News

Wind farm developers accept Maryland’s terms to move forward with projects off Ocean City

Source: By Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun • Posted: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The developers of two wind farms planned off the coast of Ocean City are moving forward with their projects, accepting terms Maryland regulators laid out earlier this month in allowing them to collect subsidies from the state’s electricity customers. Deepwater Wind and U.S. Wind have both notified the Public Service Commission that they have agreed to invest a collective $115 million in manufacturing facilities and port upgrades around Sparrows Point in southeastern Baltimore County, and to contribute $6 million to a state offshore wind business development fund.

Massachusetts prepares for wind energy

Source: Jan Ellen, Yale Climate Connections • Posted: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Off-shore wind energy is common in Europe. It’s never taken off in the U.S. But now Massachusetts is changing that. The state will soon request competitive bids for off-shore wind development – at sites 14 miles or more from Martha’s Vineyard. Bill White, the Director of Offshore Wind at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, says the location is perfect. White: “The wind speed in the northeast and off the coast of Massachusetts is some of the best wind speeds in the world. And they’re constant, and they’re consistent, which is important for power development.”

White House adviser differs with coal-loving president

Source: By Matthew Daly, Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The president’s chief economic adviser is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it “doesn’t really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” directly contradicting President Donald Trump’s repeated promises to revive the struggling coal industry. Briefing reporters Thursday night on Air Force One, Gary Cohn singled out natural gas as “such a cleaner fuel.” By exporting more natural gas and investing in wind and solar energy, the U.S. “can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly,” Cohn said

U.S. May Put Emergency Tariffs on Solar Imports

Source: By Tom Miles, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The United States has notified the other 163 members of the World Trade Organization that it is considering putting emergency “safeguard” tariffs on imported solar cells, according to a WTO filing published on Monday. The move raises the stakes in a global battle to dominate the solar power industry, which has grown explosively in the past five years. As production has increased, prices have tumbled, favoring producers who can take advantage of economies of scale. The United States, China and India are vying to be the market leader, and are looking out for any perceived breach of the international trade rules by their rivals.

The Energy 202: Trump administration has new energy buzzword

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

In the Trump administration, “energy dominance” has replaced “energy independence” as the go-to phrase for describing the federal government’s broad energy goals — in President Trump’s case, to promote as much oil, gas and coal development as possible. For years, if there was anything both Republicans and Democrats could agree on regarding energy policy (or at least the way they talked about energy policy), it was that the U.S. needed to be “energy independent.”

Abu Dhabi closes $872 million financing for world’s largest solar plant

Source: By Stanley Carvalho, Reuters • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

Abu Dhabi’s government-owned power utility has closed a 3.2 billion dirham ($872 million) financing package for what will be the world’s largest solar power plant, the utility’s top official said on Wednesday. Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) raised $650 million in debt with the remaining $222 million raised in equity, Director General Saif Saleh al-Sayari told reporters.

Xcel CEO surprised by wind’s market power

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

As head of the nation’s No. 1 utility provider of wind energy, Xcel Energy Inc.’s Ben Fowke is practiced at selling the virtues of wind power to customers and policymakers alike. But in an admission yesterday to industry officials gathered in Anaheim, Calif., Fowke said he didn’t always believe that wind power could meet more than a third of his company’s power portfolio, as it is projected to do by 2021. “Ten years ago, I would never have been comfortable with the amount of wind we have on our system today,” Fowke said at a session at Windpower 2017, the national conference of the American Wind Energy Association.

Solar giants join forces in quest for tariffs, survival

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

SolarWorld Americas is joining Suniva’s advocacy in favor of solar tariffs, putting most of the U.S. solar manufacturing industry’s heft behind a plan that could start a global trade war. Previously, SolarWorld had said it would stay out of Suniva’s petition to the International Trade Commission to enact tariffs. Suniva, which filed for bankruptcy last month, said it couldn’t compete in the U.S. solar manufacturing industry because of a flood of cheap cells primarily from Asia.

EPA has early draft of rollback of Clean Power Plan

Source: Emily Holden, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

U.S. EPA has drafted the initial rulemaking for rescinding the Clean Power Plan and is developing a related economic analysis, according to an administration official with knowledge of the documents. The regulatory language, known as a “preamble,” is focused on the legal justification for nixing President Obama’s greenhouse gas standards for power plants.

Pruitt Unsure If EPA Will Replace Clean Power Plan

Source: By Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult • Posted: Friday, May 26th, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Wednesday the agency may not replace the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas-cutting Clean Power Plan, which the Trump administration is reviewing. The rule was a cornerstone of former President Barack Obama’s actions on climate change and drew criticism from conservatives, including Pruitt, who said it would hurt the economy. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt was involved in the lawsuit against the plan, which led the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a stay on it; he has recused himself from the lawsuit when he came to the EPA.