White House outlines path for power plant rules, other environmental actions

Source: Jean Chemnick and Jason Plautz, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

U.S. EPA plans to make good on the president’s pledge to expedite regulations for new and existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions, according to a regulatory rundown released by the White House late last week. The “Spring 2013 Unified Agenda” posted on the White House’s website shows that the agency plans to release a new proposal for greenhouse gas emissions for future power plants by September and a first-time proposal for existing power plants by next June. That timeline tracks with the memorandum signed by President Obama on July 25, which formed the centerpiece of his Climate Action Plan. The agenda also lays the path for a number of expected clean air and chemical regulations, including limits on ozone pollution, limits on sulfur in gasoline and regulation of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.

Regulator rejects complaints against power lines for Midwestern wind

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 8th, 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week threw out complaints against one of the nation’s largest electric transmission projects in the Midwest aimed at tapping into Minnesota’s wind belt. FERC said objections that landowners and clean energy groups in Minnesota and Wisconsin raised in opposition to a 345-kilovolt transmission line that Xcel Energy Inc. is proposing as part of its CapX 2020 project were not fully supported and came in late.

Britain opens world’s largest offshore wind farm

Source: Reporting by Karolin Schaps, Reuters • Posted: Monday, July 8th, 2013

The world’s largest offshore wind farm, which can generate enough electricity for half a million homes, was officially opened off Britain’s south-east coast on Thursday. Prime Minister David Cameron opened the 630-megawatt London Array project, which was developed by E.ON, DONG Energy and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and produced its first electricity from all its turbines in April.

Community College thrives on wind energy

Source: By Katie Sampson, Kansas First News • Posted: Monday, July 8th, 2013

“Our turbines run our heating and ventilation and air conditioning system and we’re EPA recognized for that and probably pretty unique, probably in the country,” Maxson says, “I don’t know of any college in the country that has wind turbines running their heating and ventilation system.” The rest of the state has followed suit – the American Wind Energy Association says Kansas had the most wind projects under construction last year and the state jumped from 14th to 9th place in the total amount of electricity it generates from wind.

BLM advances major Wyo.-to-Nev. project as Obama admin pushes renewable energy

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 5th, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management today released the draft environmental review of a Wyoming-to-Nevada transmission line project that would allow wind-generated electricity in Wyoming to power homes as far away as California and could play a major role in meeting aggressive renewable energy goals outlined last week in President Obama’s climate change strategy.

Obama announces picks for FERC, USDA

Source: Amanda Peterka and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

President Obama yesterday announced several nominations, including two for vacant positions in the Department of Agriculture and one in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The president nominated senior USDA policy adviser Robert Bonnie to oversee conservation activities and the Forest Service; USDA Chief of Staff Krysta Harden to fill the department’s No. 2 position; and Ron Binz, Colorado’s former top utility regulator, to replace outgoing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.

Sioux tribes plan large-scale wind energy project

Source: By KRISTI EATON, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

A group of Sioux tribes in South Dakota are hoping to pump some much-needed revenue into their economies with an ambitious wind project, but some wind industry experts question whether the tribes understand the hurdles they face with such a large-scale development. Leaders from six Sioux tribes announced plans at last month’s Clinton Global Initiative to develop a renewable energy project that would generate 1 to 2 gigawatts of power annually. Funding for the up to $3 billion project would come from the sale of bonds by a new multi-tribal power authority as well as donations to a website.

Siemens chief of wind power steps down

Source: By Catherine Green, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Amid reports of wind turbine blades flying off and a resulting flurry of damage control measures, engineering powerhouse Siemens said Monday the chief of its wind power division would step down, two weeks after announcing costs related to incidents in California and Iowa.

Thar He Blows: Trump Tussles With Scots Over Wind Turbines

Source: by PHILIP REEVES, NPR • Posted: Monday, July 1st, 2013

A fierce legal battle is under way in Scotland, involving U.S. tycoon Donald Trump. At the heart of the wrangle: wind.

2 insiders take the reins on Obama’s climate effort

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 1st, 2013

After President Obama laid out his sweeping climate change plan Tuesday, he turned over the keys to two women who will oversee its implementation. Obama climate and energy adviser Heather Zichal, who works out of the White House Domestic Policy Council, appears to be taking the lead on the higher-profile component of the plan, involving efforts to lower carbon emissions.