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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

Transcripts Suggest Top Enron Execs Knew of Market Manipulation

LCG, May 18, 2004--A former executive at Enron Corp. for regulatory affairs spoke with an energy trader in a way suggesting that Enron's chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and chairman Kenneth Lay were informed of manipulative power trading strategies involving purchases by California buyers, according to a transcript obtained by the Justice Department.

The routine transcript shows that the director of California regulatory affairs, Susan Mara, asked a trader during Sept. 14, 2000, "Do you know when you started overscheduling load and making buckets of money on that?" A trader involved in overscheduling could have made it appear that no more power could flow on a transmission line into California, creating the illusion that power shortages existed. The transcript, which was released by a municipal utility in Washington state, also quotes Mara as saying, "This is the time of year when government affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling."

The former chief of West Coast power trading, Timothy Belden, is found in another transcript saying of a power trader, "Well he makes... between one and two [million] a day, which never shows up on any curve shift... He steals money from California to the tune of about a million -". A request by another speaker to Belden to modify what has been said leads Belden to articulate, "He, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day."

Belden has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, and is aiding federal authorities in their investigation. Belden's attorney told the Los Angeles Times that the meaning of the conversation in the transcript could not be gleaned without knowledge of the rest of the exchange.
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