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Duke Energy Renewables to Install 200-MW Wind Project in Texas

LCG, April 12, 2019--Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, yesterday announced it will build, own and operate the MesteƱo Wind Project, located in southern Texas. The power generated by the 200-MW project will be sold into the ERCOT market, and Duke Energy Renewables will enter into a long-term hedge agreement covering the majority of the expected wind energy production. Construction has commenced, and the project is scheduled for completion by year-end.

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FPL Announces Plans for 409-MW Battery Storage System

LCG, April 3, 2019--Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) recently announced a plan to build the world's largest solar-powered battery system, the Manatee Energy Storage Center, as part of a modernization plan to accelerate the retirement of two, 1970s-era natural gas generating units at FPL's neighboring Manatee Power Plant.

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Industry News

Enron Folds as Dynegy Backs Out of Buyout;Stock of Once-Mighty Firm Trades at 35 Cents

LCG, Nov. 29, 2001--Enron Corp., not long ago number 7 on Fortune Magazine's list of the 500 largest U.S. corporations, collapsed yesterday after Dynegy Inc. backed out of a deal to buy it. Today, Enron's stock traded as low as 35 cents a share.

Dynegy had agreed on November 9 to purchase Enron in an $8.4 billion stock swap, but after Enron shares closed at 61 cents yesterday, the company's market capitalization was only about $342 million.

As part of the November 9 deal, Dynegy had given Enron a $1.5 billion transfusion in exchange for preferred stock in Enron's Northern Natural Gas pipeline. That stock can be converted into ownership of the pipeline and Dynegy said yesterday it would exercise the option to acquire the asset.

Enron's collapse has devastated investors, including some big mutual funds, who were sitting pretty when shares traded at $90 a little over a year ago. Also in doubt are the futures of about 21,000 employees, including those of the company's utility subsidiary Portland General Electric Co. in Oregon.

Among the dozens of lawsuits facing Enron is one on behalf of PGE employees who were encouraged by Enron to switch their retirement investments into Enron stock a year ago. One lineman who has been climbing poles for PGE for 35 years said his retirement fund had shrunk from $400,000 to almost nothing and he would have to continue climbing poles until he dropped.

According to federal officials, the damage is likely to be confined to Enron and some of the banks and other firms with which it does business. The Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said they had monitored Enron's rapid decline and saw no dangerous domino effect.

"The markets are functioning normally," said Peter Bakstansky, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Since Dynegy and Enron announced their deal three weeks ago, revelation after revelation damaged Enron's credibility and its financial condition. Yesterday, Standard & Poor's downgraded Enron's debt to junk, accelerating up to $3.9 billion in debt payments.

That's when Dynegy Chairman Chuck Watson knew the deal was over. "We knew when to say no, and this morning, we said no," he said.

Enron's chief financial officer, Jeff McMahon, said that the company was still talking to banks about restructuring the company's debt, but not rule out seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Law.

"We are looking at every option under the sun, as you can imagine," McMahon said, adding that involuntary bankruptcy under Chapter 7, which would mean liquidation of the company, "is not an option we are pursuing."

At 12:30 p.m. EST, Enron shares were trading at 41 cents.

"Sometimes a company's best deals are the very ones they did not do," Watson said.

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