As North Carolina works on destroying its Renewable Portfolio Standard – the policy that’s catapulted it to US leadership – Google is showing how important renewables are to economic development there. Google is planning to expand its data center there, bringing its investment to $1.2 billion, and it wants renewable energy to power it.
Nebraskans looking for a reason why Facebook chose Iowa over the Cornhusker State for a $300 million data center might want to glance at the horizon. In Iowa, you’re much more likely to see a row of wind turbines spinning away.
After 18 months of courtship and competition, Iowa officials announced Tuesday that Facebook has selected a Des Moines suburb as the site for its next data center. The social media giant plans to break ground this summer in Altoona, Iowa, on a $300 million data center that could be the first of three facilities there. Much of the news coverage has focused on the $18 million in tax credits awarded by the state, but Facebook had another reason to “like” Iowa: wind power.
On a showery afternoon last week in West London, a ripple of enthusiasm went through the trading floor of CF Partners, a privately owned financial company. The price of carbon allowances, shown in green lights on a board hanging from the ceiling, was creeping up toward three euros. That is pretty small change — $3.90, or only about 10 percent of what the price was in 2008. But to the traders it came as a relief after the market had gone into free fall to record lows two days earlier, after the European Parliament spurned an effort to shore up prices by shrinking the number of allowances.
A Washington company intends to moor five wind turbines off the Oregon coast, and hopes the project dovetails with a separate proposal for liquefied natural gas.
Developers of what would be America’s biggest wind power transmission line have scaled back their initial plans to wheel so much electrical power from Texas and Oklahoma to the Tennessee Valley. But the Houston company proposing to build the 700-mile power line insists its $2 billion proposal — half the size of the original 2009 plan — still makes economic and environmental sense for TVA and other Southeastern utilities.
A bipartisan group of senators this week will resume its efforts to allow clean energy companies to take advantage of favorable tax rules that have benefited the fossil fuel industry for decades. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday will reintroduce the “Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act” with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), an aide said yesterday. Moran co-sponsored the bill last year. Murkowski is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Stabenow chairs a Finance Committee subpanel focused on energy tax issues.
Governor LePage has a habit of using false anecdotes to back up his policy positions. It started during his campaign and has continued throughout his time in office. He routinely makes up regulations that don’t exist, conversations that never happened and discriminatory practices that have never occurred. LePage has repeated some of these claims even after they have been proven to be false. What these lies have in common is that they all seem designed to highlight some extreme example of what LePage sees as wrong with the world and justify his policy prescriptions. If any of them were true, they would be very compelling.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today conditionally approved plans that grid operators in New York and California submitted to comply with the agency’s sweeping new transmission planning policies. But the agency exempted two smaller companies that operate relatively few power lines from the rules.
To every environmentalist who ever bad-mouthed Walmart for its big-box blandness and gigantic impervious parking lots, here’s some news: The retail behemoth is throwing its full economic muscle behind energy sustainability. Local utilities that don’t get on board with Walmart’s green energy programs could be left behind like an old, worn-out shopping center.