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Austin Energy Adds 500-MW of Wind Power to Its Portfolio

LCG, May 19, 2015-Austin Energy recently announced that it has added two commercial wind plants to its portfolio late last month. The addition of the Los Vientos III and Jumbo Road wind farms add approximately 500 MW of generating capacity, increasing Austin Energy's wind portfolio to 1,340 MW of installed wind energy capacity. Austin Energy's wind power will now account for approximately ten percent of the installed wind capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) system.

Hawaii Poised to Become First State with 100 Percent Renewables Goal by 2045

LCG, May 12, 2015-The State of Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the country to pass legislation to set achieve a one hundred percent renewable energy portfolio standard by 2045. The legislation, House Bill 623, passed last week and now awaits the governor's signature.

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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