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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

New Materials May Make Capacity Upgrades of Lines Easier

LCG, Mar. 4, 2004--Composite materials are being tested in newly designed power lines that have the advantages of not sagging like traditional lines, and of allowing a greater amount of power to flow without adding significant bulk.

Companies developing the lines use substitutes for the steel that makes up the central core of traditional power cables, around which aluminum stands used to transmit electricity are wrapped. Because the composite materials, which use carbon fiber, glass and epoxy, provide the same strength as steel cores with larger diameters, they make it possible to wrap more aluminum around lines' cores. At the same time, they conduct less than steel, and sag up to 90% less, their makers say. This latter feature could be useful in preventing blackouts due to lines that heat up, and come to rest on trees or the ground.

The largest-scale test yet underway is planned by a local utility in Kingman, Kan., which has agreed to pay for a test of a 21-mile-long line, according to the New York Times. Other tests are underway in North Dakota and Minnesota, where another company will see how well its line performs in the local weather conditions. The Department of Energy is contributing financial assistance to a test near Fargo, N.D., scheduled for the winter. If the tests are considered successful, more widespread adoption will depend on the willingness of utilities to replace older lines, which can operate for more than 50 years without becoming seriously degraded.
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