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Big First Quarter Gains in New Wind Turbine Capacity in U.S.

LCG, May 4, 2017--The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released on Tuesday its new U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report. AWEA's evaluation concludes that a total of 908 utility-scale turbines were installed in the first quarter of 2017, adding 2,000 MW of electric generating capacity. According to AWEA, the installations represent the wind industry's strongest start in eight years. AWEA's CEO stated, "We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined."

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San Diego County Water Authority Seeks Proposals for 500-MW Pumped Storage Project

LCG, May 3, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors on April 27 authorized the Water Authority, together with the City of San Diego, to pursue proposals to build an energy storage facility that utilizes the existing San Vicente Reservoir. The Water Authority expects to advertise the Request for Proposals (RFPs) by this summer and to evaluate received proposals by the end of this year.

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Industry News

Southern Power's 120-MW Solar Project Commences Operation in Texas

LCG, April 6, 2017--Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power yesterday announced the commercial operation of the 120-MW East Pecos Solar Facility in Pecos County, Texas. Austin Energy will purchase the energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA), which it plans to apply to meet Austin City Council goals for renewable energy and carbon reduction.

The East Pecos Solar Facility facility is located on an approximately 1,000-acre site and includes approximately 1.2 million solar photovoltaic (PV) panels manufactured by First Solar, which built and will operate and maintain the facility. Initially, First Solar announced the signing of its PPA with Austin Energy in October 2015, and project construction then began in February of 2016.

The solar project fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing its wholesale business through the acquisition and construction of generating assets substantially covered by long-term contracts.

Southern Power's President and CEO stated, "The East Pecos Solar Facility joins our growing renewable fleet in Texas, and we look forward to operating it for the benefit of our customers. By providing clean, affordable, wholesale generation, we are able to deliver on our promise to help build the future of energy."

Austin Energy's General Manager stated, "Austin Energy was an early adopter of West Texas wind power and is pleased to take delivery of the power generated by the East Pecos Solar Facility. We currently supply more than 30 percent of our customers' needs from renewable power and are well on our way to our target of 55 percent supply by 2025."
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