AWEA Issues Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Report

LCG, February 7, 2020--The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its new U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Report. AWEA reports new wind turbine installations have added 5,476 MW of electric generating capacity during the fourth quarter, which results in 2019 installations totaling 9,143 MW. The total installations represent an increase over 2018, but the total for 2019 falls short of total annual installations for 2015 and 2016. In addition to new capacity additions, developers completed 2,500 MW of turbine repowerings for the year.

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Duke Energy Florida Announces New Solar Power Projects

LCG, January 29, 2020--Duke Energy Florida (DEF) Monday announced the locations of its two newest solar power plants that will provide a combined installed capacity of nearly 150 MW. DEF is investing an estimated $1 billion to construct or acquire a total of 700 MW of cost-effective solar power facilities from 2018 through 2022 in Florida, and planning for another 1,500 MW of solar generation through 2028.

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Industry News

FERC Extends California Power Talks

LCG, Jan. 5, 2001A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission administrative law judge said yesterday that he would extend into today talks involving California utilities, independent power producers and regulators. The talks are aimed at permitting utilities to enter into long-term contracts for power they deliver to retail electricity customers.

Judge Curtis Wagner said he would convene a third day of talks today, but would not disclose what progress had been made in the first two days of discussions. "We're a lot better off than we were yesterday (Wednesday)," he said.

One of the biggest problems with the deregulated California electric market, FERC found, is a requirement that all wholesale power purchases and sales in the state must be made through the California Power Exchange. At the time the restructuring act was passed in 1996, this seemed like a good idea in that it would provide transparency to the power market.

It turned out, however, that not allowing the utilities to enter into long-term power purchases to cover their native loads resulted in them going into the last-minute "spot" market for their power needs, paying the highest prices in a volatile market.

To make matters worse, the California Independent System Operator published in advance profiles of peak demand power needs. Without the need for collusion, power producers were able to hold back on bidding power into the market until the market was desperate for power. Then they could charge just about any price they wanted.

Judge Wagner was hopeful that from today's discussions he might achieve "an agreement between parties on how to proceed."

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