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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

PG&E Announces Proposal to Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025

LCG, June 22, 2016--PG&E yesterday announced a Joint Proposal with labor and environmental organizations that would increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and storage beyond current state mandates while phasing out PG&E's production of nuclear power in California by 2025. The Joint Proposal would replace power produced by two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant with energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage. The Joint Proposal includes a PG&E voluntary commitment to a 55 percent renewable energy target in 2031.

Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) is located along the Pacific coast north of Santa Barbara and has operated safely since 1985 generating greenhouse gas free (GHG-free) electricity. The two Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) units at the site have a combined electric generating capacity of approximately 2,240-MW and are licensed until 2024 and 2025, respectively. PG&E applied in November 2009 to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for 20-year license renewal extensions for both reactors.

PG&E Corporation's Chairman, CEO and President stated, "California's energy landscape is changing dramatically with energy efficiency, renewables and storage being central to the state's energy policy. As we make this transition, Diablo Canyon's full output will no longer be required. As a result, we will not seek to relicense the facility beyond 2025 pending approval of the joint energy proposal. Importantly, this proposal recognizes the value of GHG-free nuclear power as an important bridge strategy to help ensure that power remains affordable and reliable and that we do not increase the use of fossil fuels while supporting California's vision for the future."

PG&E Corporation's Chairman added, "Supporting this is a coalition of labor and environmental partners with some diverse points of view. We came to this agreement with some different perspectives-and we continue to have some different perspectives-but the important thing is that we ultimately got to a shared point of view about the most appropriate and responsible path forward with respect to Diablo Canyon and how best to support the state's energy vision."

The parties to the Joint Proposal are PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

Under the terms of this Joint Proposal, PG&E will retire Diablo Canyon at the expiration of its current NRC operating licenses, and the parties will jointly propose and support the orderly replacement of Diablo Canyon with GHG-free resources prior to the retirement of the nuclear facility. In addition, PG&E will stop any efforts on its part to renew the Diablo Canyon operating licenses and will ask the NRC to suspend consideration of the pending Diablo Canyon license renewal application pending withdrawal with prejudice of the NRC application upon California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval of the Joint Proposal Application.

PG&E stated in its announcement that it does not believe customer rates will increase as a result of the Joint Proposal because it believes it is likely that implementing the proposal will have a lower overall cost than relicensing DCPP and operating it through 2044. Factors affecting this include, in addition to lower demand, declining costs for renewable power and the potential for higher renewable integration costs if DCPP is relicensed.

The Joint Proposal is also contingent on a number of regulatory actions.

California's other nuclear facility, Southern California Edison's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), was closed in 2013 and is transitioning into the initial stages of preparation to be decommissioned after the failure of replacement steam generators.
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