News

Christie official: N.J. has no plans to comply with climate rule

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

A top official to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told an environment advisory board gathered to discuss a federal climate change regulation that the state has no plans to comply.

John Giordano, assistant commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, took the floor midway through a daylong meeting of the 18-member state advisory group to reiterate the state’s opposition to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. New Jersey is one of 27 states suing to challenge the rule in court.

The plan: A rooftop solar project that can power 5,000 homes — and 500 L.A. jobs

Source: By Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

A Los Angeles developer announced plans Friday to build the nation’s largest rooftop solar array that supplies electricity directly into a city’s power grid. The project by developer PermaCity includes a 16.4-megawatt solar system — enough to power 5,000 L.A. homes — that the company will install on 2 million square feet of space on Westmont Drive buildings.

How Iowa Became the Nation’s Leader in Wind Energy

Source: By Kim Eckart, Yes! • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

“Any time you can say something is good for the farmer, you have a good chance of it passing.”

Maine governor vetoes solar energy bill after compromise talks fail

Source: BY TUX TURKEL STAFF WRITER, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a landmark solar energy bill Wednesday, after failed attempts by Democratic leadership to reach a compromise during extensive negotiations. Solar advocates now plan to press lawmakers to override the veto when they reconvene Friday. Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, the assistant majority leader, said a request by the governor to cap at a very low level the price that homeowners receive for solar power they generate was a deal breaker.

Wash. plans to regulate CO2 until feds step in

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

West Coast states are continuing work on how to mesh their power sectors with federal carbon regulations, with California and Washington releasing new details this week on how they expect generators to fare. Washington regulators said they plan to issue a new statewide carbon-capping proposal next month that would regulate power plants but allow them to come under federal regulation in the event that U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges.

Higher Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard Targets Likely to Boost Wind Power

Source: By U.S. EIA: Today in Energy • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

U.S. wind generation grew by 5.1% in 2015, the smallest annual increase since at least 1999, as weather patterns in the Western half of the United States lowered wind speeds and dampened wind generation during the first half of the year. The same weather patterns resulted in stronger winds in the central part of the country, where wind generation growth in 2015 was most pronounced.

Wind energy setting records in Minnesota

Source: By Paul Huttner, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

It’s not your imagination. It’s been windier than usual lately across Minnesota. April is the windiest month of the year on average in Minnesota. And this April our winds have blown harder than average. I had the pleasure of talking with University of Minnesota Professor and excellent MPR weather and climate contributor Mark Seeley during MPR’s Climate and Health event this week in Rochester, Minn.

Recapping Buffett’s Q&A: Climate change, Wind Energy, and Solar Energy–Excerpts

Source: By Russell Hubbard, Barbara Soderlin and Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald staff writers • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Despite spending his life in a public power state – Nebraska’s power generation has come from public utilities since the 1930s – Buffett said there’s a certain irony in that particular business model being not only a source of pride for the state, but also a source of cost. “The wind doesn’t start blowing at the Missouri River. That wind could be captured in Nebraska and so far it really hasn’t been,” Buffett said. The costs to Nebraska ratepayers – and others in states served by utilities with lesser renewable portfolios than BHE? Money from their bank accounts for higher rates in addition to potential jobs and economic development. Companies like Google and Facebook have planted server farms in Iowa because of that state’s share of renewable energy, Buffett said.

Spending bill impasse sparks Senate acrimony

Source: George Cahlink and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, April 29th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set another tentative procedural vote for 1:45 p.m. But leaders of both parties said nothing had changed since yesterday, when Democrats blocked an earlier effort to begin wrapping up debate. Another failed vote would leave the energy spending measure stalled as the Senate leaves tomorrow for a weeklong recess. It was the first test of a fragile accord among Senate leaders to try to pass as many spending bills as possible over the next 12 weeks.

Nebraska Eases Wind Power Regulations, Some Landowners Have Concerns

Source: by Ariana Brocious, NET News • Posted: Thursday, April 28th, 2016

For years Nebraska wind energy proponents have lamented the fact that the state lags so far behind its neighbors in producing wind power. Kansas and Iowa have installed four to five times the amount of wind energy capacity as Nebraska—even though Nebraska is consistently ranked among the top states for wind power potential. A new law seeks to change that. “It’s really a reduction of paperwork,” said Rich Lombardi, a lobbyist with the Wind Coalition, which represents wind developers and trade groups. Under the new law, private renewable energy developers no longer have to find a buyer for their power before they build the project, nor do they have to prove that their project won’t compete with other, more traditional energy sources (like a coal-fired power plant). Proponents say removing these regulatory hurdles will make Nebraska more competitive for wind development.