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SPP greenlights 12 transmission upgrades; LIPA clears 1st NY offshore wind farm

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Essential Energy Insights, April 2021


SPP greenlights 12 transmission upgrades; LIPA clears 1st NY offshore wind farm

SPP gives stamp of approval to 13 transmission upgrades

The board of directors for Southwest Power Pool has signed off on the construction of 13 transmission upgrades intended to ease congestion in specific parts of its service area. SPP said 13 out of the 14 projects proposed as part of its 2017 ITP 10-Year assessment, or ITP10, were approved at a Jan. 31 meeting.

Ariz. co-op, ATC to develop transmission in southwestern US

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative Inc. and a branch of American Transmission Co. LLC will pair up to develop transmission projects in Arizona and the southwestern United States. The new company, to be known as ATC Southwest, will benefit electric cooperative members and electric consumers in the Southwest by developing options to help address the demand for an affordable, reliable transmission system.

Long Island Power Authority approves contract for first NY offshore wind farm

The Long Island Power Authority on Jan. 25 took a big step in helping the growth of offshore wind energy in the U.S., approving a 20-year power purchase agreement for the output of a 90-MW wind farm that will be built southeast of the eastern end of Long Island, N.Y. LIPA's board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of a power purchase agreement that will finance Deepwater Wind's 90-MW South Fork Wind Project.

NH court sides with Eversource, OKs underground portion of Northern Pass

The use of public highways for underground cable lines for Eversource Energy's Northern Pass transmission project is allowed under New Hampshire law, the state's Supreme Court ruled. The Jan. 30 decision upholds a previous ruling in May 2016 by the state Superior Court that had dismissed a claim from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Anbaric agrees to National Grid takeover of Vermont Green Line HVDC project

National Grid is assuming primary ownership of the proposed 400-MW Vermont Green Line Project following the completion of the initial stages of its development. National Grid and its partners Anbaric Transmission and Citizens Energy Corp. announced on Jan. 17 that National Grid will take over the high-voltage direct current line project from Anbaric.

Solar developers increase requests to interconnect in PJM grid

Developers of solar energy projects filed more requests in 2016 to interconnect to the power grid managed by the PJM Interconnection than in any year since 2010. The interconnection requests indicate an interest in building new generating capacity in the PJM footprint.

Mississippi Power pushes Kemper in-service date to 'late February'

Mississippi Power Co. again delayed when its controversial integrated gasification combined-cycle generation project in Kemper County will enter service, pushing the date to "late February." The Southern Co. subsidiary had previously planned for the IGCC facility, formally known as Plant Ratcliffe, to begin commercial operation during January.

Bechtel wins contract to build 1,100-MW NY combined-cycle facility

Bechtel Corp. won a contract to build the 1,100-MW Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dutchess County, N.Y., according to Jan. 25 news release. Bechtel expect to break ground on the combined-cycle project later this month. The plant will purchase natural gas from the Iroquois gas pipeline.

PG&E proposes to electrify buses and other heavy-duty vehicles

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. submitted a proposal to California utility regulators to electrify fleets of medium and heavy duty vehicles including school buses and delivery vehicles. The PG&E Corp. subsidiary said it made the $253 million budget request for seven projects to the California Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 20 aimed at accelerating widespread electric vehicle adoption and combating climate change.

WEC Energy unit plans 2 gas-fired plants for Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., or UMERC, on Jan. 30 applied for a certificate of necessity with Michigan regulators for the construction of two new natural gas-fired facilities with a total capacity of about 183 MW in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan.

Georgia Power to add up to 1,600 MW of renewables by 2021

Georgia Power Co. is planning to boost its generation portfolio by adding up to 1,600 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2021. The Southern subsidiary owns 846 MW of operational solar facilities and has several solar projects in the pipeline that will be implemented under its Renewable Energy Development Initiative, as approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

CB&I breaks ground on 980-MW La. combined-cycle project

Construction work has started at Entergy Louisiana LLC-owned St. Charles Power Station, a 980-MW, combined-cycle power project in Louisiana. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. N.V. is providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the planned natural gas-fired project that will help meet the Entergy Corp. subsidiary's need for up to 2,100 MW of capacity by 2020.

NV Energy, Apple reach 200-MW solar deal

NV Energy Inc. reached an agreement with Apple Inc. that calls for developing 200 MW of solar power projects in Nevada by early 2019. The projects will serve the energy needs of Apple's Reno data center in the state, according to a news release.

Regulators approve next phase of AEP Ohio smart grid plan

AEP Ohio has received regulatory approval to roll out the delayed second phase of its smart grid program, unveiled more than three years ago. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Feb. 1 approved the American Electric Power Co. Inc. utility's gridSMART Phase 2 project.