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Siemens Awarded Contract for 588-MW Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland

LCG, May 25, 2016--Siemens Wind Power was awarded an order for the Beatrice wind farm, a 588-MW offshore wind farm located approximately 9 miles off the Scottish coast. The installation of the wind turbines is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018, and the project is expected to be completed in 2019.

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Xcel Energy Requests Approval for 600-MW Wind Project in Colorad

LCG, May 18, 2016--Xcel Energy filed an application with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval of a $1 billion investment in the Rush Creek Wind Project,located in eastern Colorado. The 600-MW project, which includes installing a 90-mile, 345 kV electric transmission line, is now under development by Invenergy Wind Development North America. Xcel is requesting (i) approval to purchase the project, (ii) a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the wind farm and associated transmission facilities, and (iii) approval to seek cost recovery.

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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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