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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

Continued Solvency of TVA Questioned in Report

LCG, Nov. 25, 2003--Two accounting professors with experience in utility analysis have completed a study in which they say that the Tennessee Valley Authority, the government-owned utility, will find it difficult to avoid bankruptcy or the need for a federal bailout.

Dr. Paul MacAvoy, a management professor with Yale University, and Dr. Dennis Logue, the dean of the Oklahoma University School of Business, say that the inflated book value of nuclear plant assets is allowing the TVA to state a positive net worth. If those assets were written down to reflect their true economic worth however, or if the TVA should fare poorly after losing its monopoly status, the report concludes, the utility would find it unable to service its $25 billion debt load as its creditworthiness was downgraded.

MacAvoy told the Chattanooga Times/Free Press in an interview that "some of TVA's accounting is like what Enron did before its bankruptcy." MacAvoy and Logue warned correctly that nuclear plant projects begun by the Washington Public Power Supply System, and which were abandoned in the 1980s, pointed the way to a default.

Currently the debt of TVA is graded AAA by Standard & Poor's, and Aaa by Moody's Investors Service, which takes the TVA's government-owned status into account in assigning a high credit rating. Scott Taylor, with Standard & Poor's said that although the utility "is in a highly leveraged position ... it certainly is not in any dire straits." TVA is able to adjust its rates without regulatory approval. Dr. Logue cited a possible increase in interest rates and competition from other utilities as factors that could result in serious harm.
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