A pioneering proposal to build a wind power transmission line on the ocean floor from southern Virginia to northern New Jersey cleared a hurdle on Monday when the Interior Department opened the way for the project’s sponsors to start work on an environmental impact statement. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the Interior Department, said that no competitor had emerged for the right-of-way for the proposed transmission line, known as the Atlantic Wind Connection, allowing the bureau to issue a “determination of no competitive interest.” By linking wind farms 15 to 20 miles off the coast, the backbone would greatly reduce the number of individual radial lines needed to bring the energy to shore.
No surprise that longtime Omaha construction and mining company Kiewit Corp. is the 26th-largest privately owned company in the nation, based on its $9.94 billion in revenue last year. But you might be surprised to know that another Omaha-based company tops Kiewit on that Forbes magazine list, making it the biggest privately owned company in Nebraska or Iowa.
Nebraska’s gust of wind energy could be slowing to a breeze. The Nebraska Public Power District — considered the leader in wind energy development in the state — intends to build few, if any, wind farms over the next five years. Wind energy supporters view NPPD’s decision — outlined in a resolution — as a moratorium. They say the state’s largest electric utility should be doing more, not less, to develop wind energy resources.
The end of a key federal tax incentive for the wind industry could put a damper on much-needed wind turbine replacement efforts — known as repowering — just as many of the region’s iconic windmills are hitting the upper limit of their 30-year lifespan. The credit provides wind developers a tax break of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the power they generate from utility-scale wind projects for the first 10 years of production. It’s set to expire Dec. 31.
Soon after President Obama announced the goal of converting 80 percent of America’s electricity generation to “clean” sources in his 2011 State of the Union address, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman started working to translate the idea into legislation. Bingaman’s “Clean Energy Standard Act” was introduced earlier this year and has been analyzed by the administration’s energy number-crunchers; this week brings the next step when the New Mexico Democrat convenes the first hearing on the proposa
Oil majors have become the biggest investor in the clean fuels industry, sinking $71 billion into low- and no-emission and renewable energy technologies over the last decade, according to a report from the American Petroleum Institute. By contrast, the U.S. government has spent about $43 billion on its low-carbon energy efforts over the same time period, the report says.
Two liberal lawmakers today unveiled what one called the “most comprehensive” bill to eliminate government support for oil, natural gas and coal production, aiming to slash more than $113 billion in tax incentives, research and development spending, and other funding for those industries over the next decade. Two counterparts from the other side of the aisle panned the effort while pointing to a separate bill they have been pushing for months that would narrowly target two little-used fossil fuel tax benefits while taking the hatchet to a broad array of tax supports for renewable energy.
One of the chief architects of an ultimately failed attempt to move climate change legislation through the Senate during the last Congress is mulling a less ambitious approach that may have a chance of passing during a lame-duck session.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has met regularly with interested lawmakers most Tuesdays to discuss the next steps for energy policy in a post-cap-and-trade environment, and he said they may be ready to unveil a product of those discussions later this year.
Customer backlash over new technology for measuring power usage is slowing utilities’ efforts to upgrade their networks.
If history is any guide, President Obama’s Cabinet is in line to lose at least one of its top energy and environmental members should he win a second term this fall.