Litigation 101

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

All the lawsuits taking aim against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan have been filed. Now the action begins. The case against U.S. EPA’s rule to curb greenhouse gases from power plants is shaping up as one of the biggest environmental law battles of all time. Nearly 150 opponents — including 27 states, industries and labor groups — rushed to attack the rule with more than 50 separate lawsuits that will all be linked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On the opposite side, 18 states, cities, greens and industry groups have jumped in to defend the agency’s signature climate rule.

SolarCity to stop sales in Nevada after rate change

Source: By Michelle Rindels, The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

SolarCity said last week it will stop selling and installing rooftop solar panels in Nevada after energy regulators decided to change the way solar customers are charged for utility service.
SolarCity Corp. issued a statement saying the Nevada Public Utilities Commission”effectively shut down” the rooftop solar industry with Tuesday’s decision, which is expected to raise rates over a five-year period for so-called net metering customers. That includes about 17,000 Nevada customers with solar panels who sell excess energy from their solar systems to NV Energy.

Fighting Climate Change With One of the World’s Largest Solar Power Plants

Source: By Jonathan Blaustein, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Mr. Stillings’s primary goal as an artist was to put forth a vision of the way things might improve, with clean energy technology, ingenuity and collective action. Given how much information exists about the potential for cataclysm, he wanted to focus on positive change. “I have a lot of concerns,” he said. “I would like to not think I am going to leave a legacy for my children, and other people’s children, that is fraught with danger and with unintended consequences of our selfishness, our greed and our neglect.”

When Offshore Wind Dominated Renewable Energy News In 2015

Source: By  Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The year 2015 was a strong one for renewables, but maybe more so for none other than the world’s offshore wind industry. “It has taken the offshore wind industry just six months to set the best year the sector has ever seen in terms of installed capacity,” said Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer, EWEA. “While this clearly shows a commitment to offshore wind development in Europe, a number of completed projects, explosive growth in Germany and the use of higher capacity wind turbines are major contributors to these numbers.”

Developer wants more time to save troubled Calif. project

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

A Spanish renewable energy developer is trying to save a proposed utility-scale solar power project in California that has been in the works for nearly a decade but is threatened by the company’s pending bankruptcy. Abengoa Solar late yesterday filed a petition with the California Energy Commission (CEC) seeking more time to transfer ownership of the proposed 500-megawatt Palen Solar Electric Generating System project to a subsidiary of San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy Inc.

State regulators reject appeal of Grain Belt Express approval

Source: By Tim Landis, State Journal-Register • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

A court fight now seems likely after Illinois regulators declined to reconsider approval of a high-voltage transmission line that would cross portions of nine central Illinois counties. The Illinois Commerce Commission filed notice last week rejecting appeals from a group of landowners for another round of hearings on the proposed Grain Belt Express power line. Commissioners initially approved the Illinois section of the project on a 3-2 vote in November. The $2 billion project would carry power from a Kansas wind farm across Missouri and Illinois to Indiana. Illinois, Kansas and Indiana regulators have approved Grain Belt Express, while the project was rejected in Missouri.

Stars were aligned for exports, renewables deal

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, January 4th, 2016

Could Congress do it again? With the president’s signature barely dry on a historic legislative compromise giving both parties major energy wins, pundits and Capitol Hill staffers this week said it’s tough to assess whether the agreement lifting the crude oil exports ban and extending key renewable tax credits for five years was a one-off event or a formula for bipartisan success going forward.

The budget bill will unleash wind and solar. Here’s what that means for the climate

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, January 4th, 2016

Who would have imagined that the U.S. would be moving, in a bipartisan way, to advance its climate policy and clean energy goals less than a week after the Paris agreement? And yet in the budget deal , Democrats traded a lifting of the oil export ban for an extension of much-desired tax credits for wind and solar.

Virginia governor sets 3-year solar energy objectives

Source: By The Washington Post • Posted: Monday, January 4th, 2016

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that Virginia must use solar energy to help power state government. As a way to jump start the solar industry in the commonwealth, McAuliffe said state office buildings will derive 8 percent of their energy from solar sources in the next three years. The utility giant Dominion Virginia Power will generate 75 percent of the solar energy, some of which will come from panels installed on state property.

Reid vows 2016 fix for tax glitch

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, January 4th, 2016

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to revisit the extension of a key tax credit in the omnibus spending deal that also lifted the ban on crude oil exports, saying it was “inadvertently” applied only to solar, when other renewables should have received the same treatment. Under the agreement, the 30 percent investment tax credit was extended for five years, with its value shrinking in 2020 and 2021. The phaseout language was also included in the five-year extension of the renewable production tax credit, which is most commonly associated with wind