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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

Federal Court Says California Can't Deny Payment to Utilities

LCG, Jan. 9, 2001U.S. District Judge Ronald S. W. Lew yesterday ruled that regulating wholesale electricity rates was a federal matter and not the province of states, but said whether Southern California Edison Co. could collect some $5 billion from its customers would have to be settled in a trial.

SoCal Edison had sued the California Public Utilities Commission last November for refusing to allow it to pass on to its customers the wholesale prices the utility paid for power it delivered to them. While he agreed with the company that wholesale rates were subject to federal jurisdiction, he denied a motion to rule in the utility's favor without a trial.

Lew also denied a CPUC motion to dismiss the case, but said the regulatory body could pursue a claim that SoCal Edison failed to purchase lower cost power. Harvey Morris, a lawyer for the CPUC, said "We will investigate fully the alternatives (Southern California) Edison could have pursued and didn't."

Since late spring last year, SoCal Edison has been purchasing power at wholesale rates far higher than the retail rates it is allowed to charge. The company claims it is entitled to pass these costs through to its customers. Ron Olson, a utility lawyer, said yesterday "We are confident in the light of the ruling that we will ultimately prevail."

SoCal Edison said that if it wins the case it will spread the recovery of its money out over a five-year peiod in order to protect its customers from the non-electric shock of doubled electric bills.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which faces the same undercollection problem, said it saw hope in the judge's decision.

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