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Xcel Energy Expands Plans to Add Wind Farm Capacity to 3,380 MW

LCG, March 23, 2017--Xcel Energy yesterday announced plans to make the largest multi-state investment in wind capacity in the country. The proposed plan is expected to increase the amount of wind energy in the Xcel's energy mix by 2021, with wind fueling nearly 35 percent of its total energy mix.

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First Solar Starts Operations of the 250-MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project

LCG, March 22, 2017--First Solar, Inc. Friday held the commissioning ceremony for the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located approximately 30 miles north of Las Vegas on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The power generated by the 250-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project will be purchased under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power(LADWP).

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Industry News

Mississippi Power and Sierra Club Achieve Settlement Agreement on Select Coal Assets

LCG, August 6, 2014-Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced Monday a settlement agreement with the Sierra Club that will reduce coal-fired power generation at three of Mississippi Power's older coal plants. The Sierra Club agrees to dismiss and withdraw all pending legal and regulatory challenges against Mississippi Power's Kemper County project and Plant Daniel and refrain from formally intervening in all existing and anticipated regulatory proceedings for these two plants for a period of three years.

Plant Ratcliffe, located in Kemper County, Mississippi, is a 582-MW IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) project. The state-of-the-art facility is designed to capture approximately 65 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions, which will then be compressed and transported via a new, 61-mile pipeline to inject underground and support Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations. In December 2010, Mississippi Power held the ground breaking ceremony for the project, which is now scheduled to commence generating power in 2015.

Plant Daniel is a 2,077 MW, four unit fossil fuel power plant located in Escatawpa, Mississippi. A $660 million scrubber project is currently under way to ensure compliance with the new federal environmental standards by April 2016. After the upgrades are complete, 95 percent of the plant's sulfur dioxide emissions are expected to be removed.

To most economically comply with new federal environmental standards and meet the company's obligations under the settlement agreement, Mississippi Power plans to repower, convert to natural gas, or retire several units at plants Watson, Sweatt and Greene County. At Plant Watson, Mississippi Power will terminate the use of coal and convert the two remaining coal-fired units to natural gas by April 16, 2015. The plant already has three units that operate on natural gas.

At Plant Sweatt, Mississippi Power will retire two of the existing natural gas units, repower with more advanced technology or convert to an alternative non fossil-fuel source by the end of 2018.
Lastly, Mississippi Power will terminate coal operations and convert two units to natural gas by April 16, 2016 at Plant Greene County.

Mississippi Power's president and CEO stated, "With the repowering, natural gas conversion or retirement of certain units, Mississippi Power's energy mix is expected to be 60 percent powered by natural gas in 2020. This further illustrates the importance of the Kemper County energy facility, which will use locally mined, low-cost lignite, in maintaining a diverse fuel mix for our customers."

In the settlement agreement, Mississippi Power also agreed not to oppose certain aspects of the renewable net metering policy development currently being contemplated by the Mississippi Public Service Commission. Furthermore, the settlement include establishing and funding a $15 million grant for an energy efficiency and renewable energy program with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community Foundation; complying with standards for a 100-year rainfall event when building future retention ponds associated with the Kemper County energy facility; and contributing to a conservation fund for the habitat of the Mississippi gopher frog.
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