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

Feds Look at Plans to RelieveCalifornia Transmission Bottleneck

LCG, July 24, 2001Federal agencies will look at a baker's dozen plans to relieve the California electric power transmission bottleneck known as "Path 15," U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said yesterday.

Path 15, located in the state's Central Valley near the town of Los Banos, consists of two 500 kilovolt lines and severely restricts the ability to move bulk power between the northern and southern parts of California. Abraham is pushing for a third 500 kilovolt line to relieve the congestion.

"It is like adding lanes of traffic in a major thoroughfare," he said.

The Department of Energy estimates that the cost to upgrade the 84-mile Path 15 would be $230 million and take three or four years to complete, but Abraham said the cost could run as high as $300 million.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the three-quarters of the state grid belonging to three investor-owned utilities, said that the bottleneck cost the state about $260 million over the past 16 months.

Path 15 is owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. which sought protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy law in April, having run up massive debt purchasing power at high wholesale prices for resale to customers at artificially low prices mandated by California's failed electric deregulation scheme. The utility does not have funds to handle the upgrade itself.

The federal Western Area Power Administration will review 13 "statements of interest" in the Path 15 and will issue a recommendation within the next few weeks.

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