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

EPA May Drop 'New Source Review' for Power Plants

LCG, July 27, 2001Christine Todd Whitman, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told a U.S. Senate committee yesterday the need to subject utilities to the federal Clean Air Act's "new source review" program could be replaced by new emissions standards.

The new source review program requires utilities to install anti-pollution upgrades when power plants are modified to increase their output. Utilities have complained that the EPA often looks on routine maintenance as significant upgrades requiring the review.

Last year, the EPA sued several utilities for allegedly violating the rule, prompting some, including American Electric Power Inc. and Southern Co. to fight the lawsuits, saying that the "upgrades" were simply routine maintenance projects.

Whitman said the EPA is drafting an alternative to the rules which would require generating plants to stay below national targets for nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and mercury emissions.

"It's time to simplify the existing regulatory structure," Whitman told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "We believe there could be significant regulatory relief for the utilities."

Whitman said the agency's proposed legislation, which could be introduced this fall, could result in lower emissions than the existing regulations. "What we're looking for here is legislation that would significantly clean up the air beyond what any of our current regulatory targets call for," she said following the hearing.

Under the existing new source review program, as it has been administered, utilities making what they consider ordinary repairs to their power plants sometimes find themselves faced with a lawsuit filed by the EPA claiming they have increased the output of their plants without making expensive emission reduction upgrades.

The rule has actually deterred some companies from installing anti-pollution equipment because of uncertainty about the way the work would be greeted by the agency, some companies have said.

Some members of the Environment and Public Works Committee agreed. "Investment will not come as long as this regulatory uncertainty hangs out there," said Sen. Robert Smith of New Hampshire, the top Republican on the committee. "The current mandates discourage innovation."

Whitman said the EPA expected to complete its review of the new source regulations by mid-August.

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