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's Wagner Urges California, El Paso to Settle

LCG, Sept. 6, 2001--The Federal Energy Commission's top administrative law judge has urged El Paso Corp. and the state of California to reach a settlement in the billion dollar case involving charges that El Paso abused its market power to drive up natural gas prices.

In an order dated a week ago but made public only yesterday, Curtis Wagner suggested to California that the state would benefit more now from a monetary settlement than it would from litigation that could take years.

"Parties are always wise to work out a solution to their disputes that they can live with and know the outcome of rather than take a chance on what a judge, the Commission, and the courts may find," Wagner said in his order.

"This admonition by the Chief Judge is not to be construed in any way that he will decide this case one way or the other," he specified.

Wagner also extended until September 14 the deadline for documents to be filed in the case and said he would make his decision by October 9. The judge's ruling will be in the form of a recommendation to the full Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will then vote whether to accept it.

That vote will not come rapidly, and when it does it is likely to be appealed, Wagner noted, saying "A final determination in this case is a long time in the future."

"The people of California deserve a quick end to this litigation and a settlement will provide them with a fair solution now," he wrote.

At issue is whether El Paso withheld capacity on its four pipelines into California from March 2000 through November of that year, driving up gas prices in the state. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a company with every bit as much experience transporting natural gas as has El Paso, believes the Texas company did, and so do the California Public Utilities Commission and Southern California Edison Co.

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