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 Proposes Rules to Push Cogeneration

LCG, Oct. 16, 2001--The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday proposed an amendment to the Clean Air Act that would encourage manufacturing and industrial concerns to provide their own electric power and, at the same time, produce thermal energy they now either purchase or produce in separate facilities.

The proposed new rules would make it easier to get permits for cogeneration plants, which produce electricity and use the heat from that process to make steam for their manufacturing operations and use thermal energy to heat and cool their buildings.

The idea is not new. Many of the "qualifying facility" power plants spawned by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) are cogeneration plants. Some companies, which require large amounts of process steam, such as those in the chemicals industry, have built cogeneration plants for that purpose and sell surplus electricity in regional wholesale power markets.

Cogeneration developers, such as Trigen Corp., have built cogen plants that provide heating and cooling to sections of cities and sell all their electric power into wholesale markets.

Conventional thermal power plants -- coal-, natural gas- and oil-fueled facilities as well as nuclear power plants, vent their waste heat to the atmosphere. Cogeneration plants, by making use of this heat, typically achieve higher energy efficiency rates that the older plants.

An older coal-fired power plant might produce power having only 30 to 50 percent of the energy present in the coal that was burned. Modern gas-fired plants, operating in combined-cycle where exhaust heat from combustion turbines is used to spin conventional turbines, improve on that and yield energy efficiency of perhaps 70 percent.

But still, 30 percent of the energy present in the plant's fuel is wasted. In a cogeneration plant, as much as 80 percent of the fuel's energy is put to use. A national energy policy report released earlier this year by the Bush administration pointed to cogeneration as a way to increase U.S. energy efficiency.

The proposed EPA rules would ease requirements for cogen plants under the agency's "new source review," which sets emissions limits for new power plants. Several industrial giants, such as Bethlehem Steel, Dow Chemical and Exxon Mobil have endorse the new rules.

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