Green power surged in California last year as utilities added renewable power at a record-high level, the state’s Public Utilities Commission said in a new report. The Golden State last year added 830 megawatts of wind and solar energy, capacity that at peak power would supply about 400,000 homes. It was the largest annual increase since the inception of California’s renewables portfolio standard (RPS), a program requiring utilities to make portions of their power from clean sources.
Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), for instance, are floating a plan to extend the production tax credit for wind energy projects for one year through 2013.
Senate Democrats today plan to propose attaching a longer life for two tax credits hotly sought by renewable energy companies to a two-year transportation bill as the long-term fate of those “extenders” remains in limbo.
The two amendments pitched by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to the transportation bill ahead of a Finance Committee markup set for this afternoon would extend the wind production tax credit until 2013 and revive a Treasury Department program that gave renewables producers grants in lieu of a tax credit before it expired at the end of last year.
Opportunities for wind energy in Nebraska took a huge leap forward last week. The Southwest Power Pool approved a plan to construct a high-voltage transmission line from the Gerald Gentleman Station power plant near Sutherland north into Cherry County and then east through northern Nebraska.
The Interior Department today said it is beginning a review of commercial wind energy leasing off the coast of Massachusetts, the latest in a handful of states to move forward with development.
The levelized cost of wind energy (LCOWE) is headed toward an all-time low – approaching approximately $0.03/kWh in the bestwind resource sites, finds a new report by the National RenewableEnergy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
Wind power is facing a make-or-break moment in Congress, with renewable-energy firms’ projects on hold as lawmakers debate whether to extend subsidies for new wind farms this month. Industry players see two main chances for Congress to act this year. One comes in February, when the wind subsidies could be tacked on to an extension of payroll-tax cuts. The other would come in the lame-duck session after November elections, when lawmakers must address the expiration of tax cuts from 2001
A show of support from two Midwestern GOP governors for a wind-industry tax credit yesterday drew fire from Washington conservatives, underscoring the hard road for renewables advocates pushing to extend the break.
Advocates of extending the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, set to expire at year’s end if Congress does not act, hailed a letter released yesterday by Republican Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Terry Branstad of Iowa that warned of job losses and squandered power-generation potential if the benefit were not re-upped.
Enthusiasm for offshore wind projects may have cooled among developers in the United States these days, but the Obama administration is still trying to make a ribbon of wind farms off the Atlantic Coast a reality. On Thursday, Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, and Tommy P. Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said the government had completed an environmental review and found that selling leases for wind energy would not create environmental problems in the designated “wind energy areas” off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.
The Midwestern governors said “our states have experienced the economic benefits of wind first hand,” said the letter, addressed to the Senate-House conference committee. The PTC has been attached to the newest version of the Payroll Tax cut, to be debated later this month. Wind interests say that wind equipment providers and operators need to have the new law in place at least by the end of the first half of this year in order to secure financing for projects beyond this year.