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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

Enron Wants Out of India

LCG, July 30, 2001-- Enron Corp. wants the Indian government to buy out its stake in the controversial $2.9 billion Dabhol Power project near Bombay, India's biggest foreign direct investment, the Financial Times reported Saturday.

"We want out," Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay told the paper. And with work on the nearly-complete second phase of the Dabhol Power Project now halted, GE Capital and Bechtel Enterprises were also interested in selling their stakes, he added.

Enron owns 65 percent of the $2.9 billion Dabhol project, with GE Capital and Bechtel each owning 10 percent. The remaining 15 percent is owned by the Indian state of Maharashtra's State Electricity Board, the government-run utility.

The 2,184 megawatt gas-fired Dabhol power plant on India's west coast not far from Bombay is the country's largest foreign investment. The 740 megawatt first phase of the project began producing power last year and the Maharashtra State Electricity Board almost immediately began delaying payment for power delivered to it. Each month, Dabhol has been forced to invoke first the guarantees of Maharashtra state and then those of India itself in order to get paid.

With the 1,444 megawatt second phase of the project nearly complete, work was halted because of the ongoing brouhaha with state and federal bureaucrats. Last month, the state added a new layer of officialdom, the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which Enron has declined to recognize.

On Friday, GE Capital said it would "give serious consideration to credible offers, which would enable us to realize our financial objectives for this investment." A statement from Bechtel was not available.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Board says Dabhol's power is too expensive and has abrogated both its power purchase agreement signed in 1995 and its commitment to the $1.8 billion second phase of the project. The second phase also includes India's first liquefied natural gas project and Enron has 20-year contracts with Arab Emirates for 2 million tons a year of LNG for the power plant and other users.

Failure of the Dabhol project would be a serious black eye for India in its efforts to attract foreign infrastructure investment, a fact noted by Lay. "The government now realizes this is a serious impediment to foreign investment and other business relationships in India and there is an urgency to get it resolved," he said.

"We have fought this once before, put it back together, fixed the contracts, but we don't want to do that again and have the same problems in a few years," he said. Enron was involved in arbitration over the Dabhol power purchase contract in 1995 with the former Indian government, the Financial Times said.

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