Oklahoma House votes to roll back tax credit for wind energy

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation to roll back a state tax credit for the wind energy industry. The House passed the bill Thursday by a vote of 74-24 and sent it to the Senate for consideration. The bill modifies the tax credit for electricity generated by zero-emission facilities like wind turbines. It says facilities must be in operation by July 1 in order to qualify for the credit, instead of the current deadline of Jan. 1, 2021.

Wind power now No. 1 renewable electric resource in U.S.

Source: By KTXS • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Wind has surpassed hydroelectric as the top renewable electric resource in the United States, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association. This puts wind power as the fourth highest overall electric energy source behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. A “balance of power, if you will in terms of energy, is shifting to West Texas. Every new job is going to be here, every lost job is going to be in East Texas — and that’s an upside down situation from what we all grew up with,” said Greg Wortham, director of the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse.

Massachusetts is one of top 10 states for solar energy: Report

Source: By KRISTIN TOUSSAINT, Metro • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The future of solar energy in Massachusetts is looking bright. The Commonwealth has the second highest amount of solar industry jobs in the country and is in the top 10 for solar energy-producing states, according to a new report. Solar energy has been expanding across the country; 2016 saw a 97 percent growth in the U.S. solar market, Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) year-in-review data showed. Massachusetts in particular played a big role. In total, Massachusetts has more than 14,500 solar jobs. That’s second only to California, which has long been a leader in clean energy. Despite that, Massachusetts has the highest ratio of solar jobs to the size of its overall workforce.

Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among Themselves

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

In a promising experiment in an affluent swath of the borough, dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. Called the Brooklyn Microgrid, the project is signing up residents and businesses to a virtual trading platform that will allow solar-energy producers to sell excess-electricity credits from their systems to buyers in the group, who may live as close as next door.

Two more wind farms sought off Vineyard

Source: By Donna Goodison, Boston Globe • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Two more companies want to construct wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts, generating hundreds of megawatts of wind energy from potentially 100 or more turbines. Unsolicited lease requests were received by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from subsidiaries of Germany’s PNE Wind AG and Norway’s Statoil ASA to develop designated wind energy areas south of Martha’s Vineyard, adjacent to sites already leased for wind farms by Dong Energy A/S and Offshore MW.

Want to Sell More Wind, Solar Power? Find Corporate Buyers

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Contracts to sell electricity directly to corporate users are among the key demand drivers for wind and solar power, while the influence of state mandates wanes, according to a report Friday by Moody’s Investors Service. Multiple factors are spurring corporate power deals, especially from companies that have set their own sustainability goals. And the shift comes as costs continue to fall. Power purchase agreements with wind farms are now available for as low as $15 per megawatt-hour, according to Moody’s, and $35 a megawatt-hour for solar. “The economics are making it easier for new entrants to join,” Lesley Ritter, an analyst at Moody’s, said in an interview. Community choice aggregators are another new entrant, formed by counties or cities to encourage more clean power.

Lawmakers aim to assemble omnibus package by end of month

Source: Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E News reporters • Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

A wild card in spending talks could be how Republicans respond to Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request, expected next week, which will seek an increase of $54 billion for defense activities and an equal amount of cuts from domestic programs. Democrats also continue to draw the line on what they call “poison pill” riders. Republican appetite for major spending cuts is unclear at this point, Durbin said. “I haven’t heard much,” he said. “I don’t know how far they’ll go.”

In 1st Budget, Trump to Push Conservative View of Government

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

People familiar with the budget who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the public release say the White House is seeking a 30 percent cut from an Energy Department office that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. The office has funded research on projects such as LED light bulbs, electric trucks, advanced batteries and biofuels. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is targeted for at least $700 million in cuts from its current $2.1 billion budget, said Scott Sklar, chairman of the steering committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition. The Energy Department could see steep cuts for its 17 national laboratories, which conduct cutting-edge research on topics from nuclear power to advanced materials for energy generation, storage and use.

Editorial: Renewable energy growing in Kansas

Source: By Sharon Montague, Salina Journal • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Kansas now proudly can wear the label of a “green” state, after Westar Energy announced this past week that it can generate more than half of its yearly energy needs from renewable resources such as wind and solar. The addition of the Western Plains Wind Farm near Spearville brings to 10 the number of farms providing energy to Westar.

DOE may be prime target for Trump budget cutters

Source: Peter Behr, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

A primary spending guideline for the Trump transition team, the budget proposals of the Heritage Foundation, called for the elimination of six DOE offices and programs for a savings of nearly $4 billion, including the clean energy and efficiency projects under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and others in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Six other programs would get reduced funding, lowering the DOE budget by an additional $2 billion, under the Heritage plan.