc. executive.Anders Johnson, vice president of storage at KMI, said he is looking forward tothe U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration rules, slatedto come out later in the year.

TheU.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General initiated anaudit of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration to follow up on a 2006audit finding that MSHA had not evaluated or responded to a significant numberof hazardouscondition complaints in a timely way. Between January 2012 and December 2015,OIG noted, mine hazards contributed to 151 miner deaths and 30,350 injuries.


*Ontario Power Generation Inc.'srebuild of its 3,512-MW Darlington facility on Lake Ontario will by9.6 million metric tons per year between 2024 and 2055, the report byconsultant Intrinsik Environmental Sciences found.

*Florida Power & LightCo. has reached a settlement agreement with intervening parties inits pending rate case, according to a Form 8-K filing. If approved by Florida regulators, theNextEra Energy Inc.subsidiary's annualized retail base revenues would increase by $400 millionstarting Jan. 1, 2017, $211 million starting Jan. 1, 2018, and $200 millionwhen the Okeechobee CleanEnergy Center achieves commercial operation.

*Talen Energy Corp.stockholders have approved the company's proposed agreement with and intoan affiliate of RiverstoneHoldings LLC. Thetransaction remains on track to close by the end of 2016, subject to approvalfrom FERC and the U.S. NRC.

*Electricity prices in the U.S. are on track to fall for the first time since2002, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For the firsthalf of 2016, American residential consumers paid on average 12.4 cents/kWh, or0.7%, less than the same period in 2015.

*General Electric Co.unit GE Power won a contract to supply software that will allow the toconduct a deep analysis of the health of its generating assets across its 16generating facilities and transmission network, according to a news . The new operationscenter is expected to begin operations in December.

*Bloom Energy Corp.has reportedly fileda "confidential" registration for an IPO, according to an Oct. 6report from The Wall Street Journal.The company, which in 2011 was valued at $2.9 billion, filed with the U.S. SECto go public under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which allowscompanies with less than $1 billion in revenue to register privately with theSEC.

*NextEra Energy ResourcesLLC has completedits Roswell andChaves Countysolar facilities in New Mexico. The facilities have a total generating capacityof 140 MW and will serve XcelEnergy Inc. customers in New Mexico and Texas under two separatecontracts.

* A21-MW wind farm in Hawaii has been shut down after major turbine parts of thefacility fell off, the PacificBusiness News reports. Auwahi, which holds a long-term power purchaseagreement with Maui Electric Co.Ltd., is jointly owned by subsidiaries of and . In a separate piece, the publicationreports that employment in Hawaii's solar industry has gone down by more than40% since last fall when state regulators ended a popular net metering program.

Natural gas/midstream

* Even though it has struggled with itsdebt situation for a half decade, Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it amassed enough cash onhand to paybondholders through the end of 2018.

*More than 30 groups, including Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians, arepressing British Columbia Premier Christy Clark to reject 's Trans Mountainpipeline expansion project because it fails to assure a "world-leadingoil-spill response," TheCanadian Press reports.

*Williams Cos. Inc.directors Joseph Cleveland, John Hagg and Juanita Hinshaw will not stand forre-election at the Nov. 23 annual meeting. The move was previously described bythe company as a "boardrefreshment."

*Gaz Métro Inc. closeda private placement of C$125 million of 3.28% series T first mortgage bonds dueOct. 9, 2046, according to a news release. The company will lend proceeds toGaz Métro LP, whichplans to use them to repay existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

*Sanchez Production PartnersLP will acquire certain oil and gas assets, including a 50%stake in Carnero Processing LLC, from Sanchez Energy Corp, in a $107 million drop-downtransaction expected to increase the company's liquidity.


*CNX Coal ResourcesLP's recent acquisition of a larger share of the Pennsylvania MineComplex from its parent company CONSOL Energy Inc. helped boost the partnership's pricetarget ahead of quarterly earnings, according to analysts.

* AU.S. Department of Interior analysis concluded that 's planned 117million-ton expansion of the Spring Creek Mine would have a minor climateimpact, The Associated Press reports.The agency conducted the analysis under a court order.


*Although 72% of the total proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse GasInitiative's quarterly auctions was invested in efficiency and renewable energyprograms from 2008 through 2014, more than 20% of the total funds collected wasearmarked for otherpurposes by the participating states.

*After ending the prior session up 0.8 cent at $3.049/MMBtu, November naturalgas futures recoiledovernight ahead of the Friday, Oct. 7, open in profit taking and overridingfundamental pressure implied by steadily building inventories andweather-related demand weakness in store in the near term through the midrange.The contract fell as low as $3.015/MMBtu and was last in shallow positiveterritory, up 0.1 cent at $3.050/MMBtu.

*Power dailies could notchlosses in the week's closing session Friday, Oct. 7, as theanticipation of deflated demand in much of the country coming off the weekendconspires with potential weakness in natural gas. Although a round of latebuying pushed front-month November natural gas futures 0.8 cent higher Oct. 6,the contract was hovering near unchanged at $3.049/MMBtu early Friday ahead ofthe opening bell.

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New from RRA

* OnOct. 6, Algonquin Power &Utilities Corp., Empire District Electric Co. and the Kansas CorporationCommission, or KCC, staff announced that they have reached an agreement that wouldresolve the KCC's review of Algonquin's proposed acquisition of Empire (DocketNo. 16-EPDE-410-ACQ).


"Essentiallywhat I am doing is writing all the policies for Mr. Trump ... to try to assisthim and hopefully whoever he appoints to be secretary of energy," formerAmerican Nuclear Society President Donald Hoffman .

The day ahead

*Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. equitymarkets. To view more SNL equity market indexes, click here.To view more SNL Energy commodities prices, click here.