The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a construction permit for a 103-megawatt wind farm about 10 miles northeast of Newell. The Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility to be built by Wind Quarry LLC will include 45 wind turbines and will interconnect to a 115-kilovolt transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. Construction of the wind farm and substation could begin next month, and the farm could be operational as early as December 2017.
MidAmerican Energy says it’s building the tallest land-based wind turbine in the nation in southern Iowa.
The Des Moines-based power company will get the added height by building the wind turbine tower from concrete instead of steel, a first for the company. The extra 100-plus feet enables the turbine to capture more wind energy, the utility said. “Generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the greater the wind resource available,” said Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of renewable energy.
Environmental groups are waging an all-out campaign against the latest congressional attempts to kill the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, launching ads and polls this week in support of the carbon rule. As part of that effort, the Sierra Club will unveil print and digital ads Sunday urging Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to reject Congressional Review Act resolutions that would block U.S. EPA’s finalized rule to reduce emissions at new and existing power plants.
World leaders have vowed to go forward with a summit in Paris in two weeks, where they’ll be hashing out a much-anticipated agreement to combat climate change. And among the heads of state and dignitaries, you’ll also see California’s Governor Jerry Brown. Brown will be making the case that what California does matters to the rest of world. He’s been spearheading a separate international agreement to cut emissions – not with other countries, but among regional governments like states and provinces.
Two resolutions that would scuttle the Obama administration’s carbon rules for power plants are on the Senate schedule and could see a vote as early as this week, the sponsors of the measures said yesterday evening. The resolutions would kill U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from existing power plants and the agency’s rule for reducing emissions from new or modified plants. Under the Congressional Review Act, they require a simple majority for passage in the Senate.
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged governors nationwide to “just say no” to U.S. EPA’s new carbon emissions rules earlier this year, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) offered what he called a “thoughtful” response publicly declining the Republican’s suggestion. Now he admits that he that he just couldn’t help trolling the Kentucky senator.
The line, used to access wind power harnessed in Kansas, has generated strong opinions. Sentiment at public meetings in the region has often been hostile, especially from affected landowners. But business, labor unions and consumer advocacy groups have come out strongly in favor of the project, billed as funneling $700 million of investment into Illinois and creating 1,500 jobs.
The commissioners said Houston-based Clean Line, a merchant transmission developer, didn’t qualify as a public utility at the time it submitted its application in April and shouldn’t have been allowed to use the faster approval process. However, del Valle in particular noted support of Clean Line’s goal to move wind energy from remote southwest Kansas to population centers farther east in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Climate change will continue to be a significant issue that will affect all of us,” del Valle said. “I fully support the goal of building infrastructure of moving renewable generation from sparsely populated areas which are rich in wind resources to areas with larger loads and higher prices.”
Coal: Can’t live with it and can’t live without it — at least not yet. It is the biggest source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that negotiators around the world hope to limit in an agreement to be thrashed out in Paris next month. Demand for coal is leveling off, but it will remain a key energy source for decades, no matter how many billions of dollars of investment go into cleaner energy like wind and solar. Too much of the world depends on it now for heating and power generation for us to suddenly live without it.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Friday that the Obama administration’s “all of the above” approach to energy sources means it seeks to reduce carbon dioxide from the energy sector.
Moniz sought to clarify the “all of the above” policy, saying that while certain energy sources such as wind and solar have no carbon emissions, the administration is truly committed to all forms of energy, including fossil fuels. “We say ‘all of the above,’ but let me be very clear: ‘all of the above’ starts out with a commitment to low carbon,” Moniz said Friday at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event.