News

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.

Jeb Bush Energy Plan Emphasizes Jobs, Lower Prices

Source: By Steve Holland, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Jeb Bush will lay out energy policy proposals on Tuesday that seek to spur job growth and take aim at President Barack Obama’s plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants. In a speech at Rice Energy Inc., in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Bush will give yet another detailed policy speech on what he would try to accomplish if elected president in November 2016.

N.D.’s boom-time governor confronts the oil bust

Source: Mike Lee, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Minutes after Gov. Jack Dalrymple got through presiding over a vote to change the state’s rules on natural gas flaring, he got an earful from a constituent. Technically, the audience isn’t allowed to speak during meetings of the Industrial Commission, which oversees oil and gas regulation. The Republican governor chairs the three-member commission, which had just approved a compromise giving the industry relief from an interim goal to capture natural gas in the oil field, in exchange for further cuts over the long term. Case closed