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FGE Power Reaches Agreement to Finance and Construct 1,500-MW Natural Gas Project in Texas

LCG, July 23, 2014-FGE Power, LLC yesterday announced an agreement to partner with an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global LLC to finance and build two, 747-MW combined-cycle gas turbine facilities in Mitchell County, Texas. Phase I of the project, FGE Texas I, is planned to commence construction this fall and achieve commercial operations no later than early 2017. Phase II, FGE Texas II, will add an identical 747-MW power block, with construction to start in early 2015 and reach commercial operations by the summer of 2017. The FGE Texas Project (FGE Texas I and FGE Texas II) represents over $1.2 billion of direct investment.

Minnesota Power Reaches Settlement Agreement with EPA Over NSR Allegations

LCG, July 17, 2014-Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE, Inc., announced yesterday that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to resolve alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act. The agreement does not include any admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company. Minnesota Power is one of many utilities in the U.S. whose investments in electric generation facilities were reviewed as part of the EPA's Coal-Fired Power Plant Enforcement Initiative that began in 1999 and resulted in over 25 related settlements.

Industry News

NRC Approves Rule to Amend AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

LCG, December 26, 2011--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday voted to approve a rule that certifies an amended version of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design for use in the United States. NRC certification, in the form of a final rule, means the design meets the NRC's applicable safety requirements.

The NRC will make the rule immediately effective once it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be published within seven business days of the vote. The application to amend the 1,100-MW, electric pressurized-water reactor with passive safety features was submitted by Westinghouse on May 27, 2007.

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko stated, "The Commission is able to reach this final step in approving the amended AP1000 reactor design due to the staff?s dedicated work ensuring the design meets NRC's safety requirements. The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials."

The NRC received the original AP1000 plant design from Westinghouse back in March 2002, and the NRC issued a rule certifying the design on January 27, 2006.

The NRC is now reviewing six Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) applications that reference the amended AP1000 design. Southern Company, one of the leading applicants, is developing two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, a Southern Company subsidiary that operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear units, is overseeing construction on the $14 billion project. Southern Nuclear is working under a Limited Work Authorization permit (since 2009) that allows for certain safety-related construction activities. Southern Nuclear will also operate the two new units. Southern expects commercial operations of the two new nuclear units to commence in 2016 and 2017, respectively.




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