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

New England Firm Plans 420 Megawatt Wind Farm

LCG, Oct. 31, 2001--Boston-based green electricity company Energy Management Inc. has announced plans to develop a 420 megawatt (nameplate capacity) wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound.

The company said it expects to get an optimistic 34 percent operating factor out of the Cape Wind Associates project, which, if achieved, means the wind farm would be the equivalent of a 140 megawatt power plant.

According to Cape Wind President Jim Gordon, the wind farm will consist of about 150 pylon-mounted turbines on a 24-square-mile shoal in Nantucket Sound, a density of 6.25 turbines per square mile, which is fewer that the 9 per square mile many consider best for maximum generation.

The company explained that the towers would be kept a half-mile apart so as not to affect navigation by fishing and pleasure boats.

Gordon said the wind farm would save New England electricity customers tens of millions of dollars a year because "Once the turbines are built, the wind is free."

Mike Worms, a New York energy analyst, disagreed. "I don't think wind power is cheap by any stretch," he said. "If it weren't for federal subsidies, it probably wouldn't even be a viable option."

Worms was referring to a federal production tax credit that pays wind farm operators 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour of power actually produced. That subsidy kicks in when a turbine first starts putting power on the grid and runs for 10 years, but the program is due to expire at the end of this year.

Without the tax credit, wind power would cost about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 1.83 cents for nuclear power, 2 cents for electricity produced in coal-fired plants and 3 cents for power from gas-fueled power plants.

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