Gas, renewables dominated new generation last year 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

Natural gas and renewables made up the bulk of new generation that came online last year, according to a report the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released today. Fifty-nine gas-fired units — almost 7,500 megawatts — were the largest addition to the grid last year, followed by more than 4,000 MW of wind and a little more than 3,000 MW of solar capacity, according to FERC staff’s findings.

U.S. Wind Power Quadruples in 2014 as Texas Leads Installations

Source: By Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

Installations of wind turbines in the U.S. more than quadrupled last year led by growth in Texas, as developers took advantage of an expiring federal tax credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Wind power industry escaped doldrums of 2013, growing 7.4% last year 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

A flurry of wind farm completions in the closing months of 2014 helped the U.S. wind energy sector regain its footing after a near-collapse in 2013, with 4,850 megawatts of new wind power coming online over the 12 months ending in December, the American Wind Energy Association reported yesterday. The 2014 annual figure represents a fivefold increase in year-over-year installations from 2013, when the industry commissioned just over 1,100 MW and suffered steep drops in both investment and jobs. The down year came after Congress allowed the industry’s primary federal tax credit to expire before renewing it in January 2013 for one additional year.

Companies show limited appetite for Mass. lease sale 

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

Bidders were interested in only half the offshore wind development leases being auctioned by the Interior Department today. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management put up for auction four lease areas near Massachusetts totaling 742,000 acres and with the potential to support 4 gigawatts of commercial wind generation.

Interior sells $448K in leases off Mass. 

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

The Interior Department’s largest sale of federal waters for offshore wind development today drew relatively modest bidding, with two companies paying a combined $448,000 for the right to develop two tracts totaling 354,000 acres about 14 miles south of Massachusetts’ Martha’s Vineyard. The auction was brief, lasting two rounds before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management declared Offshore MW LLC and RES America Inc. as the provisional winners of 187,523-acre and 166,886-acre tracts, respectively.

Offshore Wind Farm Leases Draw Few Bids From Wary Industry

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

Not too long ago, in 2013, the Obama administration began auctioning off leases for offshore wind farms up and down the Eastern Seaboard, hoping to spur a nascent industry. But now, the industry is languishing. Projects off the coast of New England, New Jersey and Delaware are dead, moribund or struggling. And an auction on Thursday for parcels off the coast of Massachusetts — some of the windiest areas of the country — drew little interest from developers. Two of the four parcels drew no bids at all, and the ones that did attracted substantially lower prices than other auctions in recent years.

Ed Markey hails leases of waters off Mass. for wind energy

Source: By Marie Szaniszlo, Boston globe • Posted: Friday, January 30th, 2015

“These same harsh winds that we’ve endured for centuries can be turned into clean power for our homes, creating jobs even as it cuts the carbon pollution that is worsening climate change and supercharging storms,”“ Markey said in a statement. “Instead of drilling for oil and gas off of the Atlantic Coast, we should pursue a clean energy vision that safeguards our environment and boosts our economy.”

Appeals court sets date for arguments on Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 29th, 2015

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in April on lawsuits from several states, utilities and power companies challenging U.S. EPA’s proposal to set greenhouse gas standards for power plants. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said yesterday it will convene April 16 to hear the consolidated lawsuits brought by West Virginia, Murray Energy Corp. and others.

Oregon Legislature’s transportation debate heats up

Source: By JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Legislative Republicans are threatening to block a proposed transportation package if Democrats move forward with legislation aimed at combating greenhouse gases. Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday the development makes him pessimistic about the prospects for a gas tax increase to pay for transportation projects.

Inslee’s carbon price plan draws a divided crowd at hearing 

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) broad climate bill to make polluters pay for carbon emissions sparked heated debate yesterday during state lawmakers’ first public hearing on it, which quickly filled the legislative chamber and spilled out into several overflow rooms. More than three dozen speakers testified before the House Environment Committee, while outside the chamber, groups demonstrated both in support of and opposition to H.B. 1314.