FERC snubbing states under Order 1000 — NARUC

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 29th, 2013

A federal effort to revamp the way the grid is planned and paid for could encroach on states’ rights to oversee the electric grid, a group of state commissioners warned this week.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners took aim at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s implementation of a far-reaching new rule, Order 1000, which overhauls the process for planning and allocating the cost for new transmission projects.

Md. governor calls for more ambitious state renewable energy standard

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 29th, 2013

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley released one of the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction plans in the country yesterday, calling for an increase in the state renewable standard and a boost to clean car and “zero waste” initiatives. “Climate disruption is real. It is not an ideological issue any more than gravity is,” said O’Malley, who will leave office in 2015 because of term limits. The revised plan was necessary, he said, since existing policies leave the state short in its goals and able to cut emissions by roughly 18 percent by 2020. The blueprint calls for the state renewable standard to be raised to 25 percent renewable power by 2020, up from 20 percent by 2022. It also calls for carbon-emitting “black liquor” — a byproduct of producing paper — to be removed as an eligible fuel source under the standard.

Environmental policy attorney Learner discusses shifts in Midwest power market

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Friday, July 26th, 2013

How will the Midwest respond to power plant emissions proposals coming out of U.S. EPA? During today’s OnPoint, Howard Learner, president and executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, explains how Midwestern states may handle emissions standards differently than other regions. He also talks about changes in power market investments in the region.

Echoes of Solyndra in Oregon wind farm probe

Source: By: Darius Dixon, Politico • Posted: Friday, July 26th, 2013

An Oregon newspaper’s investigation into the state’s support for a massive wind project is scratching at old wounds about the federal Energy Department’s loan-guarantee program. A series of stories by Oregonian reporter Ted Sickinger has raised questions about the state energy department’s decision to offer tax credits to Caithness Corp.’s Shepherds Flat wind project. But his latest article also cites past divisions within the White House about federal support for the project, which the U.S. Energy Department awarded a partial loan guarantee of $1.3 billion in 2010.

First Wind Energy Propose New England’s Largest Wind Farm

Source: Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica • Posted: Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Blue Sky West, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Wind Energy, has proposed what would be the largest wind farm in New England to the Maine Government. The farm would carry 162 wind turbines and have a capacity of up to 191 MW across several towns in Central Maine.

O’Malley expected to propose aggressive new standards for renewable energy use

Source: By Steven Mufson, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will propose more-ambitious targets for renewable-energy use in a speech on climate change Thursday, according to people who have seen drafts of his plan. O’Malley is expected to propose boosting the state’s renewable portfolio standard, requiring utilities to make renewables 25 percent of their mix of electricity generation by 2020, up from the current target of 20 percent by 2022. The new standards would place Maryland alongside California as one of the most aggressive states in the country when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases, which scientists say are speeding climate change.

New Wind Farm Projects to Supply Arkansas, Nebraska

Source: by Associated Press on Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013 7:42 am • Posted: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Oklahoma is adding two new wind farms that will provide a combined 250 megawatts of wind energy to utilities in Arkansas and Nebraska, developers said. Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. said it’s reached an agreement to sell 150 megawatts of wind energy to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., which is part of a cooperative that provides electricity for more than 500,000 customers. RES Americas plans to build a wind farm with 75 turbines in Murray and Carter counties with a completion date set for the end of 2014.

Chinese wind power giant faces U.S. indictment on economic espionage charges

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

China’s largest wind energy manufacturer, Sinovel Wind Group Co., has become the new face of a growing fracas between the United States and its global economic rival over intellectual property and the legal use and transfer of renewable energy goods and services. Sinovel, which once bragged of pushing U.S. power systems giant General Electric Co. into third place for global wind turbine manufacturing, now faces charges in U.S. federal court that it and two of its employees conspired with another individual to steal proprietary software from a U.S. firm that was used to improve the efficiency of Sinovel wind turbines.

N.J. regulators deliver setback to planned project

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Utility regulators in New Jersey have rejected an agreement intended to clear the way for construction to begin on the state’s first offshore wind farm, creating more obstacles for the project, which developers aim to significantly advance by the end of this year in order to claim a lucrative federal tax credit.

Clean energy group taps PR firm to advocate for Binz amid mounting attacks

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Clean energy advocates have hired a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm to advocate for President Obama’s pick to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and thwart increasing attacks from Colorado’s coal industry and free market groups. Green Tech Action Fund, a San Francisco group that describes itself as a nonpartisan grant-making organization, has hired VennSquared Communications to advocate for Ron Binz as the next chairman of FERC.