Billions of dollars in wind farm projects are underway in Iowa, but Wisconsin is lagging behind in wind energy. Yet, jobs from massive energy projects in other states will filter into Wisconsin, according to Justin Barrett, wind energy technology instructor at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin.
Apple Inc., which spent $850 million last year on a 130-megawatt solar farm near San Francisco, can begin selling power into wholesale markets in the latest foray by a technology company into the energy business. Apple’s subsidiary Apple Energy LLC may sell energy, capacity and other services needed to maintain reliable power, according to an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday. In granting approval, the commission determined the company did not raise the risk of being able to unfairly hike up power prices.
Piezoelectricity — in which materials generate energy when compressed — may still be the future. At least that’s what some Californians believe. A new $2 million subsidy from the California Energy Commission will fund pilot projects exploring the use of piezoelectricity, with the eventual goal of installing generators under roadways and railways to capture the energy of vehicles passing over them. Supporters say it could revolutionize both roads and renewable generation, but others caution that the technology isn’t likely to pan out. It’s commonly used in small-scale applications like sound equipment and ignition systems for gas stoves, but has yet to take off on a larger scale.
Tony Clark, a Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, today announced he will leave the agency next month. A former chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Clark was first elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006.
A new critique of the Obama administration’s energy policies finds that dispatching new renewable energy resources will significantly drive up electricity costs. Last week, the Institute for Energy Research issued an update of what has become a perennial analysis on the levelized costs of energy (LCOE). In it, the group argues that electricity from new solar and wind energy plants is now 2.5 to 5 times more expensive than electricity from existing nuclear and coal plants.
In the past several weeks alone, the Obama administration has made multiple new moves to fight climate change. The administration announced new steps to help fill U.S. roadways with electric vehicles. It ruled that greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft endanger human health and welfare. And on the international stage, it moved the world closer to a deal to phase out super-polluting HFCs, chemicals in refrigerants and other industrial substances that warm the climate.
Demand for electricity in Texas is forecast to reach the highest so far in 2016 on Thursday as a brutal heat wave bakes the Lone Star State, according to the state’s power grid operator, which expects supplies to be sufficient to meet the peak. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid in most of the state, predicted demand would reach 69,589 MW on Thursday, topping the unofficial hourly high for the year of 68,800 MW set on Wednesday.
In June, the state of California — which has led the U.S. in putting electric cars on the road and switching to so-called clean electricity — took a decisive turn in its quest to move away from carbon–emitting fuels. An agreement between the large utility Pacific Gas and Electric and environmental and labor groups set a path for retiring the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, and thus, for a state in which “carbon free” will not include energy generated through the splitting of atoms. On Monday, though, New York — also a leader when it comes to greening power supplies — announced a very different route. The state’s Public Service Commission approved a Clean Energy Standard backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s backed Clean Energy Standard. It seeks to get New York to 50 percent renewable electricity by the year 2030 — while also retaining the six nuclear reactors that currently provide more 30 percent of the state’s electricity.
In the year since U.S. EPA unveiled its Clean Power Plan, the American electricity sector has outpaced all expectations about how quickly it can shift away from coal. Utilities, especially those that are investor-owned, have moved rapidly, driven by a combination of lower gas and renewable power prices, state mandates, federal tax incentives, customer demands and their own corporate efforts to address climate change. A new market reality has emerged — one that is starkly different from when President Obama announced his landmark climate effort on Aug. 3, 2015.
The deep waters off the coast of California could become home to the country’s largest offshore wind energy project and a test case for a technology that is still in its infancy. The 765-megawatt project, proposed by Seattle-based Trident Winds, would sit about 25 miles off California’s central coast, near the town of Cambria. If built, it will be larger than the 630-megawatt London Array off the coast of Kent, – the world’s largest working offshore wind farm that began operating in 2013.