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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

77 Maine Towns Face Higher Electricity Prices

LCG, Oct. 16, 2001--The cost of electricity for consumers in 77 towns of east-central Maine will increase by a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in March as the result of a rate hike by Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative, the Bangor Daily News reported yesterday.

The co-op said it was passing on to its 11,600 customers an increase in what it pays for power to WPS Energy Services, an affiliate of Wisconsin Public Service Co.

Aside from the rate increase, the co-op's service territory is in good shape, according to Doug Jones, president of Eastern Maine's board of directors. Unlike the power crisis that paralyzed parts of California earlier this year, eastern Maine has "an abundance of generation" to meet local demand, he said.

"Another problem in California, though, was that there was inadequate transmission-line access to power sources in other states," Jones said. "This highlighted a new importance for the transmission segment of the electricity industry as more states deregulate."

Jones told 200 people attending the co-op's annual meeting about two projects to enhance transmission in Maine. "The most immediate of these is the newly proposed 345 kilovolt line that Bangor Hydro-Electric wants to build from Orrington to New Brunswick," he said. The new line has the potential to encourage power plant development in nearby Canada, he pointed out. "Since those new power plants will be in (our) back yard," Jones said, "members may probably see lower supply prices in the long run."

There is also the Neptune Project, which is a plan to connect power sources in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with the northeastern United States by way of an undersea transmission line. It also could prove beneficial to the co-op's customers, Jones said.

Treasurer Scott Skinner told members that when the co-op's delivery rates are compared with the other utilities whose service territories include rural areas, Eastern Maine's rates are the lowest of the four. The others are Bangor Hydro, Maine Public Service and Central Maine Power.

But still, customers in those 77 towns will see their electric rates rise by a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in March.

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