Coal-fired power, hit hard by natural gas, could see further market erosion from regulations — report

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 6th, 2013

s the largest power grid in North America, the Eastern Interconnection encompasses 39 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and the District of Columbia. Some 84 percent of all U.S. coal-fired capacity falls within its jurisdiction. Given the Eastern Interconnection’s lion-sized role in hosting the flow of coal-fired electrons in the United States, the findings of a recent report by the consultancy ICF International are unlikely to bring much comfort to the nation’s faltering coal industry. The report, commissioned by the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), finds few challenges to natural gas’s current price advantage within current market or regulatory conditions.

Va.’s largest utility leases offshore wind property to diversify its portfolio

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 6th, 2013

The auction garnered praise from environmental groups and industry leaders. Oceana’s vice president for U.S. oceans, Jacqueline Savitz, said in a statement that the auction was “further proof that the Obama administration is committed to building a strong offshore wind industry in the United States.” Chris Long, offshore wind and siting policy manager for the American Wind Energy Association, called it “an important milestone in efforts to launch the offshore wind industry in the United States.”

DOE study finds wind farms have no economic impact on neighbors

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 5th, 2013

A new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that wind farms have no measurable effect on real estate prices in communities where turbines are built within 10 miles of homes. But the analysis, prepared for the Energy Department’s Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, is unlikely to quell ongoing debate over wind farms’ effects on property values, especially at the local level.

Dominion snatches up lease off Va.

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Dominion Virginia Power today was declared the preliminary winner of the Interior Department’s second competitive lease sale for offshore wind after outbidding one other company for the right to develop a 113,000-acre area off the coast of Virginia Beach.

White House hosts large meeting on eagle permitting for wind farms

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The White House last week gathered about two dozen of its top environmental officials, outside conservationists and renewable energy leaders to discuss a controversial rule designed to protect eagles while promoting wind energy development. The meeting last Wednesday included White House climate change adviser Heather Zichal, American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark and National Audubon Society President David Yarnold, according to a meeting notice by the White House.

With Obama in Stockholm, U.S. and Sweden issue joint statement on carbon

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 5th, 2013

President Obama marked his visit to Sweden today with a joint statement by both countries highlighting the importance of climate change and low-carbon energy technology. The statement by Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt called climate change and its consequences “defining challenges of our time.”

Exploiting and exporting Iowa’s excess wind energy

Source: By Loren Gaylord Flaugh, Correspondent, Cherokee Chronicle Times • Posted: Thursday, September 5th, 2013

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) presided over an informational meeting with Rock Island Clean Line, perhaps 200 O’Brien County landowners and other interested people at the Hartley Community Center on August 20, 2013. The meeting provided information to landowners along a proposed long-distance transmission line. After an opening presentation from Jim Sundermeyer with the IUB, Rock Island Director of Development Hans Detweiler presented an overview of the 3,000 megawatt (MW), 600,000 volt direct current wind energy transmission (HVDC) line from O’Brien County to Grundy County, IL, a 500-mile distance. The project’s estimated cost is $2 billion. Clean Line is developing three similar HVDC projects.

113,000 acres off Virginia coast up for auction for wind energy

Source: By Tamara Dietrich, Daily Press • Posted: Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction nearly 113,000 federal acres off the coast of Virginia Wednesday to develop a commercial wind farm that experts say could one day supply enough clean energy to power about 700,000 homes.

Burt County, Nebraska Wind: Small wind farm project with big ambitions

Source: By ALGIS J. LAUKAITIS / Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Some small towns and counties dream of having wind turbines to provide clean, renewable energy and as a hedge against high electric bills. Few take the initiative to try to make their dream a reality. Burt County Wind LLC may be the exception.

Solar and wind energy to be cost competitive by 2025, report finds

Source: By Joao Peixe, Christian Science Monitor • Posted: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NERL) has released a study, called ‘Beyond Renewable Portfolio Standards: An Assessment of Regional Supply and Demand Conditions Affecting the Future of Renewable Energy in the West’, which predicts that wind and solar electricity generation installations will become cost-competitive, without the help of federal subsidies, by 2025. Several states in the western US have set up standard requirements needed for developing a renewable portfolio, which will be the primary drivers of any large scale expansions in wind, solar, and geothermal power generation capacity.