Bipartisan Policy Center launches initiative on protecting electric grid

Source: Annie Snider, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 20th, 2013

Three former top energy and security officials are taking a stab at the cybersecurity challenges facing the electric power sector. The Bipartisan Policy Center announced the launch of an Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative that will develop recommendations about how the government and private companies can protect the grid from cyberattacks. The initiative will be co-chaired by retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency; Curt Hebert, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and former executive vice president of Entergy Corp.; and Susan Tierney, former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Energy and a former Massachusetts public utility commissioner.

Poll Finds 86.5% of Illinois Voters Believe State Should Bring More Renewable Energy to Illinois

BUSINESS WIRE news release • Posted: Monday, May 20th, 2013

Wide majorities of likely Illinois voters believe it is important that the state maintain its commitment to increase its use of renewable power and support legislation that would achieve this goal by fixing the state’s broken renewable portfolio standard (RPS) law, according to a Zogby survey released today.

Massive solar flare bursts from sun

E&E • Posted: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The sun yesterday unleashed its largest solar flare so far this year. The coronal mass ejection was determined to be an “X-class” flare, or the largest of its type. The solar activity is among an increased number of flares occurring at the peak of the sun’s 11-year activity cycle.

Tri-State CEO urges Colorado governor to veto rural co-op renewable-energy bill

Source: By Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post • Posted: Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The bill that is either a push to boost renewable energy on Colorado’s plains and mountains or part of “a war on rural Colorado” now sits on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk. The key issue is whether the bill’s mandate for rural electricity cooperatives to provide 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources places a financial burden on ranchers, farmers and small towns.

AP IMPACT: Wind Farms Get Pass On Eagle Deaths

Source: By Dina Cappiello,THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

It happens about once a month here, on the barren foothills of one of America’s green-energy boomtowns: A soaring golden eagle slams into a wind farm’s spinning turbine and falls, mangled and lifeless, to the ground. Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It’s also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.

Energy Future Coalition’s Jimison says expanding wind capacity saves consumers money

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

How could expanding transmission infrastructure and wind capacity in the PJM Interconnection region affect consumer prices for electricity? During today’s OnPoint, John Jimison, managing director of the Energy Future Coalition, discusses a new report released by Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, focused on the impact of improved transmission infrastructure and wind capacity in the PJM Interconnection on energy prices. He also discusses his expectations for congressional and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission action on transmission.

LePage wants wind energy goals out of Maine law

Source: By Matthew Stone, Bangor Daily News • Posted: Monday, May 13th, 2013

Gov. Paul LePage wants to strip from state law goals for increasing the state’s wind energy capacity over the next two decades. LePage’s energy director, Patrick Woodcock, made recommendations Thursday to rewrite the state’s 2008 Wind Energy Act, shifting focus from growing wind energy capacity to lowering electricity costs and making sure Maine sees an economic return on its wind energy investments.

Group opposes Nebraska Public Power spending on wind, energy efficiency

Source: By Tyler Ellyson, Columbus Telegram • Posted: Monday, May 13th, 2013

A group of Nebraska electric utilities is asking the state’s largest power supplier to eliminate proposed investments in wind energy, emissions-reduction measures and energy efficiency programs to lower costs passed on to customers. The Nebraska Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperative Inc., which represents 21 public power districts including Cornhusker, Polk County Rural and Butler and one cooperative, made its case for the cuts Thursday after hiring a consultant to complete an independent review of Nebraska Public Power District’s 20-year integrated resource plan.

Nebraska’s wind power continues to lag behind Iowa

Associated Press • Posted: Monday, May 13th, 2013

Nebraska’s wind power production continues to lag behind Iowa and other nearby states that offer better incentives. Wind power development in Nebraska has been hurt because the state’s public utilities can’t qualify for the same incentives as private companies.

Hickenlooper ‘still reviewing legislation’ to increase renewable standard for rural electric co-ops

Source: By David O. Williams, RealVail News • Posted: Monday, May 13th, 2013

One major piece of legislation on the majority Democratic agenda this session – Senate Bill 252 aimed at increasing the state’s renewable energy standard — is still swinging in the wind. Democrats on Thursday told the Denver Post they don’t expect Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto any of the bills currently awaiting his signature, including SB 252. But many Republicans – and a majority of the state’s rural electric associations (REAs) want him to kill the bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, and Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.