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Closure of local 'cogen' facilities highlights power plant challenges

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The closure of two Bakersfield-area “cogeneration” power plants during about the past year illustrates the regulatory, policy and market-based challenges facing small facilities that sell electricity to the state’s power grid.

IHI Power Services Corp., the Japanese-owned operator of several small power plants around the state, said financial realities left it little choice but to close its Rio Bravo Poso and Rio Bravo Jasmin plants near Bakersfield, a move that eliminated about 50 local jobs.

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