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

PNM Says Kansas Demands Could Scotch Western Resources Deal

LCG, July 27, 2001--Demands by the Kansas Corporation Commission for rate cuts could scotch plans by Public Service Co. of New Mexico to acquire two utilities from Western Resources Inc., the companies said yesterday.

Last year, PNM agreed to pay $1.5 billion in an all-stock deal to purchase two regulated utility operations of Western Resources, Kansas Power & Light Co. and Kansas Gas & Electric Co. The two utilities serve more than 630,000 customers in the Sunflower State.

Though Western Resources had asked Kansas regulators for a $150 million rate increase, the KCC voted instead to raise those rates by $22 million.

Also, last Friday, the KCC found that Western Resources' plan to restructure by splitting off its regulated utility business from its unregulated businesses would harm its electric operations.

David Wittig, chief executive of Western Resources, was hopeful. "We believe that we understand the KCC's concerns with the current transaction and are hopeful that we can reach agreement with PNM on alternative terms that will permit the transaction to move forward and provide the benefits that we believe the combination will bring to our customers and shareholders," he said.

But Jeff Sterba, his counterpart at PNM was less so. "PNM doesn't believe that the split-off and other transactions envisioned in our merger agreement with Western Resources can be accomplished on the agreed terms if the KCC's orders remain in effect," he fretted.

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