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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

Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Utilities' Integrated Resource Plans

LCG, March 22, 2018--The Arizona Corporation Commission last week rejected the Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) filed by Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP), sister utility UniSource Energy Services (UNS) and Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and has ordered them to develop plans that reduce their dependence upon natural gas and new, gas-fired power plants. The Commission prefers greater reliance on renewable energy and storage.

The Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject the resource plans. However, the Commission unanimously approved the final order to reject the plans. The Commission did not accept a Commission Staff recommendation to approve that the resource plans. The Commission placed a moratorium through 2018 on the purchase of any natural-gas power plant with a generating capacity greater than or equal to 150 MW. Furthermore, the Commission approved a new process to revamp the rules.

The three electric utilities are required to file IRPs every two years. The IRPs include 15-year forecasts of energy demand and supply resources to meet that load, including a three-year action plan.

The Commission adopted a new proposal that requires the utilities to prepare IRPs that include at least one supply portfolio where the addition of fossil fuel resources does not exceed 20 percent of all resource additions. Furthermore, a proposal was supported to add scenarios including a least one gigawatt of energy-storage capacity, and at least 50 percent "clean energy resources," including biomass energy and energy efficiency measures.

An APS spokesperson stated, "Our plan keeps Arizona on course for a cleaner energy future, so we respectfully disagree with the Commission's decision not to acknowledge any IRPs (integrated resource plans) even after Commission Staff determined they were complete and responsive to the filing requirements. We all agree on the goal of cleaner energy, and this decision doesn't change that - or how we will meet our customers' energy needs in the near-term."
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