remainssteadfast in its opposition to generation subsidies as the independent powerproducer gears up for the PJMInterconnection LLC capacity auction, which opens May 11."Maintaining a level playing field among competitors is essential inhaving well-structured transparent and functioning markets that encouragesensible investments in existing and new generation resources," TalenEnergy President and CEO Paul Farr said May 10 on the company's first-quarter2016 earnings call.
Thefederal case into alleged bid-rigging in Oklahoma by and may haveended with the death of Aubrey McClendon, but lawsuits from angry landownershave piled up in federal court. "Defendants allocated amongthemselves the leasehold interests for particular parcels of land across thevarious counties comprising the relevant area … agreeing thereby not to competein acquiring the affected leasehold or property interests," said one suit.
Asproducers contend with mounting stockpiles and falling consumption this year,the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects the largest annualproduction decline on both a percentage and tonnage basis since the beginningof record keeping in 1949. In its latest "Short-Term EnergyOutlook," the government agency projects that 2016 coal production willfall 16.7% to 746 million tons, a 0.9% decline versus the prior outlook, beforerecovering 4.3% to 778 million tons in 2017.
*TerraForm Power Inc.has secured more timeto submit its financial statements with lenders represented by Barclays BankPLC. The SunEdisonInc. yieldco now has until May 28 to file its statements for boththe 2015 fiscal year and the 2016 first quarter. SunEdison's yieldco vehiclehas also secured until Aug. 29 to file its 2015 financial statements whilefirst-quarter 2016 statements will be due June 30.
*The Midcontinent IndependentSystem Operator Inc. is projecting adequate reserves to meet thissummer's expected peak demand of 125.9 GW, but power plant retirements acrossthe grid operator's footprint are tightening the availability of generation resources.MISO is required to have a reserve margin of 15.2%, but the predicted availableresources for the summer will actually give the grid operator a reserve marginof 18.2%. Overall, 148.8 GW of capacity is anticipated to be available to meetdemand.
*Illinois Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, introduced a bill that would authorizethe Illinois Commerce Commission to "find a way to fund" scrubberprojects at coal-fired power plants, which "are in jeopardy ofclosing," The State Journal-Registerof Springfield, Ill., reports.
*Duke Energy Corp.subsidiary hascommenced construction on 25-MW Caprock Solar project in Quay County, N.M.,according to a newsrelease. The project is expected to go online later this year. It will sellpower to Western Farmers ElectricCooperative Inc. under a 25-year contract.
*Peoples Gas Light and CokeCo. and its parent Integrys Energy Group have agreed to pay $18.5million to resolve two separate investigations in Illinois for misleadingconsumers about the cost of their accelerated main replacement program. Thefirst $11 million settlement resolves Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan'sinvestigation intoWEC Energy GroupInc., Peoples Gas and Integrys, Madigan said in a statement.The second $7.5 million settlement resolves an from the Illinois CommerceCommission, the attorney general added.
*Calgary, Alberta-based HuskyEnergy Inc. said it has agreed tosell its assets in southwest Saskatchewan to for C$595 million.The assets currently produce approximately 11,600 barrels of oil equivalent perday, according to a company statement.
*Natural Gas Pipeline Co. ofAmerica LLC is looking for customer interest in additional natural gastransportation capacity on two expansion projects into the Chicago and GulfCoast markets. The subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc. and Brookfield InfrastructurePartners LP announced May 10 that it is seeking non-binding bids for secondphases of both the Chicago Market expansion and Gulf Coast Southbound expansionprojects.
* Asenate committee in California is pressing state energy agencies and subsidiarySouthern California GasCo. to justify the continued operations of the Aliso Canyon natural gas storagefacility, the LosAngeles Times reports. "The most risky thing you can do is riskanother gas leak at Aliso Canyon," State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills,was quoted as saying during a hearing of the Senate Energy, Utilities andCommunications Committee.
*Six states, including Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas, and the U.S.Chamber of Commerce have come out in support of 's lawsuit againstPresident Barack Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project, TheHill in Washington, D.C., reports.
*France Energy Minister Segolene Royal said the government is considering a planto legally ban imports of shale gas from the U.S. in support of the Europeangiant's ban on fracking, the WashingtonExaminer reports.
* reported a netloss attributable to limited partner units of $41.7 million, compared to a netincome of $42.3 million in the year-ago period as on weak domestic coaldemand. "Our industry continues to be faced with extremechallenges resulting from competition from low cost natural gas, governmentregulations impacting electric utilities and a reduction in demand for powerdomestically," said Foresight President and CEO Robert Moore.
*Two Republican lawmakers from Montana — Sen.Steve Daines and Rep.Ryan Zinke — are slamming the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its move tohalt the permittingprocess for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export project."Once again, the federal government is trampling on Montanans' livelihoodsand I will fight tooth and nail to ensure Montanans have a voice in Montana'sfuture," Daines said in a statement.
*Natural gas prices areexpected to graduallyclimb as natural gas production growth slows and summer heatsupports demand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.The Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $1.92/MMBtu in April, an increaseof 19 cents/MMBtu from the March price, and the EIA expects that prices willgradually rise through the summer to an average at $2.25/MMBtu in 2016 and$3.02/MMBtu in 2017, the government analysts said in the agency's latest"Short-term Energy Outlook."
*Wholesale electricity prices in the California power market in 2015 with a 40%decline in natural gas prices, moderating loads and about 950 MW of new peaksummer generating capacity helping to offset record-low hydroelectricproduction, according to a recent report by the 's Department of MarketMonitoring.
New from RRA
*In a State RegulatoryReview dated May 10, Regulatory Research Associates the regulatory climate in Iowafrom an investor perspective. RRA's May 10 Iowa Regulatory Reviewexamines the policies of the Iowa Utilities Board, or IUB. RRA takes intoaccount a combination of factors, including recent developments in rate cases,legislation, court activity and consumer advocacy.
"Inlight of our December 2015 penalty levied against Edison for failing todisclose ex parte communications relevant to this proceeding, it is prudent toreview whether the settlement reached before those disclosures remains in thepublic interest and in accordance with our settlement rules," CaliforniaPublic Utilities Commission member Catherine Sandoval in calling for the reopening of asettlement that left Southern California Edison Co. ratepayers with $3.3billion in costs related to the early shutdown of the San Onofre NuclearGenerating Station.
The day ahead
* At10 a.m. ET, AmerenCorp. will holdits first-quarter 2016 earnings call.