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New York unveils offshore wind solicitation; Appalachian shale stocks plummet

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New York unveils solicitation for 1,000 MW of offshore wind

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a 1,000-MW solicitation for offshore wind facilities Jan. 8 as a part of the state's goal to source 70% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030 and to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

Appalachian shale stocks get battered on low gas prices, easing of Iran tension

With a feeble 44 Bcf of natural gas withdrawn from storage in the middle of a warm winter and prices for natural gas futures contracts crumbling below $2.15/MMBtu, Appalachia's shale gas producers braced for another beating in the stock market Jan. 9 as the new year gets off to a rough start.

LNG developers are insulated from contractor McDermott's financial troubles

Developers behind two major U.S. LNG export facilities being built by engineering and construction contractor McDermott International Inc. do not expect to suffer setbacks as a result of a reportedly imminent bankruptcy at the contractor, which could file for a restructuring within weeks.

Blackjewel, unsecured creditors seek probe into former CEO's financial dealings

Blackjewel LLC, its affiliated debtors and the official committee of unsecured creditors to the company asked the federal bankruptcy court to allow a probe into the financial dealings of its former President and CEO Jeff Hoops.


"This is a natural progression of the work our Investment Stewardship team has done to date. We believe evidence of the impact of climate risk on investment portfolios is building rapidly and we are accelerating our engagement with companies on this critical issue," a representative of investment firm BlackRock Inc. said in an emailed statement confirming that the company will join the Climate Action 100+ investor initiative, adding its influence to a group pushing global corporate greenhouse gas emitters to take action on climate change.


* Legacy provisions in the PJM Interconnection tariff may be the answer to staving off some of the worst purported impacts of new capacity market rules to clean energy development in the largest power market in the U.S., two clean energy advocates said.

* The board of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. approved the early retirements of Escalante Generating Station, units 2 and 3 of Craig Generating Station and the Colowyo Coal Mine.

* Florida Power & Light Co. President and CEO Eric Silagy explained how long-term thinking helped the utility eliminate 130 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save $10 billion in fuel costs, as it developed new and efficient power plants two decades ago when older ones were still working effectively, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

* With the U.K. set to exit the EU at the end of the month, advocates of nuclear power in Europe are losing another prominent supporter at a crucial time for the industry, less than a decade after one-time nuclear powerhouse Germany turned its back on the technology.

* The Federal Emergency Management Agency and California's emergency services office are claiming $6 billion from the $13.5 billion settlement that PG&E Corp. reached with wildfire victims, Bloomberg News reported.

* France will decide on whether or not to build six new nuclear reactors only after the start-up of Electricité de France SA's Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor, Energy Minister Elizabeth Borne announced in a parliamentary hearing.

* The European Union is set to unveil a plan in the week of Jan. 13 that would "trigger at least 1 trillion euros of sustainable investments" as part of the Green Deal, Bloomberg News reported.

* Saudi Arabia launched a request for qualifications for four solar photovoltaic projects with a combined generation capacity of 1,200 MW, under round three of the Kingdom’s national renewable energy program.

* Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez said power in Puerto Rico should be fully restored by Jan. 13, Reuters reported.

Natural gas

* A key U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee Jan. 9 approved by voice vote nine energy-related bills, including legislation to promote electric vehicle deployment and address a shortfall of engineers at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to review applications for gas pipelines and LNG export projects.

* U.S. House Democrats advanced a bill that seeks to expedite the replacement of leak-prone natural gas pipelines in a bid to cut planet-warming methane emissions and reduce the risk of accidents.

* Western Midstream Partners LP is selling $3.5 billion worth of senior notes in four tranches to terminate a $3 billion credit facility.

* President Donald Trump unveiled a proposed change to the National Environmental Policy Act to accelerate the approval process for large infrastructure projects, including oil and gas pipelines, the Los Angeles Times reported. The amendment would also strip the act of some climate change policies.

* Natural gas spot prices at the national benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana averaged $2.57/MMBtu in 2019, about 60 cents/MMBtu lower than in 2018 and the lowest annual average price since 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


* Canadian oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. said it plans to cut its emissions intensity by 30% by the next decade and keep output of greenhouse gases flat as it increases production.

* Norway's state-controlled Equinor ASA decided not to decommission the Statfjord A oil platform in 2022 as previously planned and to extend production from what was the country's largest oil field beyond 2035.

* The Mexican government paid $1 billion to hedge its 2020 oil exports from fluctuating prices, Bloomberg News.


* Southwestern Electric Power Co. is shutting down the 642.1-MW lignite-burning Dolet Hills power plant in De Soto County, La., as part of a rate case settlement approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

* With the world moving away from burning coal to generate power, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he is looking forward to alternative uses for a natural resource that has long been economically important to the state.

* Xcel Energy Inc. utility Northern States Power Co. - Minnesota plans to offer power from its last two coal-fired plants in Minnesota into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc on a seasonal basis as part of a strategy to cut operating costs and carbon emissions, according to a filing with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

* PacifiCorp is firming up plans to shutter its share of the Cholla coal-fired power plant near Joseph City, Ariz., by the end of 2020.


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The total market capitalization of the 20 largest European electric and multi-utilities companies totaled €499.08 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, with 10 companies recording quarter-over-quarter declines in their market cap and 16 utilities experiencing a change in their rankings on the list.

New from RRA

* While the electric industry is going through a period of "dynamic" change, relatively speaking, Regulatory Research Associates, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, believes that the primary challenges facing the regulated gas local distribution companies in the U.S. stem primarily from traditional sources.

The day ahead

* The Baker-Hughes rig count report is due out today.

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

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Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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