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Tampa Electric Plans to $800 Million Investment in New Solar Power Generation

LCG, February 24, 2020--Tampa Electric recently announced plans to expand its use of solar power to meet customer needs in Florida. The company plans to invest approximately $800 million to add 600 MW of solar electric generating capacity by the end of 2023, when the total solar capacity would exceed 1,250 MW. Solar power will then account for about 14 percent of the utility's energy.

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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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Industry News

Wind Turbines May Face Face Migratory Bird Restrictions

LCG, December 19, 2002-Wind turbine developers may have to alter their plans for a Maryland wind farm because of the danger the turbines may pose to migrating birds.

Several companies interested in building wind power facilities in Maryland may face certain new restrictions regarding when wind turbines may operate. State regulators are interested in mandating shutdown periods in order to protect migrating birds who could otherwise be killed by the large rotating blades.

Some people, such as the State House Speaker Casper Taylor, Jr., may find this concern ludicrous, noting that birds do not tend to fly into large moving objects. However, bird and bat deaths have been noted at wind farms before, particularly during cloudy nights.

The Sierra Club has taken the position that a more thorough study should be undertaken regarding the actual rates of bird deaths before permits are issued. Conversely, state regulators believe that the plants should be built and then bird mortality can be monitored.

U.S. Wind Force, one of the companies interested in building a wind farm, has already agreed to shut down its turbines for 18 hours per year if over 200 birds or bats are killed per windmill in one 24 hour period, or 5,000 birds in one day, a very large number by any estimate. Some endangered bird species have populations of less than 1,000.

Clipper Windpower, another interested company, has also agreed to the 5,000 bird or bat deaths per 24 hour period and has promised to shut down turbines for up to 53.7 hours per year. The longer shutdown was allotted to Clipper because of estimated greater bird activity at the project site.

The Maryland Public Service Commission will hold hearings on January 7 and 14 for the Clipper and U.S. Wind Power's projects respectively.

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