News

Offshore wind energy industry sees federal leasing jumpstarting New Jersey rules

Source: By Mary Powers, Platts • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The federal government’s plan to offer 343,833 acres off the coast of New Jersey for commercial wind energy generation on November 9 is raising the hopes of industry participants that the development of rules needed to advance the state’s own program will finally get underway. The New Jersey wind area is located about seven nautical miles from shore on the Outer Continental Shelf and has been divided into two lease areas. The south lease area includes 160,480 acres and the north lease area has 183,353 acres. The plan was announced Wednesday. “It opens up the door for New Jersey to move expeditiously,” Paul Gallagher, general counsel for Fishermen’s Energy, said Thursday in an interview. Fishermen’s Energy is an offshore wind developer founded by the New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry.

Republican opposition can’t last — Gore

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Former Vice President Al Gore said that Republican opposition to climate action would eventually give way in the face of public opinion and a preponderance of scientific evidence. “I don’t think it can last,” he said last night during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.” Gore added, “I think we are winning this debate.”

Modernizing America’s grid

Source: By Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), The Hill • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

My father’s days as a utility worker represent the grid that George Westinghouse conceived of in the late 1800s with its one-way distribution system of power delivered directly to consumers. It began at central generation facilities, usually a hydroelectric facility or coal-fired power plant, and traveled from there on high-voltage transmission lines that still tower over America’s landscape. From transmission lines, the power then branched into smaller distribution lines, from which homes and businesses received 100 percent of the power that they used.

New York State Awards $175 Million to Renewable Energy Projects

Source: By Public News Service • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

The projects include a wind farm, a biogas facility that turns food waste into electricity, and two hydroelectric facilities. The money comes from the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, a policy that aims to increase renewable energy, and is funded by small charges on electricity bills.

GOP defeats host of Dem proposals to sweeping House package

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee today defeated a slew of Democratic proposals for revising a comprehensive energy package as bipartisan relations continued to fizzle along with the bill’s chances. Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) repeatedly said he was hopeful the package would make it to President Obama’s desk despite opposition from top Democrats on the committee.

NextEra to Invest $100 Million in Energy Storage Technology

Source: By Chris Martin and Jim Polson, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

NextEra Energy Inc. plans to invest $100 million in energy-storage systems over the next year to back up its fleet of solar and wind energy plants. NextEra is the world’s biggest producer of wind and solar power, and will use the battery systems to manage energy fluctuations caused by cloudy weather and lulls in the wind, Jim Robo, chief executive officer of the Juno Beach, Florida-based company, said Tuesday at an analyst conference.

Gov. Jay Inslee: ‘Fear mongers’ will not stop us from setting carbon cap

Source: By Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, Seattle Times • Posted: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Whether climate change is a serious threat is no longer a credible debate. None of us would delay medical treatment if 97 percent of the world’s doctors told us that urgent action is needed to protect our health. Likewise, none of us should resist facing this challenge when 97 percent of the world’s scientists tell us the health of our state is in peril.

Inslee and bipartisan group of U.S. governors sign accord with Chinese governors to promote clean energytechnology and economic development

Source: By Office of Governor Jay Inslee • Posted: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Gov. Jay Inslee, along with four other U.S. governors, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and six Chinese governors and leaders to discuss opportunities for collaboration on clean energy technology and economic development. American and Chinese participants in the forum signed an agreement to work together to advance economic development opportunities related to renewable and clean energy technology in their respective jurisdictions. The Governors’ Clean Energy and Economic Development Accord establishes an agreement to collaborate on commercialization and deployment of clean and renewable energy technologies, promote energy efficiency, advance smart grid infrastructure, reduce transportation emissions, and improve air quality.

DOE tries to jump-start lagging U.S. offshore wind development

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The Department of Energy has awarded around a half-million dollars to New York, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts state organizations to cooperate on scaling up the offshore wind industry in the region. Under the leadership of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the group will lay out a collaborative road map by the end of the year on how to build up the new industry. The project largely aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind projects, which has been a barrier to development, and establish a regional supply chain.

Gas turbines, not batteries, may provide the easiest path forward for renewables

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

It turned out that energy storage loses economically compared to natural gas turbines or dispatchable zero-carbon generators. This means that the low-carbon grid of the future can run on much of the technology that exists today rather than waiting for a hypothetical battery that’s cheap and easy to scale.