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2 Clean Line transmission projects face opposition; Dominion's 1,588-MW gas plant wins approval


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2 Clean Line transmission projects face opposition; Dominion's 1,588-MW gas plant wins approval

Iowa lawmaker proposes bill to block Clean Line transmission project

As Clean Line Energy Partners tries to determine the next stepto get its $2 billion Rock Island direct current transmission line through the regulatoryprocess in Iowa, opponents are trying to kill the project with new proposed legislationthat would have Clean Line's project essentially declared dormant. Separately, Missourilawmakers once again proposed legislation that would prevent Clean LineEnergy from using the power of eminent domain to build its proposed $2.75 billionGrain Belt Express direct-current transmission line through the state.

DOE joins Clean Line's 700-mile Plains and Eastern transmission project

The U.S. Department of Energy announced March 25 that it hasdecided to participate in Clean LineEnergy Partners' proposed $2.5 billion, 700-mile Plains and Easterndirect-current transmission line, representing the first use of a controversialprovision within federal law to help get large-scale transmission projects throughthe thorny regulatory approval process.

Texas regulators approve 1st of 2 segments of Xcel Energy 345-kV line

Texas regulators have approved a portion of a major 345-kV transmissionline Xcel Energy Inc.subsidiary Southwestern Public ServiceCo. aims to have complete by 2020. The Public Utility Commission ofTexas on March 22 issued an order granting SPS a certificate of convenience andnecessity for a portion of its roughly 159-mile Tuco-Yoakum-Hobbs line in west Texasand eastern New Mexico.

Developer opens solicitation for capacity on Ariz./NM transmission line

The developer of a new and upgraded transmission project acrosssouthern New Mexico and Arizona launched an open solicitation for capacity on theline. The Southline Transmission Project consists of about 240 miles of new 345-kVline between the Afton substation near Las Cruces, N.M., and the Apache substation,south of Wilcox, Ariz., and the upgrade to double-circuit 230-kV of about 120 milesof existing single-circuit 115-kV line owned by the Western Area Power Administration, or WAPA, running betweenthe Apache substation and the Saguaro and Tortolita substations near Tucson, Ariz.

CAISO board approves 'relatively quiet' transmission plan

The CaliforniaISO board of governors on March 25 approved a transmission plan thatincludes 13 reliability-driven transmission projects, mostly in the service territory.The 2015-2016 transmission plan is "a relatively quiet plan, as far as transmissionprojects go," CAISO President and CEO Stephen Berberich told the board.Pacific Gas and Electric is a subsidiary of PG&ECorp.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on March 29 approvedDominion Resources Inc.subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power's plans for a 1,588-MW combined-cycle naturalgas plant in Greensville County. Construction on the $1.33billion project is expected to begin later this year with the plant to be onlinein 2019. Dominion Virginia Power is known legally as Virginia Electric and Power Co.

BC Hydro boosts Mica Dam output with 1,000-MW addition

The BC Hydro andPower Authority has completed a 1,000-MW expansion at its Dam project on the ColumbiaRiver, boosting capacity at the central British Columbia station to approximately2,805 MW. The C$714 million project, which saw the addition of two 500-MW generatingunits, will come in under budget, the province-owned electricity utility said.

Legislation to limit Vogtle nuke financing cost recovery fails to pass

Amidst criticism of how much Southern Co.'s new Vogtle nuclear reactor project is costingratepayers, Georgia lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have limited Southernsubsidiary Georgia Power Co.'sability to recover a return on equity for financing costs that are being passedon to customers. H.B. 931 would have prevented Georgia Power from collecting a tariffon customer bills for the project's financing costs after March 2017.

Wis. regulators grant approval for 700-MW Alliant gas plant

Wisconsin regulators have approved Alliant Energy Corp.'s plan for a new 700-MW natural gas-firedcombined-cycle plant that will replace several coal-fired and aging natural gas-firedplants that Alliant subsidiary utility WisconsinPower and Light Co. is retiring.

NC regulators issue CPCN for Duke's Asheville gas plant, dismissing sizeconcerns

The North Carolina Utilities Commission on March 28 formallyissued its certificate of public convenience and necessity, or CPCN, for 's proposedAsheville Combined Cyclegas plant in Buncombe County. The DukeEnergy Corp. utility will build two 280-MW combined-cycle natural gas-firedunits with fuel oil backup and upgraderelated transmission facilities.

Georgia Power probes southwestern Ga. site for possible nuclear plant

Southern subsidiary GeorgiaPower Co. has chosen a site in southwestern Georgia to consider buildinga nuclear plant sometime after 2030. Georgia Power confirmed in filings that itis undertaking early groundwork for a nuclear project over the next five years byevaluating property along the Chattahoochee River in Stewart County, which neighborsAlabama.

BOEM completes key review of proposed Calif. offshore wind project

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean EnergyManagement completed a review of a proposed offshore wind development off MorroBay in California from Seattle-based developer Trident Winds LLC. BOEM will now turn to determining whetherthere will be a competitive or noncompetitive leasing process for an ocean areaof 67,963 acres, which could eventually hold the first offshore wind project forCalifornia.

Alleging breach of contract, PGE forecasts higher construction costsat Carty

Forecast costs of PortlandGeneral Electric Co.'s 440-MW Carty combined-cycle project in Oregon have risen to a rangeof $635 million to $670 million and the facility's in-service date is at the riskof a delay as the company enters into a legal battle with Liberty Mutual Maturityand Zurich North America.