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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

Southeast U.S. Balks at FERC Regional RTO Plan

LCG, Oct. 24, 2001--The plan by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place the operation of the nation's electric transmission grid in the hands of just four super-regional transmission organizations has drawn fire from market participants in the U.S. Southeast, who say the plan could increase electric rates.

State regulators mostly want to keep the regional transmission organizations local, and contend that anything that would increase costs would be a mistake.

The Southern Co., which serves nearly 4 million customers through its operating utilities in the Southeast, says combining all the transmission systems in the region into one big RTO would require $3 billion in new transmission infrastructure, and that cost would be passed along to consumers.

Ed Holland, an executive vice president of The Southern Co., said of the proposed super-RTO "If the majority of those costs have to be borne by our retail consumers, we are looking at between an 8 and 10 percent increase in rates."

That's too much for Stan Wise, a member of the Georgia Public Service Commission. "We have low prices, we have reliable service, and we have a good system," he said. "We think the (FERC) process has been a little heavy handed and certainly without any consideration to what either the cost or cost savings are going to be with this new process."

Holland agreed. "It's when we get to what is the proper size and configuration (of the super-RTO) that we don't feel like appropriate analysis has been done," he said.

Wise was probably speaking for most state regulators in the Southeast when he said "If the average ratepayer in my state has to pay more to promote retail competition, I am most certainly not in favor of it."

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