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

Trigen Loses Oklahoma City Case in U.S. High Court

LCG, Oct. 30, 2001--Cogeneration developer Trigen Corp. finally lost its antitrust lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court denied its latest appeal in the five-year-old case.

In 1996, Trigen-Oklahoma City Energy Corp. sought to develop a cogeneration plant that would provide heating, cooling and electricity to several buildings in downtown Oklahoma City. OG&E had no objection to the heating and cooling, but the utility owned a monopoly on the electricity.

In a 1998 trial in federal district court in Oklahoma City, Trigen complained about OG&E's monopoly status and the utility questioned how it could be considered a monopoly in Trigen's business -- heating and cooling services -- while OG&E's product is electricity. Furthermore, OG&E argued that its actions resulted in lower costs for the buildings in question.

Trigen won that round and OG&E was ordered to pay $30 million. The judge in the case later reduced Trigen's award to $20.6 million.

OG&E appealed, and a three-member federal appeals court panel overturned the verdict, finding no violation of the antitrust laws by the utility. The panel found that the "heart of Trigen's complaint is that OG&E's rates are too low and that Trigen had to lower its own rates or lose business." Trigen's appeal of that ruling to the full nine-member 10th Circuit Court was denied.

On July 30 of this year, Trigen petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review of the case. Yesterday, the high court declined to review the case.

"We are very pleased that the Supreme Court of the United States acted so promptly and saw this case as we have; that is, as a case without merit," said Paul Renfrow, director of public affairs for the utility's parent holding company, OGE Energy Corp. "We have been confident this would be the outcome all along."

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