News

California Leads a Quiet Revolution

Source: By BETH GARDINER, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

California is cruising toward its 2020 goal for increasing renewable energy and is setting far more ambitious targets for the future. Its large-scale solar arrays produced more energy in 2014 than those in all other states combined. Half the nation’s solar home rooftops are in the state, and thousands more are added each week. With its progressive politics, high-tech bent and abundant sunshine, California is fast ramping up its production of clean electricity, setting an example its leaders hope the rest of the country, and other nations, will follow as they seek to cut emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide.

U.S. offshore wind industry feels momentum building as steel hits the water

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015

Backers of the U.S. offshore wind industry are hoping to build on recent momentum to crack the major financial and regulatory roadblocks that still remain before they can catch up with their thriving European counterparts. The image of a steel foundation being lowered into the ocean off the coast of Rhode Island this summer has become a sign of hope for the industry. Due next year, the small offshore wind farm developed by Deepwater Wind will generate 30 megawatts — peanuts compared with the more than 10 gigawatts already installed in Europe. The Block Island Wind Farm will be the first in the United States.

Offshore wind advocates try to broaden debate beyond straight economics 

Source: By Michael Copley, SNL • Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015

After what one market participant described as a “tortuously” slow start, there are now more than 15,500 MW of offshore wind projects in various stages of development in the U.S., and federal regulators have leased enough ocean acreage to support the construction of projects totaling more than 5,500 MW, the U.S. Department of Energy said Sept. 29.

Berkshire Hathaway Said to Borrow $275 Million for Texas Wind

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg News • Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. borrowed $275 million for a 300-megawatt wind farm in Texas that’s supplying power to Austin Energy, according to two people familiar with the deal. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. led the 10-year financing for the Jumbo Road wind farm, said the two people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to discuss the deal publicly. CoBank Financial Corp., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. also participated. Pricing started at 162.5 basis points over the London interbank offered rate.

MidAmerican Energy completing large O’Brien County wind farm

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015

Construction on MidAmerican Energy Company’s massive wind turbine farm in northwest Iowa is expected to finish by year’s end. MidAmerican Energy project manager Adam Jablonski told the Sioux City Journal that the Highland project will be one of the 10 largest wind farms in the country when it is completed.

Defiant Dems say they won’t be shut out of budget talks

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015

Anxiety over a shutdown was delayed this week after the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution keeping agencies working through Dec. 11, sidestepping demands from conservatives to delay funding the government until Democrats and Obama agreed to block federal funds for Planned Parenthood. The Senate passed the legislation 78-20, and hours later, the House approved it 277-151, with opposition coming mainly from Republicans unimpressed with a symbolic vote in the House against Planned Parenthood.

China expects to miss its 2015 target for offshore wind projects

Source: Coco Liu, E&E Asia correspondent • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The country has set a target to develop 5 gigawatts of offshore wind farms before 2016. So far, only 61 megawatts of wind turbines have been installed at sea along with 1.7 GW under construction, according to a statement published recently by the National Energy Administration. (A gigawatt equates roughly to the power output of one large U.S. nuclear power plant.)

US Falling Behind In Offshore Wind Power

Source: By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica  • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

A group of professors from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering, and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics — and who are all associated with the University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon Free Power Integration (CCPI) — reported their findings in an invited paper that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper details the view of its authors that US offshore wind power is further away from commercial-scale deployment and operation than it was in 2005.

Backers of offshore wind power push N.J. to follow through on creating policy

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

“We think there are valuable resources [in the lease areas], and we think there is industry interest in it,” she said. “The aligning of state policy and federal lease timetables is not a new challenge. I don’t think we have the perfect answer yet, but we’re showing leadership on federal side to move forward, and I’m hopeful we’ll encourage the state regulators to move forward on their side.”

U.K. Renewables Generated Record Electricity in Second Quarter

Source: By Alex Morales, Bloomberg News • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The U.K. got more than a quarter of its electricity from renewables in the second quarter, a record. Wind, hydro and solar plants generated 25.3 percent of the country’s power in the three months through June, up from 22.6 percent in the first quarter of the year and 16.7 percent in the same period last year, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement on its website.