After three years of trying, Gov. Martin O’Malley has won approval of legislation that aims to spur construction of towering wind turbines off Maryland’s Atlantic coast. Now comes the hard part. Daunting regulatory, political and financial hurdles remain before a wind-driven power plant could be built in the water 10 to 20 miles from Ocean City. Even if all goes right, construction could be four to seven years away, industry and government experts say — long after O’Malley has left the State House.
The utility normally gets about 12 percent of its power from regional wind farms. But one night last month, the wind share hit nearly a third. Xcel Energy Inc., the nation’s No. 1 wind-power utility, said Tuesday it set a record for wind generation in the Upper Midwest.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Greg Vitali has introduced legislation that would increase the amount of electricity that the commonwealth’s utilities must obtain from wind power and other renewable energy sources. H.B.100 would amend the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act by requiring Pennsylvania utilities to obtain 15% of their power from renewable sources by 2023, compared to the current AEPS requirements of 4% by 2013 and 8% by 2021.
There was a telling moment just before Gov. Jay Inslee raised his right hand and took the oath of office. He was introduced as a politician who sees climate change as “an existential threat that transcends politics.” “More than any other president or governor before him, Jay has an electoral mandate on this issue,” Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, told a packed audience in the rotunda two months ago. If lawmakers did not grasp the significance of those remarks then, they do now.
The developer of what could become the nation’s first offshore wind farm today announced an agreement with a Japanese bank to help finance the multibillion-dollar project. Cape Wind Associates called the term sheet agreement with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) a “financing milestone” for the 468-megawatt, 130-turbine farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass.
An Iowa Senate subcommittee surprised utility groups and clean energy supporters alike earlier this month when it unanimously passed a bill that would establish a statewide feed-in tariff for small wind projects. It’s the first time the perennial proposal has ever been cleared for a full Senate vote.
Gov. Martin O’Malley achieved a long-sought victory Monday night as the General Assembly gave final approval to his bill to encourage development of a wind energy industry featuring dozens of giant turbines off the state’s Atlantic coast. Passage came quickly and quietly when the House of Delegates agreed without debate to relatively minor changes the Senate had made. The final vote was 88-48. The legislation now goes to O’Malley’s desk for his signature.
It took more than a decade for Cape Wind, a 468-megawatt offshore wind project destined for the Nantucket Sound, to find its way through an unfinished regulatory labyrinth of government permits and sign-offs. Now, with developments up and down the Eastern Seaboard paving the way for a raft of new offshore wind projects, regulators, analysts and a nascent industry are looking for ways to expedite the process.
Unless you’re talking about motherhood and apple pie, it’s nearly impossible to get 80 percent of voters to agree on anything. Well, you can add clean energy to the list. According to a poll released last month by Fallon Research, nearly 80 percent of Ohio voters support laws requiring the state to produce a portion of its electricity from clean energy sources like solar and wind.
Yesterday was another good day for Kansas and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) ensures that Kansans receive a certain percentage of renewable energy like wind and solar in their electricity mix, culminating in 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. Upon a second review, the House Energy and Environment Committee voted 10-9 to table House Bill 2241, which would have completely repealed the 20 percent target of the RPS.