McCarthy to face GOP grilling as panel takes up agency rules

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Questions will likely cover EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the agency’s final rule to change the scope of water bodies in the United States that receive automatic protection under the Clean Water Act and EPA’s review of the national ozone standard. McCarthy will be the sole witness.

Senate Democrats preparing own legislation

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The Democrats’ bill will build off last month’s letter to all 50 governors, in which 45 senators sought feedback on policies to spur clean energy investment, modernize infrastructure, reduce pollution and boost research funding, according to a spokeswoman for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

BP agrees to ‘game changer’ $18.7B settlement with states

Source: Annie Snider and Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2015

The $18.7 billion settlement agreement announced this morning for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill promises to set off an unprecedented effort to repair the Gulf of Mexico’s marshes, fisheries and deep sea corals, but it will be, at best, only a first step toward restoring the long-ailing ecosystem, the region’s environmentalists say.

Sacramento tops out at 107 degrees, driving peak electricity use

Source: BY ROBERT D. DÁVILA, Sacramento Bee • Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2015

The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s transmission grid, issued a Flex Alert on Tuesday calling for conservation. The ISO said demand for electricity was expected to peak on Tuesday at 44,700 megawatts – one of the highest levels of the year but still below the expected level of available supply. The Flex Alert was also expected to be in effect Wednesday. The alert Tuesday was the agency’s first heat-related warning since early July 2013, when the grid manager issued alerts on back-to-back days for Northern California, spokesman Steven Greenlee said.

Republican Governors Signal Their Intent to Thwart Obama’s Climate Rules

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT. New York Times • Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2015

As President Obama prepares to complete sweeping regulations aimed at tackling climate change, at least five Republican governors, including two presidential hopefuls, say they may refuse to carry out the rules in their states. The resistance threatens to ignite a fierce clash between federal and state authorities, miring the climate rules in red tape for years. The fight could also undermine Mr. Obama’s efforts to urge other nations to enact similar plans this year as part of a major United Nations climate change accord.

Clean Line transmission project in limbo after Mo. rejection

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2015

A developer’s plan to construct a wind energy superhighway across the Midwest hit a roadblock yesterday when Missouri regulators denied the company’s application. The Missouri Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to deny the $2.2 billion high-voltage transmission project, with the majority concluding that Clean Line Energy Partners LLC didn’t satisfy the criteria needed for approval. Commissioner Daniel Hall, one of two who voted in favor of the project, said he hoped the company would refile its application.

First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Powers Ahead

Source: By Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, July 6th, 2015

Beloved by locals and tourists for its soaring clay bluffs and unspoiled views, this small New England island is heading toward another distinction: home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Five towering windmills off the island’s southeast coast are scheduled to begin generating power late next year. The Block Island plan has moved ahead of the Cape Wind project, a much larger turbine farm planned in the waters off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, wind-energy experts said. A contract dispute with local utilities following a slew of legal fights has thrown that 14-year effort into question.

Dominion unveils new routes for huge power line through Prince William

Source: By Tom Jackman, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Mayor David Leake said Haymarket did not need the amount of electricity that the power line would bring to the town of 1,900. He said in a public meeting with Dominion that the utility acknowledged the six-mile, 230,000-volt line was “really for one customer, for one need.” That customer is Amazon, Candland said he confirmed after meeting with attorneys for Midwood, which owns property along John Marshall Highway across the street from a new Wal-Mart near Route 15. Amazon already operates one data center on Marshall Highway, and Candland said Prince William economic development officials had asked Midwood to include a data center and a Dominion substation in their proposal to develop property there.

One of Texas’ biggest winds farms is getting an upgrade

Source: By Jordan Blum, Houston Chroncile • Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The massive Notrees wind farm just west of Odessa will get a major battery system upgrade in order to help the state electric grid respond to when Texas are using the most energy. North Carolina-based Duke Energy said it will replace the wind farm’s lead acid battery storage system with lithium-ion technology in 2016 for better performance. Duke owns the Notrees Windpower Project that includes 95 wind turbines and generates 153 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 46,000 homes.

Vermont And Hawaii Set High Renewable Portfolio Standard Targets

Source: By U.S. Energy Information Administration  • Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Two states recently passed legislation that would require significant increases in renewable electricity generation. On June 8, Hawaii updated legislation setting a 100% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2045. On June 11, Vermont passed a bill creating a 75% RPS by 2032. Both of these RPS target percentages are higher than any other RPS target in the United States.