News

SolarCity subpoenaed over N.Y. gigafactory

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar installer, said Friday it has been subpoenaed in a broad investigation of state contracts and lobbying in New York. The development, first reported by Newsday, involves a probe by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, of state construction projects, including those tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $1 billion plan to boost the economy in Buffalo, N.Y. SolarCity is building a solar panel gigafactory in the city with a $750 million investment from the state as part of Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative.

U.S. Energy Chief: Texas Should Develop Clean Power Plan

Source: by Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

When Ernest Moniz looks at Texas, he sees groundbreaking energy research and innovation — and not only related to oil and gas: wind, solar and battery technology that could bolster the reliability of those renewable resources, too. “The kind of innovation shown here is certainly very important for the whole country,” the U.S. energy secretary said this week at the University of Texas at Austin. “I know Houston claims to be the energy capital of the world, but I think Texas has a broader role.”

US, Denmark sign offshore deal

Source: By Renews • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The US has signed an agreement with Denmark to strengthen cooperation on offshore wind energy. The memorandum of understanding recognizes both countries common interests in developing the technology as a clean and sustainable energy source, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy said.

Companies propose deep-water wind farms off Hawaii shores

Source: By Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Massive wind turbines could end up floating in deep ocean waters off Hawaii’s shores under proposals to bring more renewable energy to the islands. Two companies have proposed offshore wind turbine projects for federal waters off Oahu as Hawaii pushes to meet its aggressive renewable energy goals. Their plans would use technology that floats the tall turbines in deep waters miles offshore. The proposals are in the early stages and would face years of environmental reviews and community meetings before possible approval.

Court decides to bypass panel, delays arguments until fall

Source: Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

High-stakes litigation over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will bypass review by a panel of three judges and instead go before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the fall. The D.C. Circuit announced the change in a short order yesterday, surprising some attorneys involved in the case. Oral arguments had been scheduled for early June before a three-judge panel considered favorable for the administration. Now, the case will be heard en banc on Sept. 27.

How America’s regions learned from Europe’s mistakes

Source: John Fialka and Debra Kahn, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

California, which fancied itself the centerpiece of what was to become the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), seemed to be in the most trouble. It had done much of the planning for this regional coalition, learning from the European Union’s mistakes and taking more time to design a system of measurements and rules to put an effective cap on its biggest sources of emissions. The plan of the state’s Air Resources Board started with electricity generators and large-scale manufacturing in 2013 and then spread by 2015 to cover 85 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emitters.

Illinois leads the Midwest in clean energy jobs, report says

Source: By Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

“People … understand the idea of someone screwing a wrench on solar panels on someone’s roof or putting up a wind turbine,” Adams said. “A significant part of this economic activity is happening in (energy efficiency), where people at first glance might not realize there are clean energy activities going on.” And actually, those stereotypical clean jobs took a hit. Illinois lost 10.8 percent of its wind jobs and 3.4 percent of its solar jobs between 2014 and 2015, according to the report.

Adams attributes that to a broken set of state regulations.

Wind turbines arrive at Quonset for installation around the state

Source: By Alex Kuffner, Providence Journal Staff Writer • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

DePasquale is hoping that more communities will follow West Warwick’s lead. Not only is the town investing in clean energy, it’s locking in a predictable price of energy for years to come, he says. “It is the future,” he said.

Statoil Set to Build World’s First Floating Wind Farm

Source: By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

Statoil ASA, the Norwegian energy company, was granted a lease to use the seabed off the east coast of Scotland and can now begin building the world’s first floating offshore wind farm.
The Hywind project will consist of five 6-megawatt turbines. They will float on steel tubes fastened to the seabed about 25 kilometers from the town of Peterhead, according to a statement issued by the company based in Stavanger, Norway.

Europe becomes a reluctant emissions trading pioneer

Source: John Fialka, E&E special correspondent • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

When it came to creating the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, now the largest system of abating greenhouse gases in the world, implementing cap and trade turned out to be much harder than the early enthusiasts of the idea in the United States had ever imagined.