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Power Generation and Supply Monthly Roundup, March 2020

By FirmoGraphs Staff

Hello Dear Readers!

Here's our Power Generation & Supply Roundup for the month of March 2020, with interesting information about fresh industry drivers, new and notable mergers and acquisitions.  Enjoy, and don't forget to share your feedback with us on how we can continue to improve!

Industry Drivers and Alerts

Drivers Power Generation Roundup-min

Driver:  Proposed Changes - A Holistic Approach to Closure Part B: Alternate Demonstration for Unlined Surface Impoundments and Implementation of Closure 

Status: Proposed

Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary: April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final rule setting the comprehensive requirements for the management of coal combustion residuals (CCR) in landfills and impoundments.

February 19, 2020, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced further proposed revisions and flexibilities to the regulations for the management of CCR.  Specifically, EPA is proposing the following revisions:

  • Procedures to allow facilities to request approval to use an alternate liner for CCR surface impoundments;
  • Two co-proposed options to allow the use of CCR during unit closure;
  • An additional closure option for CCR units being closed by removal of CCR; and
  • Requirements for annual closure progress reports.

EPA is soliciting comment on this proposal during a 45-day public comment period, during which two virtual public hearings will be held — one on April 7, 2020, and one on April 9, 2020.

Click here for additional information.

Driver: CCR Part 256 SWMP - Indiana Coal Combustion Residuals Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment

Status:  Effective

Organization: West Virginia State Legislature

Summary:  February 23, 2017, Indiana submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency its adopted Indiana Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Part 256 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) Amendment.  The plan described the agency's intent to modify and expand the scope of Indiana's solid waste regulations to address the requirements of the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule in 40 CFR 257, Subpart D (CCR Rule).

March 7, 2017, EPA approved the amendment.

Click here for additional information.

Driver:  HB 93 - Dewatering Coal Combustion Residuals Surface Impoundment Notice Requirements

Status:  Effective

Organization: Georgia State Legislature

Summary:   Passed on March 12, 2020, and in order to control water pollution, this bill is related to obligatory publications of dewatering coal combustion residuals surface impoundments. The owner/operator has to provide minimum notice requirements related to the dewatering: providing the written notice no later than 3 business days after commencing the dewatering to the director and the local governing authority, and publishing the notice on its CCR website; publishing the written notice within 14 business days of commencing in the legal organ of the county in which dewatering is taking place..

Click here for additional information.

Driver:  HB 959 - Increase in the existing surcharge for privately operated municipal solid waste disposal facilities

Status:  Effective

Organization: Georgia State Legislature

Summary:   Passed on March 12, 2020, and in order to control water pollution, this bill is related to obligatory publications of dewatering coal combustion residuals surface impoundments. The owner/operator has to provide minimum notice requirements related to the dewatering: providing the written notice no later than 3 business days after commencing the de-watering to the director and the local governing authority, and publishing the notice on its CCR website; publishing the written notice within 14 business days of commencing in the legal organ of the county in which dewatering is taking place..

Click here for additional information.

Driver:  HB 929 - Solid Waste Permits CCR surface impoundments requirements

Status:  Effective

Organization: Georgia State Legislature

Summary:   Passed on March 12, 2020, this bill is meant to regulate post-closure care of surface impoundments closed in place. It also relates to the owner's/operators' obligation to include an executive summary to any groundwater monitoring report for a CCR surface impoundment. The post-closure requirements oblige the operator/owner to conduct the post-closure care for a minimum of 30 years after closure completion. On the other hand, related to groundwater monitoring, the published executive summary has to be prepared in a way that a person with no engineering or environmental protection background can understand it. .

Click here for additional information.

Driver:  40 CFR Parts 22, 124, and 257 - Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Federal CCR Permit Program 

Status:  Proposed

Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Summary:   On February 20, 2020, EPA’s previously announced proposed rule to establish a Federal CCR Permitting Program was published in the Federal Register. The creation of a federal permitting program for coal ash disposal regulations was required by Congress in the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which shifted enforcement authority for EPA’s disposal standards from citizen lawsuits to state environmental regulators. The federal permit program is intended for use in states that do not seek EPA approval for their own programs and use in Indian Country.

The proposed federal program includes electronic permitting and sets requirements for permit applications, content, and modification, as well as procedural requirements.

EPA will accept public comment on the proposed program until April 20, 2020. The agency will also hold a virtual public hearing on the matter on April 15, 2020. 

Click here for additional information.

Driver: SB793 - Tax reductions for coal plant operators/owners

Status: Effective

Organization: West Virginia State Legislature

Summary:  Signed on March 25, 2020, the bill is meant to decrease the coal plant operator/owner's taxes. These reductions relate to the owner's ability to recalculate the taxable capacity of its units starting from July 2021 and to pay the tax due in the second half of 2021 to only 45% of the official capacity of the units. There are some conditions the operator/owner has to fulfill to realize these reductions: the plant has to continue operating until July 1, 2025; the operator/owner does not receive any decreases, regulated rates, cost recoveries, etc., regulated by the West Virginia Public Service Commission; the owner/operator does not sell electricity to retail consumers or has one or more long-term contracts; the owner/operator sells generated electricity only on the wholesale market..

Click here for additional information.

Notable M&A

roundup

The following  M&A transactions in the Power Generation and Supply Industry stand out in the month of March:

  • March 02, 2020, Longroad Energy, a company that focuses on renewable energy project development, operating assets and services acquired four California-based solar projects from First Solar Inc., a provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions. The four projects have a combined capacity of 160 MW AC. 
  • March 2, 2020, GridLiance Heartland, a subsidiary of GridLiance, an independent electric transmission utility holding company, closed the acquisition of high voltage transmission lines interconnected to the Joppa Generating Station in Illinois from Electric Energy, Inc.
  • Mar 03, 2020, Grasshopper Solar, a global developer and asset owner headquartered in Canada acquired a 278 MWdc portfolio of solar projects in Pennsylvania from Glidepath Ventures, a leading clean energy-focused development and investment firm.
  • March 05, 2020, Spruce Finance, the largest private owner and operator of distributed generation solar and residential energy assets in the U.S., completed its second-largest acquisition to date by purchasing 3,668 rooftop solar assets totaling 27.6 megawatts (MW) from Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co.
  • March 09, 2020, Omnidian, the only nationwide provider of residential and commercial solar system performance plans and cash-back energy guarantees, acquired commercial solar operations and maintenance business from its partner PV Pros.
  • March 10, 2020, Valmont® Utility, a business segment of Valmont® Industries, Inc., has acquired a majority stake in Kansas City Utility Packaging. The company is now called Valmont Substations LLC.
  • Mar 10, 2020, Pattern Energy Group Inc. announced that its stockholders voted to approve the Company's pending merger transaction with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board at the Special Meeting of Stockholders. Pattern Energy expects to close the transaction shortly.
  • March 13, 2020, Brookfield Renewable entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire the remaining 38% of Terraform Power that isn't currently owned by Brookfield Renewable. 
  • March 16, 2020, Pattern Energy Group Inc. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced the completion of the previously announced merger transaction CPP Investments acquired all of the outstanding common shares of Pattern Energy for $26.75 per share in cash.
  • March 24, 2020, ENMAX Corporation successfully closed the transaction to purchase Emera Maine, a regulated electricity transmission and distribution utility in the state of Maine, for $1.286 Billion CAD ($959 million USD) from Emera Inc.
  • March 26, 2020, Koch Engineered Solutions (KES), a unit of Koch Industries Inc., acquired Sentient Energy, a leader in distribution grid transformation, providing intelligent line sensors and grid analytics software for fault detection, outage prevention, and safe, reliable power delivery.

Meeting Planner

In this over-digitized age, there is no place for face-to-face meetings with your prospects and customers!  However due to the impact of the COVID19, the following organizations have updated their meetings approach. 

Meetings in April & May 2020

  • (Postponed) Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference - 2020, Apr. 6 to Apr. 8, 2020, Washington, District of Columbia, http://ow.ly/zCIK50z4jR1
  • (Cancelled) The APPA Engineering & Operations Conference - 2020, Apr. 19 to Apr. 22, 2020, Kansas City, Missouri, http://ow.ly/XjFY50z4jTN
  • (Virtual Conference) Energy, Utility, Environment Conference (EUEC) - 2020, Apr. 20 to Apr. 21, 2020, San Diego, California, http://ow.ly/yVG950z4jUH
  • (Re-scheduled) IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition - 2020, from Apr. 20 to Apr. 23, 2020 to Oct. 12 to Oct. 15, 2020, Chicago, Illinois, http://ow.ly/LNhi50z4jW0
  • (Cancelled) National Occupational & Process Safety Conference & Exhibition - 2020, May 13 to May 14, 2020, San Antonio, Texas, http://ow.ly/junI50z4jWD
  • (Virtual Conference) AGA Operations Conference & Spring Committee Meetings - 2020, May 18 to May 22, 2020, Chicago, Illinois, http://ow.ly/ckXm50z4jXI

Early Bird Registration Deadlines

  • Event:  Energy Efficiency Finance Forum - 2020 (Virtual Conference)
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/1Icg50z4lbC
  • Dates:  Jun. 2 to Jun. 3, 2020
  • Location:  White Plains, New York
  • Date Early Registration:  April 1, 2020 (The site may update it anytime.)
  • Event:  National Occupational & Process Safety Conference & Exhibition - 2020 (Cancelled)
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/9ti650z4ldH
  • Dates:  May 13 to May 14, 2020
  • Location:  San Antonio, Texas
  • Date Early Registration:  April 10, 2020
  • Event:  Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo 
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/9Njt50z4lfB
  • Dates:  Jun. 15 to Jun. 17, 2020
  • Location:  Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date Early Registration:  May 6, 2020
  • Event:  The APPA National Conference - 2020
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/r0DA50z4lhY
  • Dates:  Jun. 5 to Jun. 10, 2020
  • Location:  Long Beach, California
  • Date Early Registration:  May 8, 2020
  • Event:  IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo - 2020 (Cancelled)
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/k5Fq50z4lot
  • Dates:  Jun. 24 to Jun. 26, 2020
  • Location:  Chicago, Illinois
  • Date Early Registration:  May 15, 2020
  • Event:  Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change - 2020
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/Uqn650z4lpW
  • Dates:  Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2020
  • Location:  Washington, District of Columbia
  • Date Early Registration:  May 15, 2020

Call For Papers Deadlines

  • Event:  NESEA BuildingEnergy NYC - 2020
  • Association:  Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/wJmG50z4lri
  • Dates:  Sep. 24 to Sep. 24, 2020
  • Location:  New York, New York
  • Call for Papers Deadline:  April 7, 2020
  • Event:  Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change - 2020
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/Uqn650z4lpW
  • Dates:  Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2020
  • Location:  Washington, District of Columbia
  • Date Early Registration:  May 15, 2020
  • Event:  USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - 2020
  • Association:  United States Association for Energy Economics
  • URL:  http://ow.ly/v7A250z4ltY
  • Dates:  Nov. 1 to Nov. 4, 2020
  • Location:  Austin, Texas
  • Call for Papers Deadline:  May 31, 2020

None of the information we provide may be taken as legal advice. Please consult an attorney if you require a legal interpretation of this information. 

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