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Tampa Electric Plans to $800 Million Investment in New Solar Power Generation

LCG, February 24, 2020--Tampa Electric recently announced plans to expand its use of solar power to meet customer needs in Florida. The company plans to invest approximately $800 million to add 600 MW of solar electric generating capacity by the end of 2023, when the total solar capacity would exceed 1,250 MW. Solar power will then account for about 14 percent of the utility's energy.

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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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Industry News

Power Bond Delay Could Cut California Budget Favorites

LCG, Oct. 5, 2001--Because California Gov. Gray Davis, the state Public Utilities Commission and state lawmakers cannot agree on how the largest municipal bond issue in history is to be repaid, programs with wide voter appeal are endangered, officials said.

One thing they agree on is, if the $12.5 billion in bonds are not issued the state faces a budget deficit of $9.3 billion, which would likely result in cutting programs such as education, health care and law enforcement -- all vote getters.

The proceeds of the bond issue are needed to repay the state's general fund for money taken earlier this year by the California Department of Water Resources to purchase about $6.1 billion worth of wholesale power on behalf of the state's cash-strapped investor-owned utilities.

Sandy Harrison, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance, said if the money isn't repaid by June of next year -- the end of the current fiscal year -- the $6.1 billion will have to be cut from other parts of the state budget.

State Treasurer Phil Angelides said "That's cutting the bone out of the state budget - not just the fat but the bone"

Davis first intended for the bonds to be brought to market in May, but legislative inaction made that impossible and a new deadline was set for October 31. In order for the bonds to be issued, the CPUC must develop a formula on how revenues from the three utilities' customers are to be applied to their repayment and to service their interest.

The commission, three of whose five members were appointed by Davis, has repeatedly failed to produce such a formula, and it now looks like it never will.

Some officials fear that the impasse has developed into a test of wills among the governor's office, the legislature and the regulators.

"There may be a game of chicken going on, and all of us who are caught in the middle are like deer in the headlights," said Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Board Association producing a vivid, if mixed, metaphor.

State Controller Kathleen Connell said lower energy costs make it likely the state will have to borrow only about half the $12.5 billion it originally sought, but she appeared to forget that the bonds must also provide funding for $43 billion in long-term power purchase agreements entered into by the water agency to cover much of the state's power needs over the next two decades.

Davis has ordered state department heads to submit budgets incorporating cuts ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent. "That's looking like a serious approach at this point, that we're going to have to do something along those lines," Harrison said.

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