n experimental offshore wind turbine being developed by a University of Maine-led consortium has won a $3.7 million federal award, Maine’s two U.S. senators will announce Monday, reviving ambitions that the state could be the home of a floating, deep-water wind farm and a new clean-energy industry. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King learned last week that the Department of Energy is committing the additional money to the Maine Aqua Ventus project.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) is arguably the Democratic governor in the toughest spot as he tries to comply with the Clean Power Plan without harming his state’s economy. Bullock’s state faces significant emissions reductions under the plan. Other states also face strong targets but are controlled by Republicans who may have opposed the plan anyway. Bullock has said the plan is unfair to Montana but is still necessary at the national level.
Energy policy in the nation is evolving, and state commissions need to lead the change, rather than stand in the way of progress. The federal Clean Power Plan establishes emission rate goals for each state. The power sector is the nation’s largest source of carbon emissions, which are contributing to global climate change. In the short term, it’s easy to understand why farmers may not want wind turbines whipping up the air over their land and changing life as they know it. But if rural landowners in Missouri don’t give a little and embrace ways to save the Earth from global warming, more than farming as they know it could be at stake.
The Senate yesterday voted for two resolutions that would kill U.S. EPA’s carbon rules for power plants, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change agenda. Both the resolution to block the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants and the resolution to block the agency’s rule for new power plants passed by a vote of 52-46.
Proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions. At the summit meeting in Paris beginning Nov. 30 and sponsored by the United Nations, Mr. Obama will try to broker a historic accord that would commit every nation to policies to halt climate change. The strength of the American position at the talks lies in the enactment of the emission-curbing E.P.A. rule — the first major climate change policy put forth by the United States. By voting to block the rule, lawmakers want to telegraph to the world that Congress does not back the president’s climate pledges. The House is expected to pass a companion resolution by early December, forcing a veto just as the negotiations in Paris are beginning.
Texas can thank record wind output for a slump in power prices to the lowest in five years. On-peak power at the North hub, which includes Dallas, slid $4.08, or 23 percent, to $13.51 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 4 p.m. local time from Nov. 13, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s headed toward the lowest full-day average since at least Nov. 9, 2010.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a construction permit for a 103-megawatt wind farm about 10 miles northeast of Newell. The Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility to be built by Wind Quarry LLC will include 45 wind turbines and will interconnect to a 115-kilovolt transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. Construction of the wind farm and substation could begin next month, and the farm could be operational as early as December 2017.
MidAmerican Energy says it’s building the tallest land-based wind turbine in the nation in southern Iowa.
The Des Moines-based power company will get the added height by building the wind turbine tower from concrete instead of steel, a first for the company. The extra 100-plus feet enables the turbine to capture more wind energy, the utility said. “Generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the greater the wind resource available,” said Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of renewable energy.
Environmental groups are waging an all-out campaign against the latest congressional attempts to kill the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, launching ads and polls this week in support of the carbon rule. As part of that effort, the Sierra Club will unveil print and digital ads Sunday urging Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to reject Congressional Review Act resolutions that would block U.S. EPA’s finalized rule to reduce emissions at new and existing power plants.
World leaders have vowed to go forward with a summit in Paris in two weeks, where they’ll be hashing out a much-anticipated agreement to combat climate change. And among the heads of state and dignitaries, you’ll also see California’s Governor Jerry Brown. Brown will be making the case that what California does matters to the rest of world. He’s been spearheading a separate international agreement to cut emissions – not with other countries, but among regional governments like states and provinces.