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

Costs Rise for AEP's Proposed New IGCC Plant in West Virginia

LCG, June 22, 2007--American Electric Power (AEP) announced earlier this week that the estimated cost to build its coal-fired, power plant that employs an advanced, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) design has risen to $2.23 billion, which is over 70 percent more than previous estimates. The cost increases are due to increases in steel and other construction material costs, as well as higher labor costs, according to the company.

The proposed coal plant would have an electric generating capacity of about 630 MW and would be located adjacent to the existing Mountaineer Plant. The new plant is scheduled to commence operations by mid-2012.

AEP?s subsidiary, Appalachian Power Co., filed testimony this week in West Virginia with the Public Service Commission requesting a $108 million per year rate increase to support the construction.

The significant rise in costs for a new coal plant is not unusual. In May 2005, Duke filed an application with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to build two 800-MW, coal-fired electric generating units at the existing Cliffside Steam Station in North Carolina. The estimated cost to build the traditional, pulverized coal plant was $2 billion. In October 2006, Duke filed a revised, cost estimate with the Commission of $3 billion, which represents a cost increase of 50%.

Appalachian Power filed an application in January 2006 with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia seeking authority to construct the IGCC plant. AEP also signed an agreement with GE Energy and Bechtel to estimate the cost and equipment needs for building both the West Virginia facility and a similar plant in Ohio.

In October of last year, AEP announced that it filed environmental permit applications with West Virginia and Ohio to build the new plants that employ the advanced, IGCC design.

The IGCC process converts coal into a synthesis gas and minimizes most of the sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury (Hg) and other emissions before the gas fuels a combustion turbine generator. The hot exhaust gas from the turbine heats water to produce steam to power a steam turbine and generate electricity a second time.

In general, the improved thermal efficiency and reduced emissions of an IGCC plant are expected to provide benefits that may out-weigh the higher capital costs over the economic life of the plant. In addition, the IGCC design is expected to provide for a more cost-effective means to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) relative to traditional coal plants.

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