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FirstEnergy Solutions Files Certification Letter with NRC Affirming Plan to Close Nearly 4,050 MW of Nuclear Generating Facilities

LCG, April 26, 2018--FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), a competitive generation subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., yesterday announced that it has filed a Certification Letter with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally notifying the Commission of its decision to permanently deactivate its nuclear power plants over the next three years, citing "severe economic challenges." When the closures are combined, the reduction will total 4,048 MW of carbon-free, electric generating capacity. In 2017, the nuclear units contributed approximately 65 percent of the electricity produced by the FES generating fleet.

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Alliant Energy to Install More Wind Farms in Iowa

LCG, April 19, 2018--Alliant Energy's Iowa utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), received approval to increase its wind expansion program from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Through this expansion, combined with existing wind farms and market purchases, the company expects wind to provide approximately one-third of its total electric generating capacity in Iowa by the end of 2020.

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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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