U.S. wind energy output breaks records, thanks to transmission upgrades and new wind development

Source: American Wind Energy Association • Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014

Wind energy is breaking records across the U.S., thanks to long-needed transmission upgrades that are relieving congestion on the power grid and allowing more clean energy to reach consumers. Last week, a new record was set on the main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), reaching over 10,000 MW of wind. This was the most ever for a U.S. power system, the equivalent of powering more than five million average Texas homes.

Lawmakers seek wind energy development in Nebraska

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, April 6th, 2014

An effort to encourage more wind energy development in Nebraska hit a roadblock this session, but some Nebraska lawmakers are determined to capitalize on the state’s wind potential. Despite Nebraska’s strong potential for wind, the state has had difficulty getting major wind development because of a lack of significant tax incentives and the public power structure with a mandate for low-cost energy.

Poll shows majority of Americans support alternative energy over fossil fuels

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 4th, 2014

A majority of Americans favor alternative energy over fossil fuels and support energy conservation policies, a new poll shows. According to a Gallup poll released yesterday, 64 percent of Americans prefer wind, solar and other alternative energy sources over oil, coal and gas — a 5 percent increase from 2013.

With extenders package through committee, Wyden sees ‘springboard’ to reform

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 4th, 2014

The Finance Committee this afternoon wrapped up what its chairman hopes will be the last session it will convene on the tangle of technically temporary but regularly renewed tax incentives collectively known as extenders. Now, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is encouraged that this exercise will provide a “springboard” to consider a full overhaul of the tax code in the next couple of years. However, he first needs the extenders bill to make it through the full Senate and House, where it is likely to encounter more resistance than during this afternoon’s markup, which ended with a nearly unanimous voice vote in favor of renewing the 50 expired or expiring extenders.

Committee clears extenders bill with renewable energy, efficiency incentives

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 4th, 2014

en. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) put a greener tint on his package of temporary tax breaks this morning, adding key renewable electricity and efficiency credits to the slate, but he stopped short of considering several tangential proposals, including one to expand the scope of an existing solar energy tax credit and another to encourage natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Exxon Mobil asserts low-carbon regulations won’t happen

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

“The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action,” William Colton, Exxon Mobil’s vice president of corporate strategic planning, said in a statement announcing the reports. Environmentalists welcomed the first-of-its-kind acknowledgement by a major petroleum company that climate change poses real and immediate challenges to the firm’s prospects. But they were less sanguine about the company’s vision for what the global energy sector will look like in 2040.

Facebook, Google praised for ‘going green’ in Iowa

Source: Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

“In the U.S., there are now nine states that are getting 10 percent or more of their electricity from wind power, with Iowa (25 percent) — a data center hub — topping the list,” the group said. In Iowa, Google has invested $1.5 billion in data center operations in Council Bluffs. Facebook is building a $300 million data center in Altoona that’s expected to grow to $1 billion, and Microsoft has invested nearly $900 million in West Des Moines. West Des Moines is expected to draw another large data center project, with an assessed taxable value of $255 million, city documents indicated last month.

The Senate Finance Committee will mark up the tax extenders package in the morning.

Source: The • Posted: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

The surprising exclusion drew attention from wind energy’s supporters on and off Capitol Hill. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) proposed an amendment to renew the PTC, drawing support from other members and the wind energy industry. A committee aide said to expect the PTC in that is passed Thursday in the committee.

Hoyer confronts ‘Greek tragedy’ during Annapolis homecoming

Source: Josh Kurtz, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Hoyer appeared at a state Senate Finance Committee hearing to speak in favor of a bill that would delay a proposed wind turbine project on farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, near the Chesapeake Bay. Hoyer led a parade of political and civic leaders expressing fears that the wind farm could impede critical radar testing across the bay at Patuxent River Naval Air Station — and thus jeopardize the entire existence of the naval base, the economic driver for southern Maryland.

Grid seeing ‘greatest fuel shift in its history’ — operators

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Excess generation will narrow and energy prices could become more volatile as more gas is used to produce electricity, said Kormos, who works for PJM — a grid operator that oversees the energy system in 13 states and the District of Columbia. “The electric power industry is in the midst of the greatest fuel shift in its history, and the PJM wholesale energy markets are managing through the transition,” he said