Wind energy a winning issue for candidates this fall

Source: By Tom Kiernan, Roberta Combs and Michele Combs, The Hill • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Many Americans don’t realize how much wind power reliably contributes to U.S. energy independence today. And any Republican or Democrat running for election this fall should pay attention to wind’s rapid growth. Especially since recent polling data show that as wind power grows, so does U.S. voter support for it.Strong voter support for wind wouldn’t be surprising when you consider that by tripling in size over the last several years, American wind power now supports a record-high 88,000 jobs across all 50 states. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics also recently reported that wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the U.S.

N.Y. issues plan to speed offshore wind development

Source: Peter Behr, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

New York state officials yesterday announced an Offshore Wind Blueprint laying out plans to accelerate commercial wind power off the south shore of Long Island and New York City. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will lead the state’s effort to create offshore wind energy resources in a 16,740-square-mile area 12 miles offshore. NYSERDA will compete in an auction for development rights that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to hold by the end of this year. Several private wind farm developers have also declared preliminary interest in bidding.

Most States on Track to Meet Emissions Targets They Call Burden

Source: By Nichola Groom and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

The 27 states challenging Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court say the lower emissions levels it would impose are an undue burden. But most are likely to hit them anyway. Already, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota appear to be meeting the CPP’s early targets. And changes in the power market, along with policies favoring clean generation, are propelling most of the rest toward timely compliance, according to researchers, power producers and officials, as well as government filings reviewed by Reuters.

Clean Energy Won Big. So Where’s the Party?

Source: By Eric Roston & Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

In 2015, the wind industry signed more than 2.3 gigawatts of contracts with corporate buyers, in 20 deals. This year through August, it had signed 631 megawatts, in nine deals. Solar, meanwhile, has slowed from 726 megawatts contracted across 11 deals last year to 163 megawatts across three deals, according to 2016 data through August from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Many companies that signed those deals in 2015 were afraid that there wouldn’t be a tax credit again,” said Jacob Susman, vice president and head of origination at EDF Renewable Energy. “That’s a big reason why 2015 was so big.” Hannah Hunt, a research analyst at AWEA, called it “a remarkable period of stability.”

William Holmberg, decorated Marine who became renewable energy advocate, dies at 88

Source: By Bart Barnes, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

After his military retirement in 1970, Col. Holmberg joined the Environmental Protection Agency. He had grown up in Washington state amid the vegetable fields and fruit orchards and felt a renewed sensitivity to protect the planet about seeing the waste and devastation of war, his family said. He spent many years directing the Energy Department’s Office of Alcohol Fuel, where he began championing ethanol as a sustainable, alternative energy source. He also worked on the staff of Sen. Ben Nelson (R-Neb.) and managed associations promoting solar and wind energy initiatives as well as legislative support for environmental measures.

Washington adopts first-of-its-kind rule to combat climate change

Source: By Washington Department of Ecology • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

In an effort to protect all that Washington has to offer future generations, the Washington Department of Ecology is launching a new plan to combat climate change. After months of stakeholder meetings, and public review and input, Ecology today adopted a first-of-its-kind clean air rule that caps and reduces carbon pollution. “Today marks a watershed moment in our country’s history,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “We are taking leadership under our clean air act, adopting a strong and practical plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and doing our fair share to tackle climate change.”

NY releases ‘blueprint’ for developing wind energy plan

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

New York’s energy agency has released a “blueprint” for developing the Offshore Wind Master Plan described by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State address, saying the plan will come out at the end of 2017. The 24-page document released Thursday by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority says the state is examining a 16,740-square-mile area off the Atlantic coast for potential wind project sites.

Senate, House panels probe solar firms

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

The companies receiving the letters were SunEdison Inc., Abengoa SA, NextEra Energy Inc., NRG Energy Inc., SolarCity Corp., Sunrun Inc. and Sungevity Inc. They are a sample of firms under committee investigation, sources said. The Senate Finance Committee has been examining billions of dollars in green energy incentives — including the 1603 program and investment tax credits — out of concerns that the Treasury Department and IRS lack adequate controls over cash distributions.

House bill would extend investment tax credits

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

A new bill from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) would extend the investment tax credits for offshore wind until 2026. The bill is a companion to S. 3036, which Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced in June. Both bills aim to extend the tax credit beyond its current expiration in 2019. In a statement, Langevin said that deadline is too soon, making it unlikely that any additional wind projects will qualify before the cutoff.

Experts ponder whether Supreme Court will have ultimate say

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

“The D.C. decision is very consequential. I’m not all convinced that the Supreme Court will take it up,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) said yesterday at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by the conservative Federalist Society. But if the high court does take up the Clean Power Plan, attorneys are mining past cases for hints as to where the justices will fall. Both sides have found prior decisions that they think the justices can lean on in deciding the case.