Across the country, large corporations, utilities, and ordinary folks have embraced clean energy – and for very good reasons; but there is still not a lot of love for the transmission needed to bring renewables to the grid. The United States has a long history of building energy infrastructure to better serve our energy needs.
The Bureau of Land Management is advancing a major multistate transmission line project that the Obama administration considers a top priority in its ongoing efforts to develop wind and solar power in the West. BLM announced yesterday it has completed a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 416-mile-long Gateway South Transmission Line Project, which is proposed by PacifiCorp’s Rocky Mountain Power and has been under federal review since 2008.
Fresh government support and growing interest from the utility industry is building expectations that wind power will thrive in the U.S. in coming years. Among the latest such assessments is a new report from Fitch Ratings, which sees the industry steadily expanding its share of the nation’s electricity market. “We see this environment remaining very positive for wind power for the next three to four years,” said Maude Tremblay, director of corporate finance at Fitch, an author of the report.
Dong Energy, the Danish utility and the world’s largest offshore wind energy operator, said on Thursday that it planned to list its shares in an initial public offering in Copenhagen. The company first announced plans to pursue an I.P.O. in September after a review.
The clean energy transition is well underway in the United States, but strong policies are needed to keep the momentum going. Today the Union of Concerned Scientists is releasing a new analysis showing how two federal measures—the recently extended wind and solar tax credits and the Clean Power Plan—can work together to provide a powerful and affordable boost for clean energy while helping to cut power sector carbon emissions. What’s more, our analysis finds these policies can also deliver significant economic and health benefits to consumers nationwide.
New Mexico became the seventeenth state in the U.S. in December to surpass the 1,000-megawatt mark for installed wind energy capacity, following the startup of a 250-megawatt wind farm in Roosevelt County. New Mexico is now generating 1,112 MW of electricity from a dozen utility-scale wind installations, or enough electricity to power 190,000 homes every year, according to a recent report from the American Wind Energy Association.
A key Republican last night said the House is unlikely to name conferees to reconcile the competing energy bills this week, thereby punting on a development that was expected and stalling progress on the legislation. Before the recess, members and aides said conferees could be named as early as this week, but House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) yesterday said the lower chamber is still mapping out its strategy
Big oil is dipping a few more toes into clean energy. Exxon Mobil Corp. is partnering with a company to capture carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. Total SA, the French oil supermajor, announced a $1.1 billion deal Monday to buy the battery maker Saft Groupe SA, complementing its 2011 purchase of a majority stake in the solar-panel maker SunPower Corp. And the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. announced Tuesday it will pay $218 million for stakes in offshore wind farms as it attempts to double its low-carbon generating capacity.
New Mexico’s wind-energy industry has reached a major milestone, and analysts say the state is well-positioned to expand its renewable power capacity. Industry experts say the state has excellent wind resources, and investors already have put almost $2 billion into developing wind energy in the state. John Hensley, manager of industry data and analysis for the American Wind Energy Association, said the state’s wind-energy capacity is growing rapidly.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has barred state agencies from moving forward on U.S. EPA’s regulation to reduce carbon emissions from power plants unless it is deemed legal. Brownback, already a critic of the Clean Power Plan, signed S.B. 318 into law Friday suspending all work on the climate regulation.