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

PPL Montana Says Aggregator Misled Judge

LCG, July 16, 2001--PPL Montana Inc., the unit of PPL Corp. that bought power plants from Montana Power Co. as that utility began exiting the electricity business, filed actions in both federal and state court Friday, over what it called a breach of contract terms by Energy West Resources Inc., a Great Falls-based energy aggregator.

PPL had announced its intention to terminate a contract with Energy West, which then went to court seeking to block that move.

PPL claims that Energy West had dealt falsely with it in order to get power to sell on the high-priced Western spot market. "Energy West, on a daily basis, told PPL that it needed an average of about 38 percent more electricity than it actually needed to serve customers -- a clear violation of our contract," said Robert J. Grey, PPL senior vice president and general counsel.

Under the terms of the contract signed in March 2000, PPL Montana agreed to supply sufficient electricity to meet the needs of retail customers that have contracted with Energy West, up to a maximum of 75 megawatts per hour, PPL alleged. PPL Montana says it sold the electricity to Energy West at prices substantially below prevailing market prices in the region.

"The low purchase price from PPL Montana meant that Energy West profited enormously byimproperly ordering more power from PPL on a daily basis than it needed to serve customers andthen selling that excess in the wholesale markets," Grey said.

Energy West had obtained a temporary restraining order against PPL Montana from a U.S. District Court, preventing termination of the contract. On Friday PPL asked federal Judge Donald Molloy to lift that order and to refrain from issuing a preliminary injunction, saying they were not necessary to protect electricity customers in the state.

PPL Montana said Energy West misled Judge Molloy into thinking that customers would lose electricity supply if PPL were to terminate the Energy West agreement.

"Energy West inaccurately claimed that our attempts to terminate our supply contract with them would result in an interruption of electricity service to customers," Grey said. "This simply is not the case."

In the state court action, PPL Montana is seeking a judgment that Energy West violated the terms of its contract with PPL and should pay PPL all damages resulting from Energy West's conduct. PPL estimates damages of at least $7.5 million.

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