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Author Topic: Wind Power  (Read 10055 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Wind Power
« Reply #195 on: August 08, 2017, 07:38:59 pm »


Utilities Shifting Away from Wind, Solar PPAs

August 8, 2017

By Chris Martin, Jim Polson and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg

utilities
         
There’s a new model emerging for growth-starved utilities looking to profit from America’s solar and wind power boom.

American Electric Power Co. is using it for a $4.5 billion deal that’ll land the U.S. utility owner a massive wind farm in Oklahoma and a high-voltage transmission line to deliver the power. NextEra Energy Inc.’s Florida unit is using it to build solar farms. And in April, the chief executive officer of Xcel Energy Inc. said he’d use it to help add 3.4 GW of new wind energy over the next five years.

Here’s how it works: Some utilities that for years contracted to buy electricity from wind and solar farm owners are now shifting away from these so-called power purchase agreements, or PPAs. They’re instead seeking approval from state regulators to buy the assets outright and recover the costs from customers through rates. While the takeovers are being branded as a cheaper way of securing power, saving ratepayers millions in the end, they also guarantee profits for utilities.

“We keep wondering why utilities are always signing PPAs that pass the cost through to customers,” said Amy Grace, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “If you put it in your rate base, you can get a guaranteed return on it. There’s a big upside to ownership.”
With the cost of building solar and wind farms sliding and electricity demand weakening, owning renewables is a more attractive proposition than ever for utilities.

The price of wind has come down enough that it’s going to be competitive with anything else  ;D you’re probably going to propose to build out there,”
Kit Konolige, a New York-based utility analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said by phone Wednesday.


Biggest Hurdle

The catch, of course, is regulatory buy-in. AEP will need approval from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and federal regulators to purchase the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher farm from developer Invenergy LLC, build a 350-mile (563-kilometer) transmission line and bake the costs into customer rates. The planned to file these plans with regulators on July 31.

American Electric wants regulatory approvals by April, Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Akins said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call Thursday. Central to the project are $2.7 billion of U.S. tax credits for wind production. No rate increase will be needed, he said.

Full article:


http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2017/08/utilities-shifting-away-from-wind-solar-ppas.html
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