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

California Grabs Power Plant Property Taxes;Counties Fear Loss of Millions in Revenue

LCG, Oct. 26, 2001--The California Board of Equalization, a state agency responsible for administering sales and use taxes, property taxes and special taxes, has voted to take over from counties appraisal of power plants, and local governments are concerned the switch could mean the loss of millions of dollars in revenue.

The Board said it would hold off on the tax grab until Jan. 1, 2003, to give the state legislature time to fix what opponents call a "fatal flaw" in the change. The fatal flaw is, once the money gets to Sacramento there is a good chance a lot of it will stay there.

Heretofore, counties have assessed the power plants to determine how much they owed in property taxes. The tax was paid to the county, which in turn passed it on to the redevelopment agencies in the communities in which the plants were located.

If the Board's plan stands, the very least that will happen is the tax revenues will be returned to the counties and not to the cities and towns where the power plants are. That would mean big losses in revenue for communities that have embraced generators as a means of paying for improvements and services.

How hard the communities could be hit was outlined by the city of Pittsburg, a blue-collar town across the bay from San Francisco which has welcomed development of two new power plants. John Knox, a lawyer hired by the city, said Pittsburg has been counting on $10 million in power plant property taxes.

The switch could leave the city with just $400,000, $9.6 million going to other parts of Contra Costa County such as Berkeley, where the huge University of California gobbles lots of electricity but where there are no power plants.

Frank Aiello, vice mayor of Pittsburg, said property tax revenue was the big reason his city was amenable to the development of the two plants. "You'll see more and more power plants not being sited," he said. "There will be an even bigger energy crisis."

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