Nebraska’s wind energy future

Source: KNOP-TV, North Platte, Nebraska • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

“We all know that living in Nebraska that yes the wind blows, but it blows at varying speeds and there are times when it doesn’t blow and we all know that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours,” said Pope. “So, when those resources aren’t available, or are available but varying a lot, we have to have other equipment that is still there functioning providing the backup.”

Five years later, Missouri still grappling with renewable law

Source: by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

More than five years after Missouri residents approved a renewable-energy standard, very little has changed about the state’s power supply. The 2008 law, known as Proposition C, requires the state’s three large investor-owned utilities to gradually phase in renewable power, starting with 2 percent of the electricity sold in 2011 to 2013, and gradually ramping up that proportion to 15 percent by 2021. The law also requires that 2 percent of that total be derived from solar.

Ex-Commissioner Spitzer discusses future of Obama pick to lead agency

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The Obama administration’s nomination of Norman Bay to become chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is ushering in a new round of analysis of the commission and its future. Is Bay the safe choice or the best choice to lead the agency? During today’s OnPoint, Marc Spitzer, a former FERC commissioner and now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, discusses the prospects for Bay’s confirmation and the future role of acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur on the commission.

Shake-ups add to climate, energy lineup

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

There’s a new energy and climate team in the White House. Dan Utech, President Obama’s chief energy and climate adviser, announced this week that he’ll have two new deputies as his office plows ahead with the administration’s Climate Action Plan.

EPA officials face off with utility regulators on warming rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Two senior U.S. EPA officials yesterday sought to allay regulators’ fears about the effect the agency’s upcoming existing power plant rule for carbon dioxide could have on electric reliability and supply. Acting EPA air chief Janet McCabe and senior counsel for air and radiation Joe Goffman, the lead architects of the rule due out by June 1, avoided offering specifics about the approach the agency would take while discussing it during the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. But they emphasized EPA continues to solicit input from stakeholders on how best to craft it and that dialogue with state officials would continue even after the guidance is proposed.

Wyo. wind farm could undercut delivery prices in Calif.

Los Angeles Times • Posted: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Former oil and gas tycoon Bill Miller has been tasked with building a colossal wind farm in Rawlins, Wyo. It will be located on a cattle ranch owned by Anschutz Corp., the co-owner of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Once complete, this will be the largest wind generation facility in the country and, possibly, the world.

R.I. developer announces agreements with French turbine maker for first East Coast project

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

What could be America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm will use turbines designed in France, with 15 turbine blades set for delivery as soon as this April, industry executives announced yesterday. Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind said it had agreed to purchase five 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines from French manufacturer Alstom in December, qualifying it for the federal investment tax credit that expired at the end of 2013.

FERC lifts price cap for grid operators in Midwest, Mid-Atlantic

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today approved a request from grid operators in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic to temporarily let their generators exceed a long-standing $1,000-per-megawatt-hour price limit for electricity sold into the market. FERC granted the waiver for PJM Interconnection, which oversees the grid in 13 states and the District of Columbia, through the end of March.

New wind turbine maps could reduce impacts to radar, birds, landscapes

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Interior Department today released an online mapping tool and data pinpointing the locations of more than 47,000 onshore wind power turbines, a two-year effort Interior officials say will help ensure that commercial-scale wind development has as few landscape-level impacts as possible. The interactive map represents the first time the locations of every onshore wind turbine installed since last July have been collected and mapped on one website. And federal officials said today it should help researchers better gauge the impacts of wind development on everything from air traffic radars to fatal bird collisions with turbine blades.

Landrieu ponders staff changes, outreach as she girds to take gavel

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

As she prepares to take the helm of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) yesterday said she plans to keep the panel’s existing senior staff for “a time” but is also merging her own aides into the mix. Landrieu also appealed to state regulators yesterday to help her smoothly transition into her role as chairwoman in remarks at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ winter meeting.