News

Wind Energy Firm Trying Again for OK of Cross-Country Line

Source: BY DAVID A. LIEB, The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

A renewable energy company again faced opposition from landowners Monday as it tried for the second time to win one of the final pieces of regulatory approval needed to carry wind power east from the nation’s heartland over one of the country’s longest transmission lines. Missouri utility regulators began hearing testimony on a request from Clean Line Energy to build a high-voltage transmission line from western Kansas across Missouri and Illinois to an Indiana power grid that connects with eastern states. Along the way, the line also could supply power to the equivalent of 200,000 Missouri homes. The Houston-based company already has won approval from other states for its 780-mile-long power line. But the Missouri Public Service Commission rejected its request in July 2015 while questioning its local benefit and the burden on landowners in its path.

Race to Build Offshore Wind Farms That Float on Sea Gathers Pace

Source: By Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Plans to install turbines on platforms that float in the sea are gathering pace as renewable energy developers seek new areas to harvest wind power. Scotland has granted planning permission for as much as 92 megawatts of floating offshore wind capacity, including two separate projects in the past two weeks. In Ireland, the developer Gaelectric Holdings Plc and Ideol SAS, a French floating wind company, agreed on Friday to develop floating wind projects in Irish waters, starting with a 30-megawatt array.

Should DOE get out of the research business?

Source: David Ferris, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Trump thinks that the federal government is meddling in the market and that it should limit itself to basic research and shift the billions of dollars it spends on applied research and commercialization to private industry. Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs who receive DOE research funding see themselves as helping the United States gain a competitive edge in a global energy sector that is being transformed by new technology. That level of private money, they say, simply doesn’t exist. “This is the worst time in history to do this, and it will lead to America losing in the next 10 years,” said Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, a private California research facility that gets half of its funding from DOE. “Germany and China will come marching in.”

North Carolina offshore wind hailed as job creator

Source: By By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

The results of an auction for the right to develop wind energy offshore North Carolina makes it a major low-carbon economic stimulus, a trade group said. Avangrid Renewables was the winner of an auction for a lease area offshore Kitty Hawk with a $9 million bid to develop wind energy in federal waters. Nancy Sopko, director of offshore issues for the American Wind Energy Association, praised the auction for its economic benefits. “Millions of dollars in private investment drawn to this new ocean energy resource will help North Carolina’s economy take flight, creating new demand for skilled jobs, factories and U.S. flagged vessels,” she said in a statement.

China Defends Plan to Bolster Its High-Tech Industries

Source: By KEITH BRADSHER, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Chinese regulators made a rule in 2005 requiring that wind turbines sold in China be made up largely of local components. The requirement prompted many of the world’s big wind turbine manufacturers to move factories to China and transfer their latest technology to domestic suppliers. Although Beijing removed the policy four years later after protests by the United States, the competitive damage was done, with Chinese companies gaining significant scale and expertise. China has dominated production of the world’s wind turbines ever since, with 42 percent of the market last year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Executed Order Still Expected?

Source: By ANTHONY ADRAGNA, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

In President Donald Trump’s administration nothing is certain until it happens. Sources familiar with the timing of a broad energy executive order told ME Sunday morning that it was still expected to be signed Monday, but signs now suggest the schedule may again be slipping. The White House is keeping details of the order close to the vest, though it’s expected to cover a broad swath of territory from EPA’s Clean Power Plan to the social cost of carbon whenever it ends up being signed. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the order’s timing.

How Americans Think About Climate Change

Source: By NADJA POPOVICH, JOHN SCHWARTZ and TATIANA SCHLOSSBERG, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

A majority of adults in every congressional district in the nation support limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. But many Republicans in Congress (and some Democrats) agree with President Trump, who this week may move to kill an Obama administration plan that would have scaled back the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, about seven in 10 Americans support regulating carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants – and 75 percent support regulating CO2 as a pollutant more generally. But lawmakers are unlikely to change direction soon.

Competition heats up for Md.’s first offshore wind farm

Source: Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2017

Maryland may get its first offshore wind farm soon — but not without a fight. Two developers are going head-to-head in a battle to construct the first wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City, Md. U.S. Wind Inc., a subsidiary of Italian conglomerate Toto Holding, and Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind LLC, have each submitted a separate bid.

South Dakota’s “Largest Wind Farm” Coming to Codington County

Source: By Anndrea Anderson, KDLT • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2017

Xcel Energy has launched its largest-ever Upper Midwest wind investment, with a plan to grow its Upper Midwest wind energy fleet by 60 percent. Xcel Energy announced plans Friday to add 1,550 megawatts of new wind generation in the Upper Midwest. The proposal is Xcel Energy’s largest to date with a total of seven wind farms to be built in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

The Corporate Commitment To Green Energy Is Helping Rural America

Source: By Ken Silverstein, Forbes • Posted: Monday, March 20th, 2017

The signage is all around — that renewable energy has all green lights ahead, despite the current White House’s emphasis on the expansion of traditional fossil fuels. Both corporate America and the governors from 20 states are going all-in to support sustainable fuels. Their reasoning is grounded in economics — that the cost of wind and solar technologies has fallen dramatically and that, in turn, has led to their impressive growth. Indeed, about 60% of the electricity added to the grid in 2016 came from wind and solar energy. “The growth of the renewable energy industry is an American success story built on federal research and development, state policy leadership, private sector investment, and ingenuity,” write Governors Gina Raimondo, D-RI. and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., also the chair and vice-chair of the Governors Wind Energy Coalition, in a letter to President Trump