News

DOE commits $25M as industry marks millionth installation

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

The Department of Energy announced $25 million yesterday to accelerate the integration of solar power into the grid as industry supporters launched a campaign to celebrate the millionth U.S. solar installation. The DOE money will be used to support 10 or 15 technology “solutions,” such as sensors and software, that can be field-tested by utilities to integrate, store and deploy solar power on the grid. The goal of the SunShot Initiative program is to tackle an ongoing challenge of integrating distributed generation sources like rooftop panels while balancing that power with traditional sources like coal or natural gas, according to the agency.

Officials mull revamp of electric system as blackouts loom

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

“The SoCalGas leak in Aliso Canyon was a rude awakening for families living in Porter Ranch, but it also has to be a wake-up call for the state,” Pavley said in an email. “It shows that we need to address tough questions about how we diversify our energy resources, reduce our dependence on dangerous fossil fuel facilities like this one, and move toward the clean energy future our state has envisioned in its policy.”

Offshore Wind Boom in U.S. Hangs on One State’s Utility Mandate

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg News • Posted: Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are drafting a bill that would jump-start the offshore wind industry in the U.S., helping trigger a $10 billion building spree off the Atlantic coast. The energy bill may be introduced as early as this month and is expected to require utilities to purchase power from offshore wind farms, according to Representative Thomas Golden, one of the Democrats who control the state legislature. Still to be determined is how much power utilities would be forced to buy under the bill and, crucially, whether the state’s Republican governor — who has already opposed one offshore project — will sign it.

Coal swoon felt in most states, except 2

Source: Benjamin Hulac and Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Combustion of steam coal reached its apex in 2007, but it has declined nationwide 29 percent since then, the EIA said. The swoon was particularly sharp in the Midwest and the Southeast. Six states — Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the Rust Belt and Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina in the South — accounted for “nearly half of the national decline,” EIA said.

Challengers want 5 hours for epic court brawl

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The 157 parties suing U.S. EPA over a major climate change rule are asking federal judges to hear five hours of oral arguments over two days in June. The request is a major departure from the amount of time usually allowed for lawyers to make their case in court. Arguments in a typical case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last about 20 to 40 minutes, with several cases heard on the same day. But both foes and supporters of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan argue that this epic legal battle deserves more time.

EnergyWire’s Ferris discusses impact of SunEdison bankruptcy on industry, politics of renewables

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Five years post-Solyndra, another major solar company declared bankruptcy this month. How is SunEdison Inc.’s bankruptcy unique, and what does it represent about the state of the solar industry? On today’s The Cutting Edge, EnergyWirereporter David Ferris discusses the impacts of SunEdison’s bankruptcy on the broader industry. He also talks about the political shift on solar since Solyndra.

Christie official: N.J. has no plans to comply with climate rule

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

A top official to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told an environment advisory board gathered to discuss a federal climate change regulation that the state has no plans to comply.

John Giordano, assistant commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, took the floor midway through a daylong meeting of the 18-member state advisory group to reiterate the state’s opposition to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. New Jersey is one of 27 states suing to challenge the rule in court.

The plan: A rooftop solar project that can power 5,000 homes — and 500 L.A. jobs

Source: By Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

A Los Angeles developer announced plans Friday to build the nation’s largest rooftop solar array that supplies electricity directly into a city’s power grid. The project by developer PermaCity includes a 16.4-megawatt solar system — enough to power 5,000 L.A. homes — that the company will install on 2 million square feet of space on Westmont Drive buildings.

How Iowa Became the Nation’s Leader in Wind Energy

Source: By Kim Eckart, Yes! • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

“Any time you can say something is good for the farmer, you have a good chance of it passing.”

Maine governor vetoes solar energy bill after compromise talks fail

Source: BY TUX TURKEL STAFF WRITER, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a landmark solar energy bill Wednesday, after failed attempts by Democratic leadership to reach a compromise during extensive negotiations. Solar advocates now plan to press lawmakers to override the veto when they reconvene Friday. Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, the assistant majority leader, said a request by the governor to cap at a very low level the price that homeowners receive for solar power they generate was a deal breaker.