Operators spar over transmission line use before U.S. appeals court

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

  An Arkansas-based grid operator argued in federal court today that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to adequately review all evidence before allowing a competitor to use its transmission lines.Southwest Power Pool told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that FERC simply disregarded the case it presented before siding […]

G.E. Beats Expectations With Help of Industrial Units

Source: New York Times • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

G.E.’s aviation, oil and gas, transportation and home and business solutions divisions all had profit of more than 10 percent. The company’s power and water division, which had been hurt earlier in the year by lower sales of wind turbines, posted a 9 percent rise in profit. Health care grew 7 percent, but profit at the company’s energy management division declined by 57 percent.

Xcel wins OK to build 4 new wind farms

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Monday, October 21st, 2013

Xcel Energy is poised to move forward with plans to build four Upper Midwest wind farms, which would increase the company’s wind power capacity in the region by 42 percent.

Calif. adopts energy storage mandate for major utilities

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 18th, 2013

California today became the first state in the country to require utilities to invest in energy storage, a move that policymakers say will pave the way for increasing amounts of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions. The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to approve a proposal setting out biennial procurement targets for the state’s three major investor-owned utilities through 2020. In total, the three utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. — will have to buy 1.325 gigawatts of storage by 2020, an amount that would increase energy storage capacity worldwide by 50 percent, not counting energy stored behind hydroelectric dams. The ruling has separate carve-outs for technologies that store energy from generation connected to transmission and distribution lines, as well as customer-owned generation.

Nebraska Wind energy gains ground with OPPD purchase

Source: By ALGIS J. LAUKAITIS / Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Friday, October 18th, 2013

The Omaha Public Power District Board approved an agreement Thursday to buy up to 400 megawatts generated by a proposed wind farm near O’Neill. Under the 20-year-agreement, OPPD will purchase all of the renewable energy generated at the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, which will be built by Geronimo Energy of Edina, Minn. “This will be the largest wind purchase for us that we have had to date,” said OPPD spokesman Mike Jones. The wind farm will be located northeast of O’Neill and will have 235 turbines.

Statoil abandons DOE-backed offshore wind project in Maine

Source: E&E • Posted: Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Statoil ASA yesterday said it is pulling the plug on a planned offshore wind project off the coast of Maine. The move came after the state announced plans to reopen a competitive bidding process for offshore wind projects in the state’s waters, which Statoil had already completed. Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) administration opposed the project, and the governor signed legislation in July to allow the University of Maine to submit a bid for the project.

Supreme Court to review EPA greenhouse gas emissions permitting

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The Supreme Court today decided to review whether U.S. EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations for motor vehicles should have triggered permitting requirements for stationary sources of carbon pollution. Justices granted six of nine petitions asking the court to review a June 2012 appellate court ruling that upheld a suite of EPA greenhouse gas regulations. The court will not consider other issues, such as whether greenhouse gases endanger public health or the emissions standards for vehicles, instead limiting the case to EPA’s decision that its “tailpipe” rules triggered Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, permitting for stationary sources.

Maine Offshore Wind Project Abandoned After Norwegian Energy Company Scraps $120 Million Plans

Source: By ALANNA DURKIN, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Norwegian company Statoil announced on Tuesday that it was abandoning a proposed $120 million wind project off the coast of Maine, which industry officials once said could make Maine a leader in offshore wind power, after Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration maneuvered to reopen the competitive bidding process. The company said in a statement that changes in terms with the state and scheduling delays “made the project outlook too uncertain to proceed.” Statoil said it was focusing on a project in Scotland while continuing to explore the United States’ offshore wind market.

Oil Company Owner Publishes Concerns Over Wind Energy Line

Source: By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner) • Posted: Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

A Kansas oil company is going public with its concerns over a proposed wind energy transmission line. Kurt Mai, owner of Mai Oil in Russell, Kansas, took out a two-page ad in Monday’s Topeka Capital Journal newspaper. It spells out his concerns over the proposed Grain Belt Express line.

Nebraska utility criticized for wind energy vote

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen cited estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that show 200 megawatts of wind energy development would provide between $174 million and $328 million for Nebraska. “Nebraskans will miss this enormous economic development opportunity at a time when rural landowners and communities are hungry for these new revenue streams from new jobs and tax revenues,” Hansen said. “Harvesting Nebraska’s world class wind energy, ranked the third best in the nation, is a win-win for our economy and our environment.”