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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

California Power Authority Goes Green

LCG, Sept. 10, 2001--The California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, the state's new public power agency, voted on Friday to give its chairman, S. David Freeman, permission to negotiate contracts with renewable energy providers, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Freeman said his agency will initially fund about 1,000 megawatts in renewable energy proposals and will build on that as the Authority carries out what he sees as its mandate to build a "strategic reserve" of green power.

"It's important to recognize that by going with renewables first, this agency is willing to put its money where its mouth is," Freeman said in opening the Authority's board meeting. He did not say, however, how much money.

"Over the years the renewables have gotten the music and fossil fuels have gotten the action. We intend to provide action on both fronts, but to be sure no one feels that renewables are second-class citizens as far as the state is concerned," Freeman said.

Aside from geothermal power and hydroelectric power, which have long and successful histories in California, renewables are likely to remain second-class citizens. To date, no solar power installation has produced as much energy as its construction consumed in the first place, and the output of a wind farm is only about 20 percent of its nameplate capacity.

Power from solar and wind installations is significantly more expensive that that produced by nuclear or conventional thermal power plants and must be heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. Backers of those dubious resources are counting on the state legislature to move forward on a bill that would require utilities and other electricity retailers to generate at least 20 percent of their power from "renewable" resources.

The legislation, introduced by state Sen. Byron Sher, a Palo Alto Democrat, failed by a 7-10 vote to clear the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Thursday, but it is up for reconsideration today.

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