As solar floods California grid, challenges loom

Source: By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle • Posted: Monday, July 18th, 2016

California’s solar plants produced a record 8,030 megawatts of electricity just after 1 p.m. Tuesday — enough power for more than 6 million homes, and almost twice as much solar power as California could generate two years ago. The state has a law requiring utilities to acquire 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. When demand on Tuesday peaked at 5:54 p.m., nearly 29 percent of electricity in the grid was renewably sourced.

Cantwell pursues modern policy for modern grid

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 18th, 2016

Sen. Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is tapping into the nation’s scientific and engineering muscle for policy advice on how to build a cleaner, smarter electric grid.

Unsubsidized wind poised to become cost-competitive soon, report says

Source: By  Matthew Bandy, SNL • Posted: Monday, July 18th, 2016

Wind energy in the U.S. will become competitive with natural gas and other forms of electricity generation — without subsidies — by the middle of the next decade, just after the federal production tax credit for wind expires, according to a July 11 analysis from Macquarie Research. Reaching that milestone could make the U.S. the global center of the wind industry. “We believe the US is now the most attractive wind market in the world due to the increased visibility of demand in the long term,” the Macquarie analysts wrote. “We believe it supplants China, which has dominated wind demand over the last five years, and prior to that Europe, which was the key market a decade ago.”

Congress exits as September workload piles up

Source: Geof Koss, George Cahlink and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

Lawmakers decamped for their seven-week recess yesterday amid a growing pile of unfinished business that awaits them in September, which includes key energy and environment spending bills, a possible energy conference report, and measures to fight the Zika virus and address the lead crisis in Flint, Mich. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republicans of leaving for their national convention in Cleveland next week with a long to-do list, including funding for Zika and Flint, plus proposed gun control legislation and criminal justice reform.

Grid manager seeks multi-state system, touts GHG benefit

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

Expanding the system that powers California’s grid with utilities beyond the Golden State’s borders would allow for more renewable power and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the grid manager said yesterday. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages most of the state’s grid, released a series of reports it said prove the benefits of a multi-state system. They include lower costs for consumers, reducing fossil fuel usage over the long term, and sparing the land and water that are used to build large power plants.

Key Chinese researchers say GHGs will peak sooner than promised

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

The experts the Chinese government relies upon to advise on energy planning say the world’s largest emitter is on track to stop growing its greenhouse gas output as much as a decade earlier than promised. Jiang Kejun, a lead researcher at the Beijing-based Energy Research Institute, said on the sidelines of the 2016 U.S. Energy Information Administration conference this week in Washington, D.C., that current economic and policy trends meant China would “for sure” outperform its Paris pledge to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Missouri regulators reject portion of multistate power line

Source: BY MARGARET STAFFORD, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

Missouri regulators have again rejected the state’s portion of a power line that would carry wind energy from Kansas to Indiana, citing the company’s failure to provide the required 60-day notice before submitting its latest application. Immediately after the Missouri Public Service Commission announced its decision Tuesday, Houston-based Clear Line Energy Partners pledged to try a third time to win permission to build the Grain Belt Express line across northern Missouri.

Goverment Money Is Not a Silver Bullet for Cape Wind’s Offshore Project

Source: By Matthew Philips, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

The Department of Energy has given a $150 million loan guarantee to what could end up being the first offshore wind farm built in the U.S.—the Cape Wind project slated for construction in the middle of Nantucket Sound. While it’s certainly a nice chunk of money, Cape Wind had initially sought $500 million from the DOE. The loan is contingent on Cape Wind securing the total $2.6 billion in financing it needs. So far it has raised about half that.

Deepwater Wind Proposes Offshore Wind Power for New York’s Long Island

Source: By Swati Verma, Reuters • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

Privately held wind power developer Deepwater Wind has proposed supplying Long Island with 90 megawatts of offshore wind energy, the company said on Thursday. The 15-turbine project from Deepwater Wind, builder of the first offshore wind farm in the United States, would become the largest in the country when completed, the company said It said that depending on permitting, construction could start as early as 2019 with the project commencing operations in 2022.

Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Planned in New York Waters

Source: By Chris Martin, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016

The Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a 90 megawatt wind farm off the coast of New York that would become the largest in the U.S. when completed. Deepwater Wind LLC was selected to install 15 offshore turbines about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Montauk for a project that the utility’s board expects to approve at a meeting on July 20, said Sid Nathan, a spokesman for the state-owned utility, which is operated by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.