News

Clean Line makes new pitch for $2.8B Midwest wind power line

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

For the second time in three years, merchant transmission developer Clean Line Energy Partners LP is before Missouri utility regulators seeking approval for a $2.8 billion high-voltage transmission line to deliver Kansas wind energy to the East. In 2015, the Missouri Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to deny Houston-based Clean Line approval to build the 780-mile Grain Belt Express line, saying the company hadn’t established a need for it

Carbon tax debate exposed rift among Trump’s aides

Source: By Jeff Greenfield, Politico • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

When former Secretary of State James Baker and his allies came to the White House last month to pitch a carbon tax, they received a warm reception from Gary Cohn, one of the president’s top economic advisers. Six weeks later, the friendly meeting with advocates of the highly controversial policy proposal is still reverberating in the White House, underscoring the increasingly tense relationship between Cohn and Steve Bannon, Trump’s powerful chief strategist, who have staked out vastly different ideological approaches to West Wing matters.

80% of rooftops can hold solar — Google

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

The technology giant expanded its “Project Sunroof” program into all 50 states this month and found that nearly 80 percent of rooftops it assessed around the country are suitable for solar power. That doesn’t mean those 60 million buildings are likely to adopt panels — only that they technically can, according to Google.

Ohio HB 114 Renewable Energy Standards Bill Would Cripple Wind Industry, Says AWEA

Source: By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

According to the AWEA, wind power has generated nearly 3,000 jobs in the state and over $900 million in wind project investments — numbers that will only continue to grow if the renewable energy standards are left in place. When zooming out, neighboring states to Ohio have seen even greater investment figures, showcasing just how valuable the renewable energy standards could be for Ohio. Neighboring Michigan, which recently chose to expand its own renewable energy standards, has attracted a whopping $3 billion in private wind energy investment, while Indiana and Pennsylvania have seen $4 billion and $2.7 billion respectively.

Maine searches for opportunities in offshore wind power

Source: By Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

Gov. Paul LePage’s opposition to the cost of renewable energy has stalled Maine’s chances of developing an offshore wind power industry. But this month, his acting energy director went to England to learn about the economic development and government policies around offshore wind that are creating thousands of jobs and attracting billions of dollars in investment.

Trump adviser lists ‘conditions’ for staying in deal

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, March 24th, 2017

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), an energy adviser to President Trump, circulated a “dear colleague” letter to Republican House members that could give the White House cover to remain in the Paris Agreement. Cramer asked colleagues to sign a letter to Trump, which was obtained by E&E News, encouraging him to wring concessions out of international partners in exchange for staying in the landmark 2015 climate deal. They would include weaker emissions and aid commitments from the United States and more veto power in the negotiating process

Trump’s Environmental Spending Cuts Could Cost Republican Districts Billions

Source: By Christopher Flavelle, Blacki Migliozzi and Paul Murphy, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

President Donald Trump’s cuts to environmental programs may face resistance from members of his own party due to an Obama administration practice that spread billions of dollars in contracts to Republican as well as Democratic congressional districts. A Bloomberg analysis of federal contract data shows that spending related to the environment reached 423 congressional districts in fiscal year 2016 and totaled $5.9 billion. Almost half that spending—47 percent—went to districts represented by Republicans.

Joint Statement regarding the Clean Power Plan

Source: By the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California, and the Mayors of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles • Posted: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

“We will honor our commitments to our communities to do what’s right to keep our residents safe, secure, healthy and prosperous as we accelerate our clean energy economy and put the interest of our people before those of big polluters. We will continue to invest in clean energy that creates local jobs and keeps utility bills low, and we will electrify transportation to provide convenient, safe, and affordable ways to get around our cities, and make our neighborhoods healthy and vibrant.”

Big Oil Replaces Rigs With Wind Turbines

Source: By Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are moving into multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farms in the North Sea and beyond. They’re starting to score victories against leading power suppliers including Dong Energy A/S and Vattenfall AB in competitive auctions for power purchase contracts, which have developed a specialty in anchoring massive turbines on the seabed. The oil companies have many reasons to move into the industry. They’ve spent decades building oil projects offshore, and that business is winding down in some areas where older fields have drained. Returns from wind farms are predictable and underpinned by government-regulated electricity prices. And fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business as forecasts emerge that renewables will eat into their market.

Xcel ‘investing big’ in wind over 7 states

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Xcel Energy Inc. will undertake the nation’s largest multistate expansion of wind energy over the next five years, with 3,380 megawatts of new capacity expected to come online in seven states. The multibillion-dollar build-out will see wind energy account for nearly 35 percent of Xcel’s total generation capacity and solidify its status as the nation’s No. 1 utility provider of wind power. “We’re investing big in wind because of the tremendous economic value it brings to our customers,” Ben Fowke, Xcel’s chairman, president and CEO, said of the plan. “With wind energy at historic low prices, we can secure savings that will benefit customers now and for decades to come.”