So much wind sweeps through Oklahoma’s plains that the state — while currently ranked fourth in its capacity to produce wind energy — is on pace to overtake No. 3 California in installed capacity by the end of the year. Data from the second quarter of 2015 shows Oklahoma has more than 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity under construction, said Hannah Hunt, a senior analyst with the American Wind Energy Association.
California will set a sweeping economywide carbon emissions target of a 40 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030, after lawmakers voted yesterday to approve a bill giving them more say in the state’s climate policies. The state Senate passed a bill to give lawmakers more oversight of the California Air Resources Board, the agency charged with writing regulations to achieve the targets. It was part of a package that also included S.B. 32, the actual target-setting bill, which passed the Assembly on Tuesday. Both measures now head to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has said he will sign them.
A Southern California county refused to authorize a sprawling solar power project yesterday, jeopardizing the contentious federally approved project. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted not to approve the county’s environmental review of the 287-megawatt Soda Mountain Solar Project, which has drawn widespread opposition for its location near the Mojave National Preserve.
“Gov. Inslee and the state of Washington continue to champion clean energy innovation. Driving innovation is at the core of how our country maintains its leadership in developing clean, low-carbon energy technologies,” Moniz said. Inslee and Moniz made the announcement last week at the Northwest Regional Clean Energy Innovation Partnership Workshop. The event is jointly hosted by the University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest National Lab.
New versions of two Tesla Motors Inc. cars can now go up to 315 miles on a single charge, the company announced. The Model S sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle are now equipped with 100-kilowatt-hour batteries, which was the result of increasing their energy density. The biggest battery size previously was 90 kWh.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) could soon issue an executive order calling for reductions in carbon emissions from the state’s power plants, according to a draft of the document obtained by ClimateWire. The proposed cuts closely track goals set for Colorado by U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Hickenlooper’s office acknowledged a draft is being vetted but said no final decisions have been made on the document’s contents.
Minnesota’s decision to accept a court ruling striking down a 9-year-old ban on coal-fired electricity imports will have little effect on the state’s transition to a clean energy economy, state leaders and environmentalists said yesterday. Rather, the laws of economics as well as overarching regulations like the federal Clean Power Plan will help Minnesota achieve many of the same outcomes it sought under the controversial provision of the Next Generation Energy Act, officials said.
“I think this is incredibly impactful for the future of clean energy in this country,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal agency within the Interior Department in charge of permitting and leasing offshore wind power. “It shows that offshore wind can happen here in the United States.” The Block Island farm, developed by Deepwater Wind, will only have a 30 megawatt generating capacity, enough to power 17,000 homes. But while the technology is far more expensive than traditional wind power, it’s both a small step and a giant leap, in terms of its power to demonstrate a technology.
Defense. Defense. Defense. That’s the strategy for groups lobbying on clean energy issues who say they are gearing up for a tough fight this fall in Congress and stand ready to tackle any efforts to block the first comprehensive energy law in nearly 10 years.
It was supposed to be the largest wind farm in North America, with 1,000 turbines spinning above 320,000 acres of southern Wyoming. But after investing more than $50 million and nearly a decade seeking approval to build a wind farm on public lands, the Power Company of Wyoming’s landmark project is still tied up in required scrutiny of its environmental impact. “We understood that this is a complex process,” said the company’s vice president Roxane Perruso. “We did understand that it was going to be several years. We did not anticipate nine.”