News

Great Lakes ice won’t derail wind turbines — researcher

Source: E&E • Posted: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

A University of Michigan engineering professor said ice in the Great Lakes will likely increase construction costs for wind turbines being built in the area but will not be a deal-breaker for projects. Speaking at the Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon, Mich., yesterday, marine engineer Dale Karr said his research had not found ice to be a “showstopper” that would derail construction plans, although he said more study was needed to be sure.

Iowa scientists: Spring floods, summer droughts more likely with global climate change

Source: by Tony Leys, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Gene Takle, director of Iowa State University’s climate science program, said too many Americans believe there is serious dispute among scientists about whether climate change is real and whether it is caused by people. “In the scientific community, we have debates on the details,” he said. “But there are very, very few scientists who are active in studying climate science who deny the existence of the role of heat-trapping gases in raising our global average temperatures, and the fact that these heat-trapping gases are produced by humans.”

Koch Brother Wages 12-Year Fight Over Wind Farm

Source: By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

If the vast wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound is ever built, William I. Koch will have a spectacular view of it. Of course, that is the last thing he wants. Mr. Koch, a billionaire industrialist who made his fortune in fossil fuels and whose better-known brothers underwrite conservative political causes, has been fighting the wind farm, called Cape Wind, for more than a decade, donating about $5 million and leading an adversarial group against it. He believes that Cape Wind’s 130 industrial turbines would not only create what he calls “visual pollution” but also increase the cost of electricity for everyone.

Pa. could cut emissions 21% with existing policies — report

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

By harnessing existing policies and infrastructure, Pennsylvania could cut its power sector emissions 21 percent by 2020, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Those reductions would put the Keystone State well on its way to meeting new carbon pollution rules proposed by U.S. EPA, the report notes. Rules covering carbon emissions from future power plants were announced last month, while standards for existing plants are expected to be proposed in 2014.

Outgoing chairman to join law firm

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Outgoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff announced today that he will join Portland, Ore.-based law firm Stoel Rives LLP after he wraps up nearly seven years at the agency. Wellinghoff, a driving force behind the Obama administration’s efforts to green the electric grid, will work out of the firm’s offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., upon completing his work at the commission.

Utility regulators fret over grid reliability as EPA preps emission rules

Source: Hannah Northey and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

State utility regulators at the forefront of implementing upcoming federal rules to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants in the United States are concerned that a fast-tracked schedule could trigger reliability issues. Philip Jones, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), said the most important question is how much time industry will have to carry out the new rules. “Even if you know [that] the end goal is clean energy sources, more demand response, more energy efficiency, more gas, how much time do you have to comply?” he asked.

Energy storage for wind, solar to top $10B in a decade — report

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

The expected increased use of wind and solar on the electric grid will create a more than $10 billion global market for energy storage systems in 10 years, according to a new report from market analyst Navigant Research.

Operators spar over transmission line use before U.S. appeals court

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

  An Arkansas-based grid operator argued in federal court today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to adequately review all evidence before allowing a competitor to use its transmission lines.Southwest Power Pool told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that FERC simply disregarded the case it presented before siding […]

G.E. Beats Expectations With Help of Industrial Units

Source: New York Times • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

G.E.’s aviation, oil and gas, transportation and home and business solutions divisions all had profit of more than 10 percent. The company’s power and water division, which had been hurt earlier in the year by lower sales of wind turbines, posted a 9 percent rise in profit. Health care grew 7 percent, but profit at the company’s energy management division declined by 57 percent.

Xcel wins OK to build 4 new wind farms

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

Xcel Energy is poised to move forward with plans to build four Upper Midwest wind farms, which would increase the company’s wind power capacity in the region by 42 percent.