The governors asked the President to expedite deployment of offshore wind, stating that it is “an abundant source of renewable energy located near some of our nation’s largest cities and areas of electricity demand.” However, as they noted, the US has only one project off the coast of Rhode Island that recently completed construction and will be placed in service later this year. Europe currently has 11 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind installed. “A new US offshore wind sector could create thousands of jobs in businesses ranging from R&D and engineering to manufacturing and marine construction,” they said.
The US government expects to publish a final sale notice in January 2017 for a 1.5GW commercial wind lease area off North Carolina. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) anticipates an auction will follow in March for the 122,405-acre Kitty Hawk zone, located some 24 nautical miles from shore. The bidding will start at $244,800.
The federal appeals court in Washington is set to hear arguments today in the legal fight over President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the Clean Power Plan, which aims to slow climate change by reducing power-plant emissions by one-third.
The Commission on Presidential Debates last week released a list of three “topics” for tonight’s showdown at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., with two 15-minute segments allotted each to “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America.” It did not offer any other information about the selected subject areas. The lack of an energy-specific heading doesn’t mean the candidates cannot raise those policies on their own — President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney did so repeatedly in their first matchup in Denver in the 2012 election, sparring on tax benefits to the oil and gas industry and domestic production.
Schwarzenegger, and now his successor, Gov. Jerry Brown (D), have made a point of signing agreements with dozens of other state and provincial governments to reduce carbon emissions. Brown’s marquee international effort, the Under 2 MOU (memorandum of understanding), now has 135 signatories committed to limiting emissions to 2 tons per capita by 2050.
Yield-hungry investors in the offshore wind market are switching their sights to the United States as future support for the industry in Europe remains uncertain, leaving billions of euros looking for a new home. The shift in focus comes as three states on the U.S. east coast — Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — are auctioning leases on hundreds of thousands of acres for offshore wind farms, drawing interest from leading European companies.
At the beginning of the year, the state had about 1 megawatt of solar power generation. But this year already, Enerparc Inc., an Oakland, California, firm, opened a 3.6-megawatt solar farm on 22 acres along Interstate 80 that generates power for customers of Lincoln Electric System. A rural public power district in Broken Bow will be buying power from four small solar gardens at ranches capable of producing 1.5 megawatts.
The state’s prominence in the industry can be seen in an array of statistics. Oklahoma currently ranks No. 4 in the nation in terms of installed wind power capacity, with potentially enough projects coming online by the end of the year to take the No. 3 spot from California, behind Texas (No. 1) and Iowa (No. 2).
Minneapolis-based electricity and natural gas company Xcel Energy is now seeking proposals to significantly grow its wind energy portfolio by adding enough new wind farms to power more than 750,000 homes, bringing up to 1,500 MW of new wind power to Xcel Energy customers.
After installing more wind and solar farms than anywhere else on the planet, China is ratcheting back the pace of growth in an industry that’s helped lower the costs of green energy worldwide. Installations of new wind and solar farms in China is expected to drop 11 percent in 2017 from a record high this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That would be the first decline in the history of the modern renewables business, now a little more than a decade old, for a nation that has provided about a third the investment for the industry.