Interior ponders future leasing off S.C. coast

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

The Interior Department said it is gauging industry’s interest in developing wind farms off the South Carolina coast. The agency is also beginning a National Environmental Policy Act review to determine whether it is appropriate to lease four areas covering 1,100 square miles off the Palmetto State shores. Both announcements — the call for industry interest and the notice of intentto prepare a NEPA review — are open to 60 days of public comment.

Warren Buffett Gives A Gigantic Concrete Wind Turbine Tower To Iowa

Source: By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica • Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2015

It’s not often that we get a chance to combine Warren Buffett with the topic of concrete wind turbine towers, so we pricked up our ears earlier this week when the legendary investor’s MidAmerican Energy Company announced that its new Iowa wind farm will include a 2.3 megawatt wind turbine perched atop a tower made of concrete. At 377 feet from ground to hub, the tower will top most conventional, steel-tube towers by more than 100 feet, easily making it the tallest in the US.

Amazon to build wind farm in NW Ohio

Source: By Mark Williams & Dan Gearino, Columbus Disptach • Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Amazon is making another big investment in Ohio. A day after officially releasing its plan to build two massive distribution centers in central Ohio that will employ 2,000, the Internet giant said on Thursday that it will develop a wind farm in Paulding County in northwestern Ohio that is to begin generating electricity in May 2017. The wind farm will supply power to Amazon’s rapidly developing data-center business, including its plans for three data centers that it is building in central Ohio at a cost of $1.1 billion.

La. regulators signal halt to net metering as saga continues

Source: Edward Klump, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Louisiana regulators, in the latest flashpoint of a smoldering debate on residential solar, backed a view yesterday that three electric cooperatives have surpassed a threshold to halt expansion of retail net metering under state rules. The 3-2 vote by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) validated the position taken by its staff in a review of calculations related to Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative Inc., Panola-Harrison Electric Cooperative Inc. and Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative Inc.

Ramp-up in U.S. is ‘economically viable’ — NREL report

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2015

A major increase in renewable power is “economically viable” in many parts of the United States when the social cost of carbon is taken into account, according to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The analysis concludes that there is an economic potential for an additional 820 terrawatt-hours of renewable generation beyond what exists now, or the approximate equivalent of 20 percent of the current annual U.S. output of electricity. NREL said the report presents a first-ever method for measuring whether many U.S. renewables are economically viable, outside of their technical potential.

Silver Lake Is Said to Invest $100 Million in SolarCity

Source: By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED, New York Times • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

At a time when investors have darkened on the solar power industry, a big investment firm has moved in to buy a stake in SolarCity, the biggest company in the sector. SolarCity is expected to announce on Wednesday that it has raised $113 million in a new investment led by the clean-energy arm of Silver Lake, as well as the solar company’s chairman, Elon Musk, and its chief executive, Lyndon Rive.

Senators Revive Financing Tactic From ’70s for Carbon Emissions

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

For years, power companies, manufacturers and entrepreneurs have tried to make capturing and storing carbon emissions from industrial operations like burning coal into a business, to little avail. Despite decades of promising research, demonstration projects and government investment, large-scale developments have often proved too difficult and costly to get off the ground. But now two senators think they have hit on a way to move the industry forward. Under a bill set to be introduced on Thursday, carbon capture projects — considered important tools for fossil fuel power plants and industrial facilities to meet anticipated greenhouse gas restrictions — would qualify for tax-exempt private activity bonds, which helped clean up air pollution in the 1970s and 1980s.

Nebraska Local View: Fossil fuel subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives.

Source: By Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

In response to the opinion column “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” LJS, Nov. 14) here are three questions for author Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, with ties to the Koch Brothers oil company.

Judges toss enviro challenge to San Diego turbines

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

Federal judges yesterday rejected an environmental challenge to a major wind farm in Southern California. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that environmental groups including the Desert Protective Council had not shown that the Bureau of Land Management acted arbitrarily in greenlighting the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility project in the desert east of San Diego

Company slows plan for $2B line to ship Iowa wind energy

Source: By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

A company proposing a $2 billion transmission line to ship Iowa wind energy to electric customers in Illinois confirmed Thursday that it has asked regulators to suspend their review while the company figures out how best to move forward with its plan. Clean Line Energy Partners said it is assessing plans for the Rock Island Clean Line, amid opposition from some landowners and uncertain odds of gaining regulatory approval. The Iowa Utilities Board has granted the company’s request to pause a technical review of its petitions to build the high-voltage, overhead line through 16 counties.