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.

Battle over EPA ‘co-benefits’ rages after mercury ruling 

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The Supreme Court’s ruling this week that U.S. EPA should have considered the cost of its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards has reignited a debate about the agency’s practice of counting health “co-benefits” in justifying the economic impacts of its Clean Air Act rules. Industry maintains that practice double-counts health benefits for ancillary reductions of pollutants that aren’t the regulation’s focus. These co-benefits loom large in the proposed Clean Power Plan, which EPA predicts will lead to big reductions in soot and smog, curbing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates along with reducing heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

How a Conservative Billionaire Is Moving Heaven and Earth to Become the Biggest Alternative Energy Giant in the Country

Source: By GABRIEL KAHN, Pacific Standard • Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

At first, the renewable energy industry had a tough time grasping the scope of the plan. Roxane Perruso, the project’s general counsel, told me she went to an American Wind Energy Association convention where someone asked her how big the farm would be. Being modest, she responded that it was over 2,000 megawatts. “He put his hand on my shoulder, sighed, and said, ‘Oh, sweetheart, I think you’re confused— you must mean 200 megawatts.’” The property was like the Saudi Arabia of wind.

O’Malley: We can get all our energy from renewables

Source: By Martin O'Malley, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Last weekend, at a meeting in Sioux City, I was asked a question I’ve heard from people all across the state: As president, what would you do to support the investments we’re already making in Iowa on renewable energy? Iowans deserve a clear answer to that question from every candidate. Here’s mine: My administration would call for 100 percent of our energy to come from renewable sources by 2050.

Mich. Gov. Snyder, others see different pathways to cleaner energy future

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

When Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder presented his vision for the state’s energy future three months ago, he relied on a series of large, color-coded pie charts that could have been confused for supersized Trivial Pursuit game pieces. The charts showed a current energy portfolio dominated by dark gray wedges to reflect the 54 percent of the electric generation that comes from coal. Nearby were other charts providing a glimpse of the state’s fuel mix a decade out under different natural gas price scenarios. In each, the gray area had shriveled, the void filled by purple, green and blue pie pieces indicating cleaner energy sources

Mercury regs ruling emboldens Clean Power Plan critics, but few changes seen for utilities

Source: Emily Holden, Jeffrey Tomich and Edward Klump, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

U.S. EPA critics heralded a Supreme Court decision yesterday that the agency should have considered the compliance costs of its mercury standards for coal plants, saying the ruling is proof that states should refuse to comply with the agency’s Clean Power Plan until legal challenges play out. “While much of the damage of this regulation has already been done, the ruling serves as a critical reminder to every governor contemplating the administration’s demands to impose more regressive — and likely illegal — regulations that promise even more middle-class pain,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “Clearly, there is no reason to subject their states to such unnecessary pain before the courts have even had a chance to weigh in, especially if the Supreme Court simply ends up tossing the regulation out as we saw today.”